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'34 Tour of Japan signed ball tops Coach's Corner

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A signed 1934 Tour of Japan baseball - with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Moe Berg and a Japanese sportswriter named Sotaro Suzuki among the signatures on the ball - tops a list of items in Coach's Corner Sports & Celebrity February Auction, which ends Feb. 3. In all, there will be more than 3,500 items in the auction.

The lead item is a red-and-blue-laced vintage ball that has 18 signatures on it, including the aforementioned, plus Connie Mack, Lefty O'Doul, Bing Miller, Charlie Gehringer, A's trainer Doc Ebling and others. There is a suggestion that the Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Gomez signatures on the ball may be clubhouse, but the rest carry a certificate of authenticity.

Also among the top items is a late-1800s Christy Mathewson signed baseball, a Lou Gehrig signed and well-used signature model H&B bat, an Allen Iverson game-used 1997-98 Sixers home white jersey, a Ruth signed Official 97 League ball and a Johnny Evers signed Draper and Maynard ball.

Other interesting and significant signed baseballs include a red-laced Chief Bender All-Purpose baseball, a J. Honus Wagner signed N.L. Warren Giles ball, an Al Simmons signed Rawlings ball, a Foxx-signed Rawlings ball, an Eddie Cicotte signed Harwood ball, a Frank Baker signed red-laced ball, a Tony Lazzeri signed Rawlings ball, an official N.L. ball signed by both Wagner and Ty Cobb and a 1979 Yankees team ball, including Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson, Chris Chambliss and other stars.

Other noteworthy cuts and signed photos in the auction include a Ruth cut on a scrapbook page, a signed photo of Ruth and his wife at a ballgame in the late 1930s, a signed MLB home plate bearing Joe DiMaggio's signature, a former Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson cut signature, a Jimmie Foxx cut from a scrap or autograph book, a Dan Brouthers signed tan album page and an Ed Delahanty signed Postal Union card.

Signed uniforms, memorabilia and equipment include: a signed Ruth Louisville Slugger bat; a mint, white, ladies skate signed by Katarina Witt; Nancy Kerrigan, Michelle Kwan and others; a 2005 NFL Champions New England Patriots signed Steiner helmet (106 of 350); a DiMaggio-signed Russell Yankees jersey; a Wayne Gretzky signed Oilers jersey; a Ted Williams signed Gartlan statue; a Barry Bonds signed Pro-Model bat; a Bernie Kosar signed Browns jersey; a PGA U. S. Open Champs 2000 signed flag display; a 2005 Leaf Ben Roethlisberger autographed game-worn jersey card (23 of 35); a Joe Montana signed 49ers Steiner jersey; and a Cal Ripken Jr. signed Orioles jersey.

Headlining the trading card portion of the auction will be a 1952 Topps Baseball starter lot of 51 cards, a 1952 Topps Willie Mays card in excellent condition, a 1954 Topps Baseball starter set of 145 cards, a 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle card graded in good condition, 45 autographed 1976 OPC Hockey cards and a 1954 Bowman Football unopened pack.

The Coach's Corner complete auction listings appear in a 16-page advertising section in this week's issue of SCD (Feb. 3). Bids will be accepted on line at, by phone at 215-721-9162 or by mail prior to the auction date.

- Ted Taylor Coach's Corner

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