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Ted Williams ball???

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  • Ted Williams ball???

    Today I was at a coin and card shop, and I learned that the gentleman who takes car of the sports cards and memorabilia died over the winter, so they are clearing out some of their inventory of baseballs. They had a "junk box" of different balls, some signed, some not, that were $5 each. One of the ones that I found appeared to be a Red Sox team ball from the late 1950's. Although many of the signatures were faded beyond legibility, I could make out enough (Frank Malzone, Dave Sisler, Ike Delock, Frank Sullivan, and a few others) to realize what it was. The original price tag on it said $25, so I didn't really even bother looking for any big names, because I figured the price would have been a lot higher if there were any famous players on the ball.

    However, after I bought it and looked at it more closely, I realized that not only is All-Star third baseman Mike "Pinky" Higgins on the sweet spot as the team's manager, but also right below his name is a badly faded signature that appears to be Ted Williams. I couldn't post the picture on here because it's a little to big, but I uploaded it on a different site:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/5653771...19604/sizes/o/

    Is this too good to be true though? I've compared it to other Williams signatures, and it definitely seems to match up, because even though it's faded I can make out enough key parts of the signature. But if that's the case, why was it beng sold for $25? Even the much more visible Mike Higgins signature would make the ball worth more than that, so did he suspect it wasn't authentic or something?

    But either way, I'm curious as to what others think about the authenticity of the signatures, and why it was priced so low to begin with.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Sean Casey; 08-11-2008, 05:50 PM.
    "Too many pitchers, that's all, there are just too many pitchers Ten or twelve on a team. Don't see how any of them get enough work. Four starting pitchers and one relief man ought to be enough. Pitch 'em every three days and you'd find they'd get control and good, strong arms."

    -Cy Young

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sean Casey View Post
    Today I was at a coin and card shop, and I learned that the gentleman who takes car of the sports cards and memorabilia died over the winter, so they are clearing out some of their inventory of baseballs. They had a "junk box" of different balls, some signed, some not, that were $5 each. One of the ones that I found appeared to be a Red Sox team ball from the late 1950's. Although many of the signatures were faded beyond legibility, I could make out enough (Frank Malzone, Dave Sisler, Ike Delock, Frank Sullivan, and a few others) to realize what it was. The original price tag on it said $25, so I didn't really even bother looking for any big names, because I figured the price would have been a lot higher if there were any famous players on the ball.

    However, after I bought it and looked at it more closely, I realized that not only is All-Star third baseman Mike "Pinky" Higgins on the sweet spot as the team's manager, but also right below his name is a badly faded signature that appears to be Ted Williams. I couldn't post the picture on here because it's a little to big, but I uploaded it on a different site:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/5653771...19604/sizes/o/

    Is this too good to be true though? I've compared it to other Williams signatures, and it definitely seems to match up, because even though it's faded I can make out enough key parts of the signature. But if that's the case, why was it beng sold for $25? Even the much more visible Mike Higgins signature would make the ball worth more than that, so did he suspect it wasn't authentic or something?

    But either way, I'm curious as to what others think about the authenticity of the signatures, and why it was priced so low to begin with.

    Thanks!
    From the picture I see, it was priced so cheap probably because no one would pay hundreds for such faded autos. Certificates would probably have made the price go up some. Even on ebay, autos without certs. go for much less than they should. Maybe they just didn't know about the names.
    I collect any and all Braves cards and memorabilia. I also collect baseballs and Pre-1060's Topps cards.
    Trusted traders - Rpollard86, duckydps, Mike D., Rockhound, Drillbit

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    • #3
      I've uploaded the pictures of the other sides of the ball, and I've digitally altered the photos to make the sigs appear bolder:

      Top to bottom: Dave Sisler, Del Baker, Jimmy Piersall, and Gene Stephens. On the left is Ike Delock and on the right is Tom Brewer
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/5653771...07375/sizes/o/

      Top to bottom: Unidentified signature, Rudy Minarcin, Frank Sullivan, and Bill Consolo. On the left is Bob Porterfield and on the right is Dean Stone
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/5653771...10881/sizes/o/

      Frank Malzone and Jackie Jensen
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/5653771...14567/sizes/o/

      The most faded side has six signatures on it, but starting at the top, I think it might be Bob Chakales, Ted Lepcio, an unidenified signature, and George Susce at the bottom. The two on the left and right are almost completely gone.
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/5653771...50308/sizes/o/

      Top to bottom: Sam White, Pete Daley, and then four that are too faded to identify.
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/5653771...21649/sizes/o/
      "Too many pitchers, that's all, there are just too many pitchers Ten or twelve on a team. Don't see how any of them get enough work. Four starting pitchers and one relief man ought to be enough. Pitch 'em every three days and you'd find they'd get control and good, strong arms."

      -Cy Young

      Comment


      • #4
        I would say the ball is authentic, and that is most definitely Ted Williams auto. Now why was it sold for $5, sounds like the people were just trying to get rid of a large collection very fast. But another reason is the condition of the autographs, most are barely legible, and the Williams is very faded. But all in all it was definitely a steal for 5 dollars. I think it would be very interesting to see if PSA/DNA would authenticate the ball as signed by Williams, and the rest, If they do that would definitely add alot to the value of the ball.

        Comment


        • #5
          From what I can tell, it definitely looks like a real Ted Williams autograph, but someone brought up the fact that this could be a stamped team ball, like the kind that would have been sold in souvenir shops/concession stands. Is there any way to tell the difference between a stamped ball and one that is actually signed?
          "Too many pitchers, that's all, there are just too many pitchers Ten or twelve on a team. Don't see how any of them get enough work. Four starting pitchers and one relief man ought to be enough. Pitch 'em every three days and you'd find they'd get control and good, strong arms."

          -Cy Young

          Comment


          • #6
            Look for pen strokes, i.e., where a player slowed down or sped up his signature. Also different amounts of pressure applied to the pen by each player's hand. If there are no pen strokes and the pressure marks are all the same, the ball is stamped.
            "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
            -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

            Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

            Comment


            • #7
              It's difficult to detect pen strokes and pressure marks because of the condition of most of the signatures. It's difficult to tell what areas of a signature are lighter because of fade, and which could have been caused by a variation in pressure.

              What concerns me is that the signatures are very organized...each side panel has six, with all but one of them set up with 4 in one column and one sideways signature on each side. This is similar to the way other stamped balls of the 1950's were organized. Plus, all of the signatures appear to be with the same pen...same color, same width, etc.

              However, something that stands out on the Williams signature in particular is the fact that, at the end of the "s" in his name, there is a dark spot that I don't think could have been made by a stamp, unless it faded really weirdly. Del Baker's autograph also does not appear to have faded evenly, which could indicate that the darker spots were darker to being with because it was in fact hand signed.

              So I have no idea what to think about this baseball, and unfortunately I can find no stamped Red Sox balls from the 1950's to compare it to.
              "Too many pitchers, that's all, there are just too many pitchers Ten or twelve on a team. Don't see how any of them get enough work. Four starting pitchers and one relief man ought to be enough. Pitch 'em every three days and you'd find they'd get control and good, strong arms."

              -Cy Young

              Comment


              • #8
                A firm like PSA/DNA or JSA could tell you if you mailed the ball to them.
                "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
                -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

                Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Fading

                  But wouldn't a team stamped auto ball not fade, I've never had one so I don't know exactly how or if they do fade, but wouldn't it never fade?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble here, but it looks like it could be a stamped ball from that era. Look at the Williams' signature, and how it seems to have been signed across the seams. It is very unusual to see someone sign like that, but it's a common mistake on stamped souvenir balls.

                    Comment

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