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Ty Cobb 1919 Single-Signed and Dated Baseball Personalized to Helene Champlain - Full JSA

Lot Number 352

Quantity: Bid Starts: 03/30/2015 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 750.00  Bid Ends: 04/10/2015 00:22:42 
Bid Count: 25  Overtime: 30 Minutes
Currently: 4750.00  Time Left: Ended
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“A Chinese sage wrote that exaggeration is to paint a snake and add legs. With me, they attached fangs, claws, file-sharpened spikes, and fire snorting out each nostril.” A damning self-assessment, to be sure, but a portrayal Ty Cobb endured through a lifetime of torment quelled only during the heat of competition. Surely, there are numerous accounts of Cobb’s generosity and genuine kindness. But the popular definition always leans toward the sensational, which, in Cobb’s case, all but obscures his good deeds. This autographed baseball is a definitive link to a companionship and its heartfelt sentiments. Given by Cobb to an East Coast friend, this OAL Johnson baseball is among the most glorious single-signed Cobb examples in the hobby. With trademark “Reach” stampings that date specifically to 1918-1924, the Junior Circuit orb is covered with a thin, uniform coat of period shellac. On a side panel, Cobb has inscribed in black-ink steel tip fountain pen: “To Helene Champlain – July – 30th – 19 from (signed) Ty Cobb.” Cobb’s potent signature extends to the somewhat faded but legible trademark stampings. Complete with his customary paraph, Cobb’s penning projects every bit of (“7-8”) strength and clarity, with lesser pen pressure on the “C” preventing even higher assessment. As for Cobb’s relationship with Champlain, perhaps the above-cited quote applies. Correspondence between Cobb and Champlain has surfaced with examples from 1923, 1927 and 1948 and the “consensus” is that Champlain was Cobb’s “mistress.” The 1927 correspondence, incidentally, was a Christmas card from Cobb and his wife. As for Champlain, she has been described as a book salesperson at Macy’s in New York and a member of the Trinity Church. While speculation always favors controversy, the only “truth” here is that this is one of the most spectacular Cobb signatures we’ve encountered. Full photo LOA from JSA.

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