Gathered at Griffith Stadium for a July 4, 1930 twin bill that touched off a rare four-game sweep of the Bronx Bombers, (21) members of the New York Yankees and host Washington Senators decorated this baseball with signatures that read like a “Who’s Who” among Junior Circuit icons. The toned vintage Spalding orb features black-ink fountain pen scriptings that, under a uniform coat of period shellac, average (“4-5”) potency. Includes: Sweet Spot: Shires; North Panel: Ruel, Child, Marberry, Harris, Hayes, Crowder and Thomas; South Panel: Combs (“5” strength), Gehrig (“5” strength), H. Rice, Dickey (“5” strength) and Judge; West Panel: Hargrave, Ruth (“4” strength) and Pipgras; East Panel: Bluege, Loepp, Altrock (coach), Wuestling and Wells. Full photo LOA from JSA. This item has a reserve (estimated value $2500-$4000).
Partially obscuring the “Official Carolina League” trademark stampings, a handwritten notation reads: “July 4 1930 – New York 0-3 – Washington 8-7.” The Senators, indeed swept a pair that day and went on to sweep an entire four game series. With the setbacks, the Yanks fell to 4-1/2 games back and never drew nearer to the front-running Philadelphia Athletics. Of note is that Babe Ruth homered (number 32 for the year and number 548 for his career) in the nightcap.
As if the Washington dominance of those “Damn Yankees” wasn’t odd enough, the sweet spot of this ball is signed by Art Shires. While the sweet spot was almost always reserved for Babe Ruth, Shires was none too shy about promoting himself. The “Art the Great” moniker was his own creation and he often insisted he was one of the games “biggest drawing cards.”