Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Update on 1973 Twins Ball and Al Dark Return

First an update on the 1973 Twins ball I bought yesterday:  the helpful and knowledgeable members over at sportscollectors.net helped me identify the last signature I couldn't read. Right below Marilyn Carew's signature is that of equipment manager Ray Crump.  Ray was a bat boy with the Washington Senators and followed the team when it moved to Minnesota to become their first equipment manager.  So now all signatures have been identified.

The last remaining mystery is why Jim Gilliam's signature would be on this ball.  The most likely scenario I can come up with is that the original owner of this ball got the autographs during Spring Training in 1973 and some how also came into contact with Jim Gilliam.  The Dodgers used to have Spring Training in Vero Beach, Florida, so it's possible the two teams played each other then, or simply that the owner of this ball somehow came in contact with Gilliam during spring training.  Anyway, that's the story I'm going with.

There is one more signature on the ball (maybe two?) but it is so light that I don't think we'll ever be able to know for sure who it is.  I'm pretty sure it's "Danny" but the last name is too hard to read.  It could be Danny Thompson, who passed away in 1976, or Danny Walton.  The closer I look, the more I think there's yet another signature in addition to Danny, but I have no idea who it could be.

Maybe I'll try taking a scan of it and seeing if anyone at sportscollectors.net can help me identify it.

Also, my son received another signed 1958 Topps in the mail today.  Al Dark signed his card for $5, and also included a signed religious pamphlet.

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