Rarities abound as one examines this Deadball Era heirloom. Pouring over the trademark stampings and (22) blue-ink steel tip fountain pen scriptings, the 1915 Detroit Tigers and one of the games most heated pennant races come to mind. As for scarcity, first and foremost, a team-signed sphere from this era is an anomaly. While autographs were becoming steadily more popular on their own, rarely were baseballs endorsed by groupings, let alone multiple players from the same team. But this OAL Ban Johnson orb meets that definition. Trademark stampings and alternating red-and-blue laces are decidedly vibrant. Signatures, meanwhile, vary in terms of strength with several keys warranting high assessment. At the age of 28, Ty Cobb secured his eighth batting title that year. But it was a championship (something that was to elude Cobb for his entire career), that Cobb desired more than any personal accolades. Powered by the leagues No. 1, 2 and 3 RBI and total base leaders (Cobb, Sam Crawford and Robert Veach), the Tigers won a (then) franchise-best 100 games, laying claim to first place four different times before ultimately succumbing to the Red Sox. Twenty-two Tigers decorated this well-preserved orb with their endorsements. Included are: Sweet Spot Dauss (5-6 strength) and McKee (5-6); North Panel Crawford (6-7), Burke (coach, 5), Stanage (3-4), Oldham (2), Young (3-4), James (3) and Bush (4); South Panel Moriarty, Tuthill (trainer, 3), Vitt (3), Kavanagh (2-3) and Jennings (manager, 4-5); West Panel Baker (3-4), Burns (4), Veach (3-4), Dubuc (3) and J. McGuire (Coach); East Panel Cobb (7), H. Coveleski (3-4; with salutation and what appears to be a calendar date) and Boehler. Full photo LOA from JSA. This item has a reserve (estimated value $5000-$7500).
NOTE: The JSA LOA states there are 21 signatures, however we have identified 22 signatures on the ball.