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Negro Leagues Autographs and Memorabilia

  7 Lots      




Lot 1.  James “Cool Papa” Bell Autographed Baseball. Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1974, Bell starred in the Negro Leagues from 1922-46. Possessing legendary speed, he would have been a star in the major leagues if the door had been open to him. In 54 games from 1928-48 between Negro Leaguers and white barnstorming teams, he batted .378 in 193 at bats with four home runs and 13 stolen bases. “The Sporting News” ranked him 66th on its 1999 list of greatest baseball players. Bell said being inducted into the Hall of Fame was the greatest honor of his life, but his biggest thrill “was when they opened the door in the major leagues for black players.” He died in 1991. His signature, authenticated by Kevin Keating, is ex 5 on an nm-m Wilson Official League ball. The autograph extends for more than four inches, essentially across the sweet spot and east and west panels. It exhibits fading and bleeding without retraces, smudges or other problems. All of the letters are full visible. The signature is so broad that we have provided two photos to show it fully.
Winning Bid $102     


Lot 2.  Vintage Lathe Bat Nicely Signed by 21 Negro Leaguers – Radcliffe, Jethroe, Fields, Etc. This 33” bat still has the nubs on the ends. More importantly, it displays the nm-m 8 and better autographs of Wilmer Fields, Leroy Toots Ferrell, Stanley Glenn, Cecil Kaiser, Jim Zapp, Max Manning, Jim Wilkes, Curly Williams, Gene Benson, Art “Superman” Pennington, Sam Jethroe, Mahlon Duckett, Emilio Navarro, Double Duty Radcliffe, Wilmer Harris, Bill (Ready) Cash, James Cohen, Willie Pope, Ernest Burke and Pee Wee Jenkins. Jethroe, who died in 2001, was the 1950 N.L. Rookie of the Year. He was the Boston Braves’ first black player. Radcliffe is one of the best Negro Leaguers not in the Hall of Fame. In a playing career that began in 1928 and ended in the early 1950s, he may have recorded as many as 4,000 hits, 400 home run, 500 wins and 4,000 strikeouts. In a 1952 poll of Negro Leagues experts by the “Pittsburgh Courier,” he ranked fifth all-time among catchers in the Negro Leagues, and seventeenth among pitchers. His signature is large as “Double Duty Radclif” (died 2005) because he ran out of space at the end of the bat. Fields (d. 2004) demonstrated major league talent while pitching in the Negro Leagues and the minors. Kevin Keating authenticated the autographs.
Winning Bid $115     


Lot 202.  Monte Irvin Autographed Rawlings Adirondack Big Stick Professional Model Bat. Irvin placed an nm-m 8 signature on the barrel. A star of the Negro Leagues, he was already 30 when he made his major league debut with the New York Giants in 1949. In 1951, he led the N.L. in runs batted in with 121. His induction into the Hall of Fame came in 1973. Kevin Keating authenticated the autograph.
Winning Bid $30     


Lot 203.  Monte Irvin Autographed ONL William White Baseball. Irvin’s signature on the sweet spot is large and mint 9. The ball is nm with a few small scattered spots of discoloration. Authenticated by Kevin Keating. Irvin starred in the Negro Leagues before he made the New York Giants’ roster at the age of 30. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973.
Winning Bid $15     


Lot 222.  1938 Colored National League All Stars Reproduction Broadside Signed by Lou Dials. The 12.5’ x 18.5” red, blue and beige broadside is for a game at Wrigley Field in Chicago with a team composed of players from Cordoba, Veracruz and Mexico City. Vg+ to ex. It has the lineup for each team. Dials was the All Stars manager and left fielder. Dials was an excellent hitter. In fact, he won two batting titles, although both are disputed. From 1925-45, he played primarily for the Chicago American Giants, but also for seven other Negro Leagues teams and for some Mexican teams. After he was done playing, he scouted for Houston, Cleveland and Baltimore. Dials passed away in 1994. His autograph, personalized and nm-m 8, is relatively difficult to find. Kevin Keating authenticated the signature.
Minimum Bid $20     


Lot 223.  14 Autographs of Negro Leaguers Including Radcliffe on Photographs and Other Media. Black & white 8” x 10” photos are signed by Sherwood Brewer and Buck O’Neil (Monarchs team photo), Brewer alone, Jim Cohen, Wilmer Fields, Mel Duncan, Buster Haywood, Lester Lockett and Double Duty (Radcliffe – signed “Double Duty”). Autographs of James “Red” Moore, Wm Bobby Robinson and Armando Vazquez are on unlined index cards. Cowan “Bubba” Hyde autographed a Ron Lewis Negro Leagues postcard, and Art “Superman” Pennington, a Negro Leagues Legends postcard. Radcliffe was one of the best catchers and pitchers in the Negro Leagues. In a career spanning 1928 to the early 1950s, he may have collected up to 4,000 hits, including 400 home runs, and recorded 500 wins supported by 4,000 strikeouts. The ace of the Homestead Grays’ pitching staff in the 1940s, Fields was good enough to pitch in the major leagues, and maybe even to play the infield. Pitching, playing the infield and routinely batting above .300, he played in Canada and the winter leagues, winning eight MVP awards from 1950-58. These autographs, authenticated by Kevin Keating, average nm-m 8 to mint 9.
Winning Bid $50     


Lot 224.  4 Negro Leagues Autographs – Bell, Dandridge, Leonard and Benson. James “Cool Papa” Bell (died 1991), Ray Dandridge (d. 1994) and Buck Leonard (d. 1997) are all in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Dandridge’s signature is on a color photo taken while he was playing in Mexico, and Leonard signed a b&w photo. Both photos are 8” x 10”. In 1974, our consignor made several photocopies of a “New York Post” article describing Bell’s Hall of Fame induction. Then he had the new Cooperstown inductee autograph them. These autographs are bold, nm-m 8 and better. Gene Benson (d. 1999) signed an 8” x 10” b&w photo; nm to nm-m. Authenticated by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $40     




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