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  #1  
Old 06-04-2010, 05:43 PM
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Rawlings Rawlings is offline
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Default Any info on this American League Harridge Ball?

I received these pictures from a member of another site/forum. It's an unusual AL Reach ball that I've never seen. None of the manufacturer's stamps match the common AL balls of the W.H. era.

I have asked them to join the site to post additional information, but there's probably not much else we know about it.

Has anyone seen one before, and if so, any idea what they were used for? Maybe another league's ball? Or a prototype? Or possibly just a very rare MLB AL ball? Any information, even pure speculation, would be appreciated!
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:34 PM
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My first thought was that it is a Canadian variation as their versions were somewhat different, but it looks as though it has a USA stamp under the logo. If I were to guess, I'd say that it was made by Reach after Harridge's tenure. For what purpose? I haven't got a clue. The design style doesn't look early.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:26 AM
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Default Any info on this American League Harridge Ball

maybe a later version of the Reach product late 1940s or early 50s

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Old 06-07-2010, 03:03 PM
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My guess is that it's a straight-up forgery. I wouldn't bet my life on it, but it doesn't match any Harridge ball I've ever seen. There are several things which don't match any known Reach AL balls, like the scripted "Reach" on the southern panel. It was always block letter. I remember back in the late 1990's and early 2000's seeing balls similar to this on eBay when sellers would inexplicably have a Ruth, Foxx, Ott, Cobb, Wagner, Walter Johnson, etc. single signed baseball for sale every week. Again, I can't say it's 100% impossible that it's a salesman's sample of some kind, but it's definitely not one ever used by Major League Baseball.
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Old 06-07-2010, 04:53 PM
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If it were a forgery it would be based on something authentic. This is clearly a new style all together. A prototype isn't out of the question. Perhaps it was part of a design proposal for a new league ball for 1958 or 59 before Cronin was picked as league president?
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:12 PM
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Heritage Sports - the thought never even crossed my mind. Very interesting, I'd think they'd at least try to get something right though if it were a forgery. It is ridiculous how nothing really matches any previous Reach logo, font or wording.

Thanks for the input. I also didn't think about salesmen samples. I've seen them for sale on Ebay, but they almost always seemed to be different sizes, not official sized baseballs, or at least not all the same official stamping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by william_9 View Post
If it were a forgery it would be based on something authentic. This is clearly a new style all together. A prototype isn't out of the question. Perhaps it was part of a design proposal for a new league ball for 1958 or 59 before Cronin was picked as league president?
William, this is kind of what I was thinking. I could see them making prototypes for future years, then scrapping them for changes in presidency. I've discovered and collected quite a few prototypes, mostly from dependable sources too (here's my gallery of prototypes and misprints, with a few random baseballs from other leagues, and one or two pics I found online: Gallery)

Anyway, it sure is a weird version compared to the typical Reach logo and league stampings. Glad this never got the green-light if it was a proposed prototype.

----

Thanks to everyone who responded, always great to get different perspectives, especially from those with a lot of knowledge of vintage baseballs. I'm not sure if the seller was a reputable dealer or not. I'm going to track down their ID just to see what else they've sold.

By the way, got another ball coming that's possibly another rare one, maybe prototype, would love to get more feedback on that as well. Hope to post it tonight.
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  #7  
Old 06-15-2010, 04:13 PM
Matt Felix Matt Felix is offline
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Default Reach logo

Here is a picture of the Reach logo that appears on the baseball, showing the logo was at least used by Reach in 1939. Of course this dosn't mean the ball wasn't made later using an old logo.


The ball came with signatures of Bill Gardner and Paul Blair. I purchased the item because I like the baseball, not because I was interested in the signatures. I was hoping the signatures could give me an idea of the age of the ball. The auction listing stated the ball was signed by two Orioles. Gardner was with the Orioles in 1958 and 1959, and but Blair did start with the team until 1964 so i don't think the signatures help to date the ball much.

Matt
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Last edited by Matt Felix; 06-15-2010 at 04:25 PM.
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