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Walter Johnson Single-Signed OAL Harridge Baseball - Full JSA

Lot Number 774

Quantity: Bid Starts: 07/27/2018 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 2000.00  Bid Ends: 08/10/2018 00:21:53 
Bid Count: 21  Overtime: 30 Minutes
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Not long for the rural setting of Humboldt, Kansas, Walter Johnson was uprooted and moved to Southern California and then to Weiser, Idaho. In the latter location, he was discovered while pitching in the Idaho State League and inked to a Washington Senators contract at the tender age of 19. While his oft-woeful Senators rosters seldom made headway in the American League standings, Johnson was clearly the most dominating pitcher in the game. So said none other than Ty Cobb, who first encountered Johnson in the pitcher’s debut on August 2, 1907. In the realm of Hall of Fame autographs, Johnson’s scripting is a cornerstone from the institution’s inaugural class of inductees and, given his early passing date of 1946, a decidedly rare signature. This OAL Harridge baseball is decorated with a Johnson penning as powerful as his fabled fastball. An appealing heirloom by virtue of its single-signed status, the baseball has additional ties to the latter portion of Johnson’s life, all of which combine to make this an absolute treasure. Executed on the sweet spot in black-ink steel tip fountain pen, Johnson’s signature projects (“7”) strength and clarity. The off-white medium features prominent trademark stampings that date specifically to 1943-1945. But on the north panel, the facsimile signature of Ralph Hunter Daughton links the keepsake to both the Piedmont League and to Johnson’s political aspirations in the Nation’s Capital. During his tenure (1939-1945) as Piedmont League President, Daughton “doubled” in the U.S. House of Representatives (1944-1947). Johnson, himself ran unsuccessfully for election in 1940, but retained political ties as his father-in-law, Edwin Roberts, was also a member of the House of Representative. So while it is unclear if this orb was autographed in a political capacity or signed as part of the festivities on just another day at the diamond, it is definitively one of the last Johnson endorsements and a very bold one, at that! Accompanying is a full photo LOA from JSA.   

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