"Fresh to the Hobby" Christy Mathewson Single Signed Official Spalding National League Baseball w/Family Provenance & Full JSA LOA
Of all the single signed baseball's in the hobby, arguably NONE carry the prestige and value as a boldly signed Christy Mathewson horsehide sphere. It is no secret along advanced hobbyists that Christy Mathewson signed artifacts are few and far between. Matty developed tuberculosis from the ill effects of inhaling poisonous gas in World War I; eventually succumbing to the tragic disease at the tender age of 45. Mathewson's early passing denied a seemingly countless number of admirers of the "Christian Gentleman's" highly desirable autograph, with only a paltry number of signed documents, books, checks, letters and baseballs available to the collecting community.
Of all the potential scripted Mathewson artifacts, NONE can remotely compare to the extremely coveted and rare "single signed baseball" that we at Memory Lane are proud to present here as a "fresh to the hobby" example! Indeed folks, this new hobby find had been safely tucked away in a Philadelphia home since its original signing in 1913, securely wrapped in a cloth and stored in a steamer trunk along with other family keepsakes. Incredibly, this official National League baseball was signed for our esteemed consignor's grandfather (Conrad Bucher) the day Mathewson bested Eddie Plank by a 3-0 score at Philadelphia's Shibe Park!
Passed down to his son Samuel Emery Bucher (our consignor's dad), the Matty ball was eventually wrapped in a cloth and placed in a trunk along with several World War II relics (our consignor's father honorably served in WWII in the Pacific) including a Japanese automatic pistol and Samurai sword. Eventually the ball was given to his son Steve Bucher (our current consignor) where he kept in in the back of a dresser draw until he was informed of its substantial value; at that juncture moving it to a safety deposit box. Fortunately for the most sophisticated autograph enthusiasts, Mr. Bucher has finally decided to part with this remarkable family heirloom that not only includes a full JSA/James Spence LOA, but a notarized letter signed by Steve Bucher attesting to its ironclad family provenance.
Of all Christy Mathewson's greatest feats, NONE could possibly compare to when he shutout the Philadelphia Athletics 3 times in the 1905 World Series; virtually single-handedly leading the New York Giants to their first 20th century championship! This performance eventually prompted iconic A's manager Connie Mack to boldly state: "Christy Mathewson is the greatest pitcher I've ever seen. It was a pleasure to watch him pitch when he wasn't pitching against you". Mack's Athletics would exact revenge against McGraw's Giant's in the 1911 and 1913 Fall Classics by besting New York in both contests. Unfortunately for the A's, Mathewson had one more classic performance left in him when he shutout Philadelphia and Eddie Plank in Game 2 of the 1913 World Series by a 3-0 score.
While it would be the only Giants victory of the Series (the A's captured the title in 5 games), it would be that historic day when Conrad Bucher (Steve's grandfather) would secure this signed Mathewson marvel that has remarkably withstood the test of time by retaining a majority of its original bold black fountain pen ink. The shellacked surface has ably assisted the signature in retaining its conservative "NM/MT 8" strength, and the dark toned ball shows the typical wear (stray scuffing, chipping, etc.) evident on most century old baseball with only some faint fragments of the Official Spalding N.L. ball's stamping still visible to the naked eye. Most significantly, the sweet spot's extremely bold "Christy Mathewson" signature steals the show, and the tightly wound multi-colored stitching remains intact.
Meticulous "single-signed" baseball collectors painstakingly seek bold Mathewson specimens, but simply stated, they are few and far between. It comes as little surprise that a "Big Six" single scripted ball stands as one of the hobby's elusive treasures for the majestic Christy Mathewson is on many experts' lists as, arguably, the greatest pitcher who ever toed the rubber. His 373 victories stands tall as the all-time National League mark (tied with Grover Alexander), and he won 30 games in four different seasons, including three consecutive years! He was famous for his virtually un-hittable fade away pitch (more commonly called the screwball) and likewise noted for his pinpoint control.
For 12 consecutive seasons (1903 – 1914) he won 20+ games, ably assisting the New York Giants to 4 pennants and that one aforementioned 1905 world championship when he posted his seemingly "unbreakable" record of 3 World Series shutouts. Yet, with all of his magnificent performances and records, it is Mathewson's wholesome image and beloved nature that places him second to none as a pre-WWI idol. He was the game's first "National Hero" with a super human, god like persona that immensely assisted in elevating "dead-ball" era baseball to America's National Pastime.
For all of those reasons including his tragic early death, the thought of owning a boldly signed Christy Mathewson single signed ball stands as one of the hobby's momentous collecting achievements. Now, courtesy of our esteemed consignor, this "fresh to the hobby' marvel joins the handful of other single-signed Matty horsehide spheres as a collectible for the ages. Obtained on a day when the immortal "Christian Gentleman" out-dueled the legendary Eddie Plank by a 3-0 score in game 2 of the 1913 Fall Classic, it's provenance overflows with historic significance.
A miraculous discovery, little did Steve Bucher's grandfather realize that after ecstatically securing this treasured signed Matty ball at Shibe Park, a century of time would ultimately pass before it would surface again to a collecting community salivating for its revered ownership! LOA's: JSA/James Spence Full LOA; Signed/Notarized Letter from Consignor Steve Bucher w/an image of the Letter Included on our Website
"PSA/DNA has reviewed the Mathewson ball and ultimately decided not to issue an LOA"
MIN BID $10,000