Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Taking Another Look At My 1930s Signed Baseball

I have a nice mystery on my hands with this signed baseball that I got from Heritage Auctions.  When I first got the ball, I thought it would be fun to try to figure out approximately when it was signed and by whom.  It looked like a lot of the signatures on the ball were from late 20s early 30s Washington Senators until I found one name who never played for them.  He was a Cardinal.  Hmm.

So, I want to first take an overview look at the ball and see what I can figure out, and then maybe see what some folks with better eyes than mine may be able to deduce as well.  The ball is a Spalding ONL baseball with Red and Black stitching.  After doing some Google searching, the ball is a 1929 - 1933 John Heydler Spalding ONL baseball.  One of the faded 'signatures' on the ball is the Heydler stamp.  Interesting.  It can be seen just below the Joe Cronin signature.  Some other names that I can make out on that panel are Ossie Bluege and Ed Gharrity.  I will cross reference these names on and do a post about each individual name when I confirm them.
Here is a better shot of the 'Bluege' and 'Gharrity' signatures.  Again, once I confirm the name, I will do a blog post profiling the player.  This should be fun.
This panel has names that seem like they could be fairly easy to read.  I'm seeing: Someone that looks like Jack J something..., Bill Sherdel, Pauly Moore?, Les Ruhburg?.  I need to try to confirm all of these...
 Here is a better shot.  Looks like the top one could be Randy Moore, maybe.  I don't know.  The bottom one might be Les Richburg?
These are going to be tough.  I see Fred Macguire and Wes Smithwick?
Finally, these look like Sam West and Joe Kuchel?  We'll see.
So, I think doing the detective work on this will be a lot of fun.  I will write down the names that I think I see and cross reference them first with teams that Cronin played on.  Some of the names, like Bluege and Sam West are easy enough to read, so I think I should be able to do some relative age dating on the ball and come up with a possible team that this could have come from.  I wonder why the person got several Washington Senators on an ONL ball.  Maybe we'll never know.

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