The highest price ever paid at auction for a Mel Ott single was $54,000 in 2015. But that record may now fall.
Three main reasons:
1) Like 90% of the scant Ott singles in existence, that 2015 offering was signed on a side panel. This one—a fresh, never-before-seen hobby discovery—is among the elite handful of known sweet-spot examples.
2) That current record-holding ball dated to Ott's 1950s retirement/broadcasting years. Whereas this contender for the throne hails from his late-1930s prime—an era that saw three straight HR crowns and back-to-back World Series appearances.
3) Size-wise, never have we witnessed a more prominent, more grandiose, more Hancock-like signature on an Ott ball. Indeed, though the man himself was Lilliputian, his autograph here is downright Brobdingnagian.
What's more, both the vintage signature's strength ("7-8") and the ONL Frick ball's condition (EX) are equally impressive, if not superior, to that of the $54,000 predecessor.
It goes without saying that Mel Ott is far and away the most elusive of all 500 HR Club members on a single-signed sphere. More often than not, he remains that sole missing link for collectors pursuing an entire signature set. But with or without those fellow 500 HR hitters, this one-of-a-kind beauty will be the cornerstone of most any advanced autograph collection. It is the largest sweet-spot Ott in all the land—and, we believe, the very finest. Full LOA from JSA.
This item has a reserve (estimated value $25,000-$50,000).