Winter Premier Auction 2021

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/3/2021

The name on this single-signed ball is one whose name lives on as the answer to one of baseball’s great trivia questions: Who recorded the very first Yankees hit in Yankee Stadium? The answer, as every die-hard Yankees fan knows, is Aaron Ward. The scrappy second baseman was a Yankee starter since 1917, his fielding making him an integral part of the Yankees winning pennants in 1921-23 and 1926. In 1923 he was playing second base and batting leadoff on April 18, 1923 when the Yankees opened the doors to their new ballpark. In the first inning, Yankees starter Bob Shawkey put the Red Sox down 1-2-3 and Boston’s Howard Ehmke did the same in the bottom of the inning. Then in the second Red Sox first baseman George Burns got a single off Shawkey for the first hit in the new stadium. Burns was erased when he was picked off. Aaron Ward led off the Yankees half of the third and hit a grounder into left field for the first New York hit of the day and, more importantly, in the history of Yankees Stadium. Ward’s hit began a Yankees rally, though it would be Bob Shawkey who would record the first run in Yankee Stadium, Ward having been retired earlier on a fielder’s choice. Aaron Ward would eventually lose his second base job to future Hall of Famer Tony Lazzeri in 1926, but that ground ball to left on April 18, 1923 would ensure him a unique place in baseball history. This ball has been signed on its sweet spot, “Aaron L. Ward” in bold black fountain pen. The ball has been lightly coated with shellac that has taken on a slight amber hue with age, though Ward’s signature displays nicely against the warm leather surface. Single-signed ball from pre-war players are notoriously difficult to come by, and to find one from such a player as Aaron Ward is almost impossible. An absolute must-have for any advanced Yankees collector.

Accompanied by a full Letter of Authenticity from PSA/DNA.

Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $2,396
Number Bids: 3
Auction closed on Saturday, April 3, 2021.
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