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Team signed baseballs were the thing well before single-signed
balls exploded on the market.
What is a "Team Signed Baseball" ???
Simple answer: A ball with XXX
signatures of a certain team
for a certain year. What is difficult is the XXX
Baseball tons of roster moves make it nearly impossible to
"Get Them All".
Generally, team signed baseballs from early 1900's had 10 to 15
signatures, the 1940's that jumped to 18 to 25.
Joyce Sports Research Collection (Notre Dame) says "signatures must
include only members of a specific team from a specific year, and there
must be some approximation of completeness."
Not concrete but to me a "team ball" MUST have ALL the team's
STARS (unless a rookie or in season trade) and in today's market
at least 20, preferably more, and the manager.
Determining Age of Team Signed Balls
"Official" league balls have stamped signatures of current league
presidents on the "sweet spot".
Starting 1934/1935 balls were produced by Spalding (NL)
and Reach (AL). Rawlings took over in 1977/78.
Have a possible team roster at hand, ESPN & baseball-reference.com
have great sites), decipher a few signatures then solve the puzzle.
Team Signed Baseballs Values
Pricing team signed baseballs is difficult due to subjectivity and
factors involved suce as: Signatures placement, quality, strength,
number of autographs, stars, age, team significance, and
eye appeal considering fading, whiteness,
scuffs, shellacking, staining, overall wear...
Team autographed baseballs on official league balls get higher values.
They are "official", made better, preserve better and even help in
dating especially with balls signed at "Reunion" baseball card shows
which brought together great teams of the past.
Facsimile Autographed Balls
1960's/1970's machine-printed "autographed" team baseballs were sold
at stadium gift shops for around $1.95. Easy to identify as
all signatures were uniform in ink, color, size and look.
"Facsimile" signatures are also often found on baseball cards.