The Fall Classic 11/18/17
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/19/2017
The term "All Century Team" was tapped in 1999 by major league baseball, honoring baseball's greatest talents from 1900-1999. The nominees for the All-Century team were presented at the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. Preceding Game 2 of the 1999 World Series, the members of the All-Century Team were revealed and every living player named to the team attended. This was one of the biggest honors in the game up to this point, however it appears that a little less than a century prior, this very photograph offered was created depicting what appears to be the games greatest players by position for the first century of baseball (1839-1939).

The offered photograph measures approximately 4 3/8" x 3.5" and depicts an image of a baseball diamond with the top players at their positions up to this point (circa 1939). The photograph contains authenticated signatures of Babe Ruth (10), Honus Wagner (9-10), Tris Speaker (8-9), Ty Cobb (6-7), and Larry Lajoie (5-6). The Christy Matthewson, Jimmy Collins, Buck Ewing, and John McGraw signatures all appear to be written in the same hand and have been deemed clubhouse by JSA. This appears to put everything in line with the estimated photo date circa 1939 as Ewing, Matthewson and Collins all passed away prior to 1939. Jimmy Collins and Lou Gehrig each passed away in the early 1940's, which could also date the photo to the mid 1940's or shortly thereafter as Ruth passed away in 1948. The most interesting autograph on the piece is that of Lou Gehrig which has been deemed clubhouse by JSA. Not only could Gehrig have been alive when these photos were signed, the Gehrig autograph on the photo, while it does show inconsistencies with typical authenticated Gehrig specimens (mainly in the first speed of the first name, and some more pronouncement in the word Gehrig) this is far closer to the appearance of his signature than the others. Although we cannot, nor could JSA, deem the Gehrig signature as authentic, it is more similar in characteristics to his autograph than the obvious clubhouse versions, penned in the same hand as those signatures. The "E" in Gehrig is certainly not looping like that on the Matthewson nor is the "H" in Gehrig as is the "h" in Matthewson. The "G" that begins the Gehrig is nearly spot on to that of other authenticated examples (as you can see by other specimens in this very auction) so in addition to the Five All Time Greats on this piece authenticated, could the iron Horse's autograph actually be genuine as well?

Regardless of the debate on the Gehrig signature, the autograph that have been verified authentic by JSA are the biggest name in the history of the sport, and certainly the biggest names in the game come the first 100 Year anniversary of baseball in 1939. To have a these five autographs in conjunction on a piece of memorabilia only multiplies its value due to the significance of the 100 Year Hall of Fame Anniversary celebration.

Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Speaker, Lajoie, and Collins Incredible All Time Baseball Team Multi-Signed Photo (Beckett Encapsulated/JSA LOA)
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Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.:
Number Bids: 5
Auction closed on Sunday, November 19, 2017.
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