Cleveland Indians Hall of Famer Bob Feller made his MLB pitching debut on August 23, 1936, versus the Washington Senators - at the age of 17! Appearing for one inning in relief, Feller yielded no runs, no hits, struck out one and walked two as the Indians dropped a 9-5 decision in the second game of a doubleheader.
One of the fans who attended the game was an autograph collector named B.C. Clark. At the game, Clark landed the big prize everyone hopes for - a foul ball - and was able to obtain signatures from 10 members of the Indians (sadly, Feller was not one of them). The ball was subsquently marked “July 19, 1936” in black ink on the sweet spot. Some of the team members who signed the OAL (Harridge) baseball include Earl Averill (HOF), Berger, Blaeholder, Campbell, Hale, Hildebrand, Knickerbocker, Lee, Pytlak, and Schang (coach).
This baseball was offered at public auction at Robert Edward Auctions in the spring of 2014, and at the time, was accompanied by a 1949 newspaper article about Clark's collection that specifically mentioned this ball, as well as a full LOA from James Spence Authentication. Unfortunately, those pieces of provenance have become separated from the ball over time. However, this is clearly the same baseball that was auctioned at that time. A last-minute consignment to this auction; we will resubmit this baseball to JSA for authentication and provide the LOA to the winning bidder, however, due to the nature of delays at JSA, the LOA will not be ready immediately at the auction close.
NOTE: We are adding a scan of the article from the 1949 North Carolina newspaper that we refer to in our description above, which was obtained via a deep dive into internet archives. The article makes reference to this very baseball, a game-used ball from Bob Feller's first appearance! While we do not have a hard copy of the article, we feel that this article, which was featured on REA's website back in 2014, lends additional provenance to the piece.