The cast was, simply put, stellar. Its collective exploits, as expected, sent the 1927 New York Yankees to an unreachable echelon. The benchmark for dominance in any athletic endeavor, the ’27 season authored by “Murderers Row” has long since reached a sacred status to which purists don’t dare compare “other” installments. The offered baseball is autographed by (7) members of that incomparable roster and, like other memories/artifacts regarding the 1927 Yankees (intangible and otherwise), sparks awe and superlatives.
In starting the assessment, we touch upon a most appealing and appropriate aspect: the medium is an OAL Johnson sphere that dates specifically to no later than 1927. While the orb has a series of minor surface abrasions and exhibits evidence of what appears to be diamond use, its trademark stampings and Johnson’s facsimile signature are definitive traits of 1927 examples only. The signatures have been executed in black-ink steel tip fountain pen. While the strength and clarity varies, all are readily identifiable. Includes: North Panel: Babe Ruth (d.1948, “6-7” strength) and Lou Gehrig (d.1941, “5” strength); South Panel: Tony Lazzeri (d.1946, “5-6” strength), Bob Shawkey (d.1980, “6” strength), Myles Thomas (d.1963, “5-6” strength) and Wilcy Moore (d.1963, “5” strength); East Panel: Mark Koenig (d.1993, “3-4” strength).
Each of the aforementioned played an integral part for that well-oiled machine to which subsequent champions will forever be compared. Ruth, of course, set the standard with 60 home runs. Not to be outdone, MVP Gehrig drove in a league-best 173 and won the batting title with a .373 mark. Batting in the lower portion of the potent lineup, Lazzeri hit .309 with 18 homers and 102 RBI. Koenig (a flawless infielder) hit a team-best .500 in the World Series sweep of Pittsburgh. Bob Shawkey had long ago established himself as the first-ever starting pitcher at Yankee Stadium (April 18, 1923). Myles Thomas beat six of seven American League opponents that year (including Cleveland twice) despite a limited number (21) of outings. Wilcy Moore was summoned, sight unseen, by Jacob Ruppert, who was impressed with Moore’s 20-1 Piedmont League ledger. Moore didn’t disappoint, going 19-9 for the ’27 Yanks, including 13-3 in relief. Full photo LOA from PSA/DNA.