WWI ended in 1918 and WWII ended in 1945, that's a twenty-eight year stretch. Prohibition and the Great Depression came and went, ballplayers became soldiers, and through it all, the Philadelphia Phillies steadfastly defended last place in the National League. Yes sir, the "Fightin' Phils" finished 8th in an eight-team NL sixteen times. For good measure, they also had another seven 7th place finishes during this cellar-dwelling run, and just once did they finish as high as fourth, eking into the "first division" by a single game in Chuck Klein's 1932 MVP season. Hoping to change their "buzzard's luck", the Phillies held a contest for fans to select an alternate team nickname leading up to the 1944 season. "Blue Jays" was chosen, and though it was a pleasant enough game, it was to no avail, as the '44 Phils squad went 61-92, to finish dead last by 43-1/2 games.
The Phillies "Phaithful" get a crack at commemorating this short-lived Blue Jays era, with this 1944 team-signed baseball. Decorating a period signed ONL/Frick ball (EX), are (24) autographs averaging ("8-9") potency, with:
Sweet spot: Dick Barrett (d.1966), Chuck Klein (HOF, player-coach, d.1958);
North panel: Charlie Letchas (d.1995), Coaker Triplett (d.1992), Glen Stewart (d.1997), Vern Kennedy (d.1993), Ted Cieslak (d.1993), "Moon" Mullen (d.2013);
South panel: "Buster" Adams (d.1990), Johnny Peacock (d.1981), Al Gerheauser (d.1972), Jimmy Wasdell (d.1983), Charley Schanz (d.1992);
East panel: Tony Lupien (d.2004), Barney Mussill (d.2013), Andy Karl (d.1989), Granny Hamner (d.1993);
West panel: Harry Shuman (d.1996), Ron Northey (d.1971), Bill Lee (d.1977), Bob Finley (d.1986), Ken Raffensberger (d.2002), Merv Shea (d.1953);
Reverse sweet spot: Freddie Fitzsimmons (manager, d.1979).
Full photo LOA from JSA.