This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/20/2012
ADDENDUM: THERE ARE ONLY FOUR HALL OF FAMERS ON THIS BALL, NOT SIX AS LISTED IN THE PRINTED CATALOG . CANDY JIM TAYLOR (MONARCHS) AND NEWT ALLEN (MONARCHS) WERE MISIDENTIFIED AS HALL OF FAMERS.
It is almost impossible to find a baseball signed by stars from the Kansas City Monarchs and the Homestead Grays from their heyday in the early 1940’s but to find one that features the two men who define that storied league to this day, Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson, is extraordinary. We are pleased to present this ball signed during the precise time that these two men anchored the best Negro League teams of the period.
Our research indicates that this ball was most certainly game used from one of those teams classic battles during the 1942 season. 1942 was a special year for black baseball with many saying that the Monarchs and Grays were the two best baseball teams during the war years, whether black or white. Each time they met on the diamond that year, the contest turned into an epic battle. The Kansas City Monarchs led by Paige, the greatest draw in the game, and the Homestead Grays, the Eastern Negro Leagues defending Champions anchored by Josh Gibson, played against one another four times during the regular and pre-season, each game won by the Grays, three see saw match ups going into extra innings. The most memorable regular season game was a titanic battle, heavily covered by the black and white press and played under the lights, on June 18 of that year at Griffith Stadium in front of 30,000 fans. The Grays, featuring Josh Gibson’s big bat, beat Paige’s Monarchs in the bottom of the tenth inning.
The two teams then met during that year Negro League World Series, in which Paige and his team got their revenge winning the season’s biggest prize by sweeping their nemesis from the east, 5 games to 0. Each contest turned into personal battles between black baseball’s most dominant pitcher, Satchel Paige and the league’s most feared long ball hitter, the legendary Josh Gibson. Paige himself pitched in four of the series five contests.
Featured on the ball are four Hall of Famers including the extremely scarce signature of Josh Gibson (Grays) a man who died at the young age of 35 in 1947. Also shown are Hall of Famer’s James “Cool Papa” Bell (Grays), Buck Leonard (Grays) and Satchel Paige (Monarchs) noting his team name on the ball. Also present is the legendary player from the early part of the century and then Grays coach, Candy Jim Taylor and Newt Allen (Monarchs) signed on the orb. Other key signatories are the outstanding Vic Harris (Player Manager of the Grays), Sam Bankhead (Grays), Jerry Benjamin (Grays), Howard Easterling (Grays), Roy Partlow (Grays) as well as Chet Williams (Monarchs), Alex Radcliffe (Monarchs) and Jack Matchett, a little known but outstanding pitcher who, along with Paige, paced the Monarchs during their championship season. Added signatures includes Ray Bonaham, an umpire who officiated this contest, as well as two great old timers from the 1920’s and 30’s, Jelly Gardner and Subby Byars, along with later stars Willie Burns, Jimmie Crutchfield, Charlie Shields (all Chicago American Giants in 1942) and Ted Trent, an outstanding player from 1920’s-30’s who would tragically pass away in 1944. Most of these signatures are extremely rare, if not impossible, to obtain in any form whatsoever. Ball: VG-EX with soiling from game use. Signatures: Range 7-9 out of 10, averaging 8/10.
Includes a full LOA from PSA/DNA and a letter of provenance from David Wells.