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  #1  
Old 11-29-2015, 12:16 PM
Topnotchsy Topnotchsy is offline
Jeff Lazarus
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Default Help identifying signatures on this 1934 Tour of Japan Baseball

Hey all,

I picked up this baseball at the last Heritage Auction. They labeled in the most comprehensive 1934 ball they have ever seen, so I guess it comes with the territory that I'm struggling to determine who some of the players are.

Here's what I think it is. Would really appreciate help filling in the ??'s.

Much thanks in advance!

Panel 1:

Sweet Spot
Babe Ruth
? (seems to be upside down but not sure...)



Panel 2:

"A.L. STARS Hololulu T.H. /34
Connie Mack
Lou Gehrig
Rabbit Warstler
Bing Miller
Lefty O'Doul
?



Panel 3:

Joe Cascarella
Jimmie Foxx
Earl Whitehill
?? (left side)
Charlie Gehringer
?? (Signature on bottom)
Edit: Hans Pung - Hawaii baseball player (Signature on right side)





Panel 4:

Doc Ebbing
Frank Hayes
Lefty Gomez
Clint Brown
Edit: Johnny Kerr (Hawaii baseball player)
??




Panel 5:

?? (left side)
Moe Berg
Eric McNair
Earl Averill
??
??




Panel 6:

??




Some names I thought I might see, but don't think are there:
John Quinn (umpire)
Robert J. Schroeder (A's traveling secretary who helped arrange the trip)
Sotaro Suzuki (translator)
F. T. Matsumato (friend of Moe Berg, translator)

I'm wondering if some of the signatures may be Japanese players (in english) or wives of players although I have not found matches just yet.

Last edited by Topnotchsy; 09-24-2017 at 12:57 AM.
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2015, 04:06 PM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
Paul Gruszka
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Arn't they all listed on the JSA?
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2015, 05:46 PM
biohazard biohazard is offline
d.ean
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According to at least one source Lefty O'Doul was not a member of the team. Further research has O'Doul as the coach.

http://www.baberuthcentral.com/babes...trip-to-japan/

Only 15 players made the roster and you seem to have all but 2 identified.

http://www.baberuthcentral.com/wp-co...naturesopt.jpg

One of the signatures seems to read Johnny Kerr (panel 4 after Clint Brown). If it is Kerr, then things get interesting. The All-Stars stopped over in Hawaii and played a game in the islands.

https://books.google.com/books?id=V_...20kerr&f=false

So, the signatures could be from members of the Hawaii All-Stars or as you stated, wives and other dignitaries.

Good luck.

Last edited by biohazard; 11-30-2015 at 09:00 AM.
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2015, 08:27 PM
theshleps theshleps is offline
Michael
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doesn't look like Lefty O'Doul
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2015, 10:35 PM
Topnotchsy Topnotchsy is offline
Jeff Lazarus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless Moe View Post
Arn't they all listed on the JSA?
They only have the HOF'ers and Berg listed by name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by biohazard View Post
According to at least one source Lefty O'Doul was not a member of the team. Further research has O'Doul as the coach.

http://www.baberuthcentral.com/babes...trip-to-japan/

Only 15 players made the roster and you seem to have all but 2 identified.

http://www.baberuthcentral.com/wp-co...naturesopt.jpg

One of the signatures seems to read Johnny Kerr (panel 4 after Clint Brown). If it is Kerr, then things get interesting. The All-Stars stopped over in Hawaii and played a game in the islands.

https://books.google.com/books?id=V_...20kerr&f=false

So, the signatures could be from members of the Hawaii All-Stars or as you stated, wives and other dignitaries.

Good luck.
I think you may have nailed it with Kerr. I thought that was the name there but couldn't understand how it would be on the ball since he wasn't in Japan, but the trip back through Hawaii would make sense. Might provide direction to help find some of the other names as well. Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by theshleps View Post
doesn't look like Lefty O'Doul
Agreed, though that is what it seems to spell...
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2015, 06:42 AM
Topnotchsy Topnotchsy is offline
Jeff Lazarus
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I think Hawaii may be the key here.

On the panel with Foxx, the signature on the right appears to be Hans Pung, who was a member who played in that game.

Curious to know what people's thoughts are on the fact that this appears to be a Hawaii ball and not a ball signed in Japan (albeit with many of the same players...) Does that detract from the history? Add something?

It is possible it was initially partially signed in Japan and then signed in Hawaii (it seems to this point that the American players all signed first based on the location on their signatures...)
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:37 AM
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almostdone almostdone is offline
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Just curious but I thought that Moe Berg had been released by Cleavland during the tour so he ended up leaving and going across Asia on the trans Siberian railroad. I bring this up because he would not have been in Hawaii on the way back for the game being referenced. If this is true then maybe the ball traveled with the group and was signed along the way or maybe my facts are wrong and this is a wasted post.

Does any of this sound familiar to anyone else?
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2015, 10:59 AM
biohazard biohazard is offline
d.ean
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The game against the Hawaii All-Star team was played on the way to Japan not on the return trip. Purportedly, while the team was touring Japan, Berg was acting as a spy.

Hawaii is the key. In my opinion the Johnny Kerr signature solidifies the fact that the ball was signed at the game between the US All-Stars against the Hawaii All-Stars. I thought the same thing about the Pung signature, but with the scan and angle, it was hard to be sure.

I could find little information on the line up for the 1934 Hawaii All-Star team. The names I found are: Johnny Kerr, Ted Shaw, Ted Nobriga and Francis Goo.

Thinking there might be some holdovers on the 1935 Hawaii touring team, I found the line up.

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar.../ln/ln38a.html


There is a Rodrigues listed and but it is hard to tell if the name is a match for one of the two Rodrigues on the ball.

The last name for the signature under Gehringer (panel 3) looks to be Douglas. Which could be Lionel Douglas the Captain of the ship the Empress of Japan. It makes sense that the Captain would have attended the game.

(page 77) https://books.google.com/books?id=V_...hawaii&f=false

It is hard to tell with the quality of the scans but the last name on panel 5 could be Nobriga, but it also looks like the name Bridges.

Last edited by biohazard; 12-01-2015 at 11:00 AM.
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2015, 11:10 AM
biohazard biohazard is offline
d.ean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topnotchsy View Post
I think Hawaii may be the key here.

On the panel with Foxx, the signature on the right appears to be Hans Pung, who was a member who played in that game.

Curious to know what people's thoughts are on the fact that this appears to be a Hawaii ball and not a ball signed in Japan (albeit with many of the same players...) Does that detract from the history? Add something?

It is possible it was initially partially signed in Japan and then signed in Hawaii (it seems to this point that the American players all signed first based on the location on their signatures...)
Hawaii is the key. Again, the game in Hawaii was played on the way to Japan not on the return trip. In fact, after the games in Japan, Ruth went on an extended tour of Asia, and I don't think would have stopped over in Hawaii again.

http://www.baberuthcentral.com/babes...trip-to-japan/

I don't think it detracts from history at all. Most autograph collectors would kill for those signatures on a ball. I am a tad biased, since Hawaii is my home state! I feel that on the voyage to Hawaii the players signed quite a few balls that were to be presented as gifts of appreciation. The person who received this ball had members of the Hawaii squad add their signatures. What you have is a one of kind item with a great story.

From this thread http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=138604 - there appears to be an abundance of 1934 tour fakes out there. I think the Hawaii players signatures adds to the overall authenticity of the piece.

Last edited by biohazard; 12-01-2015 at 01:56 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2015, 12:20 PM
jdunevant jdunevant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topnotchsy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by theshleps View Post
doesn't look like Lefty O'Doul

Agreed, though that is what it seems to spell...
Looks like Lefty Gomez to me.
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