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Go Back Forums > Net54baseball Main Forum - WWII & Older Baseball Cards > Net54baseball Sports (Primarily) Vintage Memorabilia Forum incl. Game Used > Autograph Forum- Primarily Sports

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Old 12-10-2013, 03:16 PM
Topnotchsy Topnotchsy is offline
Jeff Lazarus
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 991
Default Musial Navy Team Signed Baseball with some interesting history

I recently picked up a couple of baseballs from the Heritage Auction from Stan Musial's time in the Navy. While the listing indicated that his was the only household name, I've started doing research on some of the other signatures. I've been able to find out some really cool information that I thought some of you would find interesting, and I'd also really love any help on ID'ing some of the other signatures. While the listing indicated the ball was from 1945-1946, at least one player (Lou Klein) was only in the military in 1944, so I believe that that is probably the more accurate date.

Panel 1 has Musial, "Soddy" Groat, and Bill Hammer (I think). Musial obviously needs no introduction.

Clarence "Soddy" Groat never played in the Majors, but played for a number of teams in the Minors, beginning in the Boston Braves farm system. More importantly, he was a military hero winning a purple heart, silver heart and a bronze star. He's a member of the Buffalo Hall of Fame and was a Mohawk Indian.

Bill Hammer - Still trying to ID

Panel 2 has William Harrel "Hal" Toenes, Manuel Dominguez (Ralph) Onis, Herb? Bauer and Ray Daniel Goolsby. This side of the ball is highlighted by a bunch of players who spent just a few days in the Bigs.

Hal Toenes was a Master Seargant in the Army during WWII. He pitched in the Minors for over a decade, but only had 3 appearances in the Majors, going 0-1 for Washington in 1947.

Manuel Onis (not sure what the nickname on the ball is because it does not appear to be "Curly" which is the nickname that I found for him) has the distinction of having just a single plate appearance in the Majors going 1/1 on April 27, 1935. He never made the Majors again, and his career was ended when Lou Klein slid into him and broke his knee. He would limp the rest of his life. During WWII he was a member of the Coast Guard.

(Not sure on Bauer's first name)

Ray Daniel Goolsby played 3 games for the Senators in 1946. He didn't get a hit in 6 at-bats over 3 games. His nickname was "Ox" and he was in the military from 1941-1946.

Panel 3 has Hank Wayton, "Chuck" Lou Klein and Jimmus Panett?

Hank Wayton - All I've been able to find are some newpaper articles from the 30's and 40's that reference him related to Daytona Beach islanders.

And here is where things get really interesting in my mind. The next signature reads "Chuck Klein" but in the Heritage Auction listing it clarifies that this is really Musial's teammate Lou Klein. Klein played in 5 Major League seasons although he only had one full season, his rookie season in 1943. And while his teammates Stan Musial and Walter Cooper finished 1/2 in the MVP race, Klein got a vote 6 vote points, good for 23rd on the ballot. He served on year in the Coast Guard in 1944.

You may have realized that this is not the first time that Klein is mentioned related to this baseball. It was Klein who ended Onis's career. Seems like their paths crossed once again here.

I have not had a chance to do much other research yet but here are some more scans:

Bill Kennedy

Official 97 League

Walter Harrington
Buddy Lake
Dick H?

And the baseball itself seems to be from 1937-1941 because it has "H.L. Gray Florida State League President and Henry Gray was president during that time period.

Last edited by Topnotchsy; 12-10-2013 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:53 PM
almostdone's Avatar
almostdone almostdone is offline
Drew Ekb@ck
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NE Georgia
Posts: 1,412

Very interesting stuff
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autograph, musial, signed, wwii

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