Hank Greenberg Rare Signed Inscribed Baseball
PSA Mint 9
We are proud to present this gorgeous Hank Greenberg single signed baseball, as nice examples have "dried up" in the marketplace. This one sports a wonderful exemplar of his famous sprawling signature, measuring over 3-inches long. His autograph became smaller and a bit cryptic in later years. However, this one is quite typical of his earlier style when it flowed quite nicely. Furthermore, “Hammerin’ Hank” has offered the inscription “Detroit Tigers” directly below his signature on the coveted sweetspot. Greenberg almost never offered inscriptions with his autograph, for no reason other than the practice was uncommon at the time. Nonetheless, the inscription makes this particular piece quite rare, and more significant than the generic single singed ball. We have never owned such an item from Greenberg, and further in our research we could only find three other inscribed baseballs that sold in auction.
This Official American League Baseball (Brown, pres.) was only manufactured from 1985-1989. Since Greenberg passed in 1986, this baseball was signed in 1985-1986.
Most surviving examples of Greenberg singles, not already squirreled away in advanced collections, have not fared well in terms of quality. Those signatures are generally "smudged" and/or "bleeding”; sometimes the signature is indiscernible. This one is a clean example, in his preferred felt tip pen (which he always carried in his left shirt pocket) and obtained from a collector who had it stored away for decades.
Greenberg’s signature strength is graded 8/10 and the ball itself is graded 9/10 - with additional eye appeal the relic has received is officially graded Mint 9 by PSA/DNA.
His Brief Bio
Hank Greenberg, one of the most popular players in baseball history, was born Henry Benjamin Greenberg in Greenwich Village, New York City. He attended Monroe High School in the Bronx, as well as New York University, and broke into the majors in 1933 playing first base for the Detroit Tigers. His last season, 1947, was spent with the Pittsburgh Pirates where he became the highest paid player in baseball, earning over 80,000.00. He also mentored a very special player that season, named Ralph Kiner. That player would lead the league in home runs seven straight years--51 alone in 1947. (Hank hit 25 round trippers himself in '47).
After his retirement he became the general manager and part owner of the Cleveland Indians , divesting himself of that interest in 1957 to purchase ownership in the Chicago White Sox. Upon his death in 1986 "Hammerin Hank" was indeed a wealthy businessman.
His Baseball Accomplishments
One of the greatest sluggers of all time, his career statistics, shortened by his wartime service, nevertheless are quite impressive: a two-time Most Valuable Player, five-time All-Star, four-time home run champion, four-time RBI leader, two-time World Series champion and .313 career hitter. In 1938 he nearly eclipsed Babe Ruth's record for most home runs in a single season by smacking 58.
Appropriately, his No. 5 is retired by the Tigers. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1956.
Greenberg was an accommodating signer and an engaging personality. Perhaps that is why he has become such a part of baseball lore. Popular indeed, erudite for certain, a true gentleman by all accounts, and thus a coveted autograph in the hobby. We never seem to have enough Greenberg in inventory. This one's a keeper and we are proud to offer it for sale.
Comes with a graded letter of authenticity from PSA.
Please see high resolution images.