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1972 Cleveland Indians Team Signed Ball (24 Signatures)

Lot Number 410

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This 1972 Cleveland Indians team-signed baseball hails from a pivotal period that shaped the American League for decades to come.

Having dwelled in or near the basement of the highly competitive American League East since its 1969 inception, the Cleveland Indians were annually losing revenue with no quick fix in sight. Frozen food magnate and owner Vernon Stouffer was offered $8.6 million for his moribund franchise in December, 1971 by a group of investors headed by one George Steinbrenner, but he turned down the offer, believing he could get $10 million. New hopes took flight as the ’72 season got underway. The Tribe held first place as late as May 27 before faltering with inconsistent play. The club rallied again, pulling within as close as six games of the top spot as play began on August 26. But a 5-18 swoon ensued, and Cleveland was in its usual rung in the standings.

From that year of “could have beens,” this mildly toned OAL Cronin sphere (grade “8”) showcases blue ballpoint pennings that range from (“8”) to (“10”) in terms of strength and clarity. Includes: Sweet Spot: K. Aspromonte (manager); North Panel: Leon, Phillips, Brohamer, Farmer, Unser and Lutz (coach); South Panel: Lamb, Hennigan, Lowenstein, Fosse, Bell, Nettles, Foster and A. Johnson; West Panel: Chambliss, Duffy, Moses and Stanley; East Panel: Camilli, Bell (repeat signature), McCraw, Mingori and Colbert.

Turned down for ownership of the club, the always-persistent Steinbrenner purchased the New York Yankees in 1973 and went on the acquire some of those 1972 Indians, namely, Chambliss, Nettles and Stanley. The rest, of course, is Bronx Bombers history.

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