The ebb and flow of diamond fortunes simultaneously saw the Philadelphia Athletics on the ascent and the Chicago White Sox in the throes of decline as both tried (in vain) to unseat the almighty Yankees in 1928. Likely gathered during one of the 22 meetings between the As and ChiSox that year, (15) autographs decorate this vintage baseball. The darkly toned unofficial orb has a uniform coat of period shellac and features black-ink fountain pen scriptings that range between (7) and (2-3) in terms of strength and clarity. Highlights include: Cobb (7 strength), Lyons (3 strength), Schalk (3 strength) and Speaker (7 strength). Full photo LOA from JSA. More on our website.
As for the clubs respective fortunes, the Athletics were quickly rising and one year away from the start of one of the most formidable dynasties in baseball history. Following the introduction of the upstart Federal League and Connie Macks resultant fire sale following the 1914 season, the Athletics endured seven successive last-place finishes and 10 straight losing seasons. Armed with veteran legends such as Cobb and Speaker, however, the As rallied furiously in 1928. Though they trailed the front-running Yankees by 12-1/2 games as late as July 17, the As went on a 40-12 tear to catch and pass the Bronx Bombers on September 8, only to succumb to New York in the end.
Speeding in the opposite direction, the White Sox had been stripped of eight star players (and their collective dignity) after Commissioner Landis 1920 ruling. The 1928 season marked the clubs second of a franchise-long nine straight losing seasons.
Assembled for one of 22 meeting that year, (15) As or Pale Hose principals saw fit to sign this souvenir. Includes:
Sweet Spot: Ted Lyons (3 strength) and Tris Speaker (7 strength); North Panel: Lena Blackburne (coach, 5 strength) and Ty Cobb (7 strength); South Panel: Bud Clancy (2-3 strength), unidentified, Bill Cissell (3 strength), Carl Reynolds (3-4 strength) and unidentified; West Panel: Ray Schalk (3 strength); East Panel: Tommy Thomas (3-4 strength), Buck Crouse (3 strength), Bill Barrett (2-3 strength) and unidentified