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  #11  
Old 03-20-2017, 03:05 PM
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Scott Garner Scott Garner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by packs View Post
I guess what I meant to say was the signature looks to be under the spotting while the inscription looks to be on top of it, so I think the real question is how did he tie the ball to the game? Unless he only ever got one from Nolan.
The inference was he got it from the umpire crew that worked the game.
But, IMHO this is pretty sketchy provenance because of the indirect (instead of direct) link to the game, plus a HP umpire which was a prosecuted felon and did prison time for faking "game balls" from this game and other historic games.
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2017, 06:08 PM
doug.goodman doug.goodman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Garner View Post
But, IMHO this is pretty sketchy provenance because of the indirect (instead of direct) link to the game, plus a HP umpire which was a prosecuted felon and did prison time for faking "game balls" from this game and other historic games.
Which means that this item can be directly linked to a man convicted of faking the item in question.

Short of a photo match (has there ever been one for a baseball?), I think it's sadly pretty obvious that the odds of this being one of the balls faked by Al Clark are far higher than it being an actual game ball.

On a brighter note, that means this ball was held in the same hand that held every real game ball.

Doug "there is always a bright side" Goodman
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  #13  
Old 03-21-2017, 09:28 PM
bgar3 bgar3 is offline
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I wonder if there is a way you could check it for Delaware river mud?
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  #14  
Old 03-22-2017, 08:05 AM
certainteed52 certainteed52 is offline
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Default Nolan Ryan 7/30/90 300th win

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Originally Posted by Scott Garner View Post
Hi Certainteed52,

Welcome to net54!
As many on net54 know, I have been an advanced collector of Nolan Ryan since 1972.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Durwood Merrill sold many balls surrounding the months prior to his death that several people in the hobby, including myself, question as being authentic.

The inaccurate date in the inscription on the ball is one issue, which as Doug Goodman mentioned, probably was simply a matter of Merrill forgetting to write the correct date.

More important is the fact that Durwood Merrill did not work in the umpire crew during Nolan Ryan's 300th win game on July 31, 1990.
FYI, the umpire crew that night were Al Clark (who went to prison for selling fake balls to this game, Roger Clemens' 20 K game in 1986 and Cal Ripken's 2131 game), John Hirschbeck, Rocky Roe and Dave Philllips.

I recall an auction that Mike Gutierrez had during the time prior to Merrill's death in 2003 that featured many balls that Merrill claimed were game used balls related to many historic baseball games including stating that some were home run balls. I wondered how an umpire could come to own homerun balls from a game? To Mike G.'s credit, he was forthcoming and did provide Durwood Merrill's home phone number in TX to me and former baseball hobbiest and current composer/author Seth Swirsky. Merrill was affable and claimed that all of these balls were "gifted" to him while he was an AL umpire.

If you take everyone's word at face value, that's fine, but as an excellent rule of thumb, common sense and caution should be used when considering authenticity and provenance.... Just sayin'
Hi Scott, So are you saying that some of the AL umpire may have been in some type of collusion like AL Clark!
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  #15  
Old 03-22-2017, 10:50 AM
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Scott Garner Scott Garner is offline
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Hi Scott, So are you saying that some of the AL umpire may have been in some type of collusion like AL Clark!
I thought I provided enough facts in my previous two posts to help clarify, but...
All I am saying is that Al Clark was sent to prison for fraudulently selling game balls to historic games. Durwood Merrill (RIP) sold game balls to games, in my humble opinion and others, that he claimed were historic that the provenance were very suspect. Examples of this are:
1) Home run balls to historic games. How does an umpire ever come to own a HR ball?
Fans catch these in the stands. Common sense would tell you that they don't give these back to umpires...
2) Selling balls to games that he didn't act as an umpire. Provenance is established by providing a direct link to acquiring a piece. How did he acquire game balls from games that he didn't umpire in?
3) If Al Clark is the HP umpire in a game that Merrill sold a ball from and Clark is a felon, that's obviously not good. The HP umpire plays a big role in controlling the game balls from a particular game. Since Merrill didn't ump this game, did he get his ball from Clark the felon? If yes, how can you feel with any confidence that the ball is legit?
Clark went to prison for selling fraudulent balls from Nolan Ryan's 300th win & other historic games.

Last edited by Scott Garner; 03-22-2017 at 10:50 AM.
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  #16  
Old 03-22-2017, 12:17 PM
certainteed52 certainteed52 is offline
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Default Nolan Ryan 7/30/90 300th win

I respect your opinion!
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  #17  
Old 03-22-2017, 10:57 PM
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mcgwirecom mcgwirecom is offline
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I remember seeing a bunch of the Durwood Merrill baseballs. I was interested because he had a McGwire homerun ball. I thought, maybe it was legit if the ball bounced back on the field and got tossed to the infield. Maybe the ump asked for it or told the ball boy to put it aside. But after looking up the boxscore and seeing he wasn't even at the game I turned it down. It's starts getting too sketchy when it wasn't obtained first hand.

There are some major auction houses, who I won't name because they read this board, that list homerun or game used baseballs and don't mention how they got them or any provenance.
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Last edited by mcgwirecom; 03-22-2017 at 11:01 PM.
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  #18  
Old 03-23-2017, 11:48 AM
certainteed52 certainteed52 is offline
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Default Nolan Ryan 7/30/90 300th win

Is it true that Nolan Ryan and Durwood Merrill were good friends?
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  #19  
Old 03-23-2017, 01:54 PM
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Is it true that Nolan Ryan and Durwood Merrill were good friends?
True
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  #20  
Old 03-25-2017, 10:20 PM
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Gary Dunaier Gary Dunaier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Garner View Post
The HP umpire plays a big role in controlling the game balls from a particular game.
How?

Once a ball is taken out of play it's dead.

The only "control" I can think of is when the umpire reaches into his pocket to put a new ball in play. And "control" is an extreme word in this context, because the ball is randomly chosen from all the baseballs in his pocket. It's not like he pulls a ball, decides he doesn't like it, pulls another ball and tosses that one to the pitcher, then puts the rejected ball back in his pocket.

(At the risk of undermining my own point, I suppose the umpire could "legitimately" not like a particular ball because he feels it's defective for some reason. But in that case, he'd toss the defective ball to the batboy, right?)
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