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1908-1909 Reach All-Stars Presentation Baseball with Engraved Plate

Lot Number 586

Quantity: Bid Starts: 12/03/2021 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 250.00  Bid Ends: 12/16/2021 23:30:00 
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When the Reach All Americans embarked on their 1908-1909 "Oriental Tour", it marked the first time Major Leaguers played in Japan. The tour also included stops in China, Hawaii and the Philippines, taking on host teams and also squads made up of American servicemen. An historic treasure from this seminal tour hits the block, with this 1908-1909 Reach All Americans presentation baseball. As evidenced by an engraved metal plate over the ball's sweet spot, this ancient relic was presented to Governor-General of the Philippines James F. Smith. Appointed by president Theodore Roosevelt, Smith held this position from 1906-1909.


This antique ball is a seriously scarce survivor of the period and a very handsome example at that. Reach baseballs from this early American League era have sold for thousands of dollars in the past, and this pleasing orb would be a fantastic acquisition in any regards. The fact that is has a stated purpose, makes it all the more desirable. The factory labeling stamps present boldly and they are consistent with known examples of the period. The Reach logo is located on the east panel, in relation to the engraved plate riveted to the sweet spot. The reverse sweet spot reads "Official American League Ball", with "Patent Applied For" stamped on the adjacent north panel. Specs for the ball are seen on the west panel as follows "Warranted, 5 OZ., 9 IN., 1 OZ. Rubber". The engraved plate reads in full as "Presented To Gov. James F. Smith by the A.J. Reach Company Philadelphia PA. U.S.A., First Ball Pitched, Picked Team vs. Reach's All Americans". There's a good probability that the "Picked Team" was comprised of U.S. military players. 

Accompanying is what is believed to be the original presentation box, inscribed on the lid with "Presented by Reach All American Base Ball Stars, Oriental Tour Nov-3-1908 to Feb-15-1909". Though the box shows considerable wear, the lock and hinges function smoothly and the satin lining remains intact. 

Players known to have participated in this historic tour are: Bill Burns and Jim Delahanty of the Washington Senators; Jack Bliss of the St. Louis Cardinals; Patsy Flaherty of the Boston Doves; Jack Graney of the Cleveland Indians; Heinie Heitmuller of the Philadelphia Athletics; Nick Williams, George Hildebrand and Harry McArdle of the PCL San Francisco Seals; William Deveraux of the PCL Santa Cruz Sand Crabs; and Babe Danzig of the Portland Beavers.


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