Summer Premier Auction 2019


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/28/2019
The 1939 World Series may be best remembered for Reds catcher Ernie Lombardi’s infamous “snooze” at home plate in Game 4 that cost Cincinnati the game and series, but there was so much more to the '39 Fall Classic than that single play. The Yankees were appearing in their fourth consecutive World Series, the previous being four-game sweep of the Cubs. This '39 Yankees club was only of their greatest ever, with Joe DiMaggio and Bill Dickey in their prime backed up by the pitching of Lefty Gomez and Red Ruffing. Cincinnati was loaded as well, with two 25-game winners in Bucky Walters and Paul Derringer, along with sluggers Ernie Lombardi, Frank McCormick and Ival Goodman. The Reds also boasted their own DiMaggio, Joe’s older brother Vince. However, Cincinnati proved no match for the Yankees juggernaut, losing four straight games. It was in the 12th inning of the final game, played at Crosley Field, where Lombardi’s infamous “snooze” took place. With the game tied, Lombardi was tackled at home plate by Charlie Keller to break the tie. While Lombardi was incapacitated by the blow to his groin, Joe DiMaggio was able race home with an insurance run.

This 1939 World Series game-used baseball has been signed by longtime umpire John “Beans” Reardon. Reardon umped in the NL from 1926 to 1949, during which he not only arbitrated five world Series and three All-Star Games, but would achieve iconic status by being the focal point of the beloved Norman Rockwell painting “Bottom of the Sixth” in which a group of umpires debate whether to call a game at Ebbets Field due to rain. The '39 Series was Reardon’s third Fall Classic, and he carefully notated the results of each of the four games on one side panel. The Spalding Official National League (Frick) ball shows ample game usage with some soiling and also some spot toning from age. Reardon’s signature and inscription has been wonderfully preserved under a light coat of shellac, the black fountain pen notations strong against the warm tone of the ball. The shellac has flaked away in some places, bit this does not detract or affect the signature or inscription. A museum-quality World Series piece from the famed arbitrator who umpired it. Includes LOA from Beckett (A52328).

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $150
Final prices include buyers premium.: $930
Number Bids: 9
Auction closed on Saturday, September 28, 2019.
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