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Barnstorming items from Japan tours

DALLAS — Items from various barnstorming teams that toured Japan in the 1920s and 1930s, notably a team-signed ball from 1922 and a team-signed photograph from 1931, are being sold through Heritage Auctions.  The sale ends Aug. 28.

The team-signed ball features signatures by Amos Strunk, George Kelly, Luke Sewell, Herb Hunter, Bib Falk, Bert Griffith, Casey Stengel, Fred Hofmann, Irish Meusel, Riggs Stephenson, Waite Hoyt, John Lavan, Herb Pennock and Joe Bush. The ball was presented as a gift to George “Alfie” Putnam, who later became an owner of the San Francisco Seals.

Another remarkable item is a 1924 baseball world tour scrapbook signed by all tour members, including Casey Stengel, Frank Frisch, Ross Youngs, Sam Rice, Willie Kamm, Bib Falk and Johnny Mostil.

A photo album from the fabled 1934 Tour of Japan series and team-signed sheet features signatures by Babe Ruth, Connie Mack, Lefty O’Doul, Lefty Gomez, Lou Gehrig, Moe Berg, Jimmie Foxx, Charlie Gehringer, Earl Averill and others

Among other items are:

  • Walter Huntzinger’s game-worn New York Giants World Tour jersey from 1924;
  • Huntzinger’s game-worn Giants sweater from the same tour;
  • A 1931 team-signed Tour of Japan photograph, including tour organizer Herb Hunter, Willie Kamm, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Cochrane, Frank Frisch, Bruc Cunningham, Lefty O’Doul, sportswriter Fred Lieb, Muddy Ruel and Lefty Grove, among others; and
  • Babe Ruth’s final game cap with the Boston Braves.

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