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1983 All-Star Game HOF’er Signed Baseball Finley’s Experiment (24 Sigs.) Ernie Banks, Warren Spahn etc. – COA PSA/DNAGo Back
Almost 50 years ago, a very different kind of baseball game was played. Well, the game itself was the same—but the baseball itself was rather distinctive. Back then the sport of baseball tried something different—playing a game with orange baseballs.
Charlie Finley thought using white baseballs was for the birds. He figured, hey, orange baseballs might be more popular with the fans and thus good for the game. After all, orange stands out better and if it stands out better, then hitters might be able to see it clearer. If they see it clearer, more runs might follow. And if baseball history teaches us anything, it’s that fans like offense.
As it happens, in early 1973 Finley had enough pull in the game to allow for the experiment. Though never the easiest person to get along with or the most popular man with his fellow owners, in 1972 his A’s did win the world title, and being world champion owner gave him the clout he needed for baseball to try it. And so it came to pass on March 29, 1973. The game featured Finley’s A’s (of course) taking on the sad sack Indians, who finished last in the AL East in 1972. Sadly for Finley, the experiment was not a success.
Presented is one of those special orange Finley baseballs autographed by 24 Baseball Hall of Famers. According to proenance it was signed at the 1983 All-Star Game festivities during Hall of Fame week. Signers in blue/black ink (“8”) include: Joe Cronin, Fred Lindstrom, Loyd Waner, Joe Sewell, Jocko Conlan, Judy Johnson, Early Wynn, Cool Papa Bell, Earl Averil, Buck Leonard, Luke Appling, Lou Boudreau (x2), George Kelly, Burleigh Grimes, Johnny Mize, Billy Herman, Ernie Banks, Yogi Berra, Bob Feller, Waren Spahn, Al Lopez, Ralph Kiner and Monte Irvin.
Authentication: PSA/DNA Auction House Letter