Winter Auction 2016 Closing January 30th
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/31/2016

The signatures of the original five legends who were selected in 1936 for Baseball Hall of Fame membership distinguish this sublime quintet of signed bank checks. Each scripting represents an icon of the National Pastime whose career excellence was already universally recognized when Cooperstown, New York shrine opened its doors for the first time.

The Hall of Fame is the pinnacle of success for a ballplayer. Originally devised as a plan to bring tourism to Cooperstown during the Great Depression, the facility has since served as the central point for the study of the history of baseball in the United States and beyond. For the majority of fans, however, it's revered as a place to honor the greatest players, managers, umpires, executives, and pioneers of the National Pastime.

Following its inception in the 1930s, museum officials created rules to determine who would be enshrined within the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. As a result, members of the Baseball Writers Association of America were granted the authority to select worthy figures from the 20th Century, while a Veterans Committee (comprised of individuals who possessed greater familiarity with the 19th Century game) was polled to choose deserving individuals from that era. Any candidate receiving votes on at least 75% of the ballots in either election was slated to be honored with induction to the Hall upon its opening in the sport's centennial year of 1939.

A total of 226 ballots were cast in 1936 – the first year of voting – with 2,231 individual votes for 47 specific candidates. Ty Cobb received 98.2% of the vote and Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner were tied at 95.1%. Completing the Class of '36 were Christy Mathewson (90.7%) and Walter Johnson (83.6%). (Similar rounds of balloting occurred in each of the following three years, thus defining membership in the Class of '37, Class of '38, and Class of '39.)

Each of the five bank checks forming this offering has been individually encapsulated with signature assessed "Authentic" by PSA/DNA. Truly amazing in its presentation, all five of the great players' blue or black ink scriptings in this high-caliber array deliver strong and distinct projection quality. Each player has signed his respective check on the obverse signature line, as account-holder. The impressive "Class of '36" collection's roster includes:

Ty Cobb – First National Bank of Nevada check dated Aug. 30, 1956. "Tyrus R. Cobb" signature with his customary paraph/underscore. PSA/DNA #83814205;

Babe Ruth – Chemical Bank & Trust Company of New York check dated Jan. 19, 1942. "GH Ruth" signature. PSA/DNA #83804135;

Honus Wagner – Carnegie Trust Company (Carnegie, Pa.) check dated Feb. 12, 1920. "John H. Wagner" signature. PSA/DNA #83690320;

Christy Mathewson – Adirondack National Bank (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) check dated July 5, 1922. "Christy Mathewson" signature. PSA/DNA #83436081;

Walter Johnson – The Germantown Bank (Germantown, Md.) check dated April 8, 1941. "Walter Johnson" signature. PSA/DNA #83804134.

The checks in this quintet were selected for their superior signature quality as well as the items' favorable aesthetic attributes, overall; standard light wear and official bank processing marks and punches do not interfere with the integrity of the players' signatures. The Mathewson check originally had the signature cut from the check most likely for a display, and then was professionally re-attached to the check


Set of "First Five" HOF Inductees Signed Checks (Ruth, Mathewson, Cobb,Wagner and Johnson (PSA/DNA)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $23,180.00
Number Bids: 10
Auction closed on Sunday, January 31, 2016.
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