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Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox ace Lefty Grove was among the most dominant pitchers of his, or any era. A nine-time ERA champion, Grove began his Major League career with a string of seven straight years of leading the American League in strikeouts. Grove’s best season came in 1931, when the Maryland native picked up 31 victories against only four losses while leading the American League in ERA (2.06) and strikeouts (175). The dominant left-hander won the American League MVP award in 1931, and led the Athletics to a World Series title at the end of the year. Grove retired after the 1941 season with an even 300 victories in his back pocket, and in 1947 Grove was honored with a plaque in Cooperstown.

The item offered here is an Official American League E.S. Barnard baseball signed and inscribed by Grove. Grove’s inscriptions relate to a game on July 31st, 1928, between the Athletics and the St. Louis Browns where the Hall of Famer earned his 14th win of the season and 57th of his illustrious career. The Athletics, who would win 98 games and finish second in the American League this season, won the game 8-4 behind a complete game from Grove. Mule Haas homered twice in this game, and Al Simmons and Max Bishop added a home run apiece to ease the Athletics to victory. This was Grove’s 14th win of the season, and the 57th of his young career. Grove inscribed “R-H-E”, “Saint Louis 4-9-0”, “Athletics 8-10-0”, “July 31 -1928-“, and “Strikeout 5” on the panel to the south of the sweet spot. Please note that modern box scores credit Grove with four strikeouts in this game, and the Browns with having committed one error. Grove signed his name below his inscription, both of which are written in crisp black fountain pen. This ball is a wonderful relic from the career of one of baseball’s legendary aces. This item comes with a LOA from Steve Grad of Beckett Authentication (A89192). 

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