Summer Premier Auction 2020


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/28/2020

The youngest pitcher to reach the exclusive 300 Win Club was Charles Augustus "Kid" Nichols. The right-hander debuted in 1890 at age 20 (hence, the nickname) for the Boston Beaneaters and was spectacular, going 27-19 with a 2.23 ERA and 222 strikeouts in 424 innings. In fact, he completed all 47 games he started with seven shutouts as a young rook. He went on to win 330 games in his 12 seasons with the franchise we now know as the Atlanta Braves. This included ten straight years with 20+ victories and an MLB-record seven 30-win campaigns (career-high 35 in 1892). The Beaneaters won five pennants and a World Series in 1895 thanks to the 5' 10", 175-pounder's Herculean efforts. Nichols finished up his career with the Cardinals and Phillies, retiring with 362 total wins and earning his automatic Hall of Fame admission in 1949, just four years before his death.

Presented here is an ONL (Frick) baseball dating to the 1946-51 period (based on the label) signed by Kid in strong 8/10 blue ink. His full name autograph ("Kid" included) encompasses the entire west panel with his last name running across the sweet spot. According to a previous listing, it was "examined by James Spence Authentication utilizing a video spectral comparator (VSC), which allows for the observation of latent writing and/or markings. That examination revealed that a number of unidentified signatures were removed from the ball's side panels." While signature removal may be frowned upon by the true purists, but in this case the end justifies the means. Any Nichols signed ball is rare and singles are basically extinct. In fact, only three have ever sold publicly from our research: $53,775 in 2011; $32,460 in 2012; and $31,200 in 2017.

The lightly shellacked, brown colored ball has a few surface issues including scuffs, abrasions and spot toning. Most of the Spalding manufacturer stampings are no longer visible, but enough is visible to narrow it down to his Cooperstown induction era when his signature was in high demand. The removed signatures are very well-disguised making this special ball display as if it were the fourth known Nichols single. Includes full LOA from Beckett which, interestingly enough, does not mention any signature removals.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $8,711
Number Bids: 18
Auction closed on Friday, August 28, 2020.
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