MEARS Auction #69, Ends October 4th, 2014, 9:00 CST w/ 15-Minute Rule Per Lot
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/4/2014

In 1931, our consignor was born in Mauston, WI, and was raised as a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan. Later in life his profession led him to a face to face meeting with Vince Lombardi while conducting an interview about success and motivation. The Green Bay Packers had always been a major part of his life.

83 years earlier, to commemorate his birth, his favorite uncle, one of the co-owners of Denicke Brothers Automotive sales, obtained this football. Although the exact details are lost to time, the family recollects that a Packer player purchased a car from the uncle’s Mauston dealership, and this 1931 football was part of the deal. Mauston is located 2.5 hours from Green Bay, and must have had a model that a player had to have. Nobody knows who got the better end of the bargain at the time, but fast forward to 2014, and our consignor has a lot to thank his uncle for.

In 1931, the United States was still feeling the effects of the stock market crash of 1929. Unemployment rose to 16.3%, the dust bowl swept the Midwest, and Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion. Football was a pleasant distraction from our nation’s woes.

For the 1931 season, Curly Lambeau coached the team for their 11th season in the NFL. The team went 12-2, earning the Packers a first place finish and the team’s third consecutive NFL Championship. The Packers became the first NFL team to win three consecutive NFL championships.

The gift from our consignor’s uncle has been a prized family possession. With grandchildren’s college funds eminent, it was time to offer this iconic Packer relic to a new worthy owner. This 1931 Green Bay Packers World Championship team signed football has been in sole custody of our consignor since his birth in 1931. It has never been offered for sale, and rarely seen or displayed during the past 83 years.

To our knowledge, this is the earliest known Championship Green Bay Packers football extant, and the only 1931 3-Peat season example known. Historically speaking, this may be the most important Green Bay Packers football in private or public hands.

Rarely found on a football, this unique pigskin relic boasts the ink signatures of HOFers Mike Michalske, Cal Hubbard, Arnie Herber, John Blood, and Curly Lambeau.

For the most advanced collectors, you will also notice the hardly ever seen names of players like Waldo Don Carlos, Red Sleight, Mule Wilson and my favorite, Hurdis McCraray. Their legacies preserved on this trophy ball.

All of these strokes of ink are members of a very prestigious club; they were all Green Bay Packers! Each and every signature has been identified, and inclusion to the 1931 roster verified. Each and every name on the ball was on the 1931 roster. The are:

Panel 1 (10 signatures): Reach Logo- Larry Dilweg, Bo Melenda, Mike Michalske, Nate Barrager, Jim Bowdoin, Jug Earpe, Waldo Don Carlos, Vern Lewellen, Red Sleight, & Mule Wilson. Autographs grade 7/8/9’s. Some light spotting to the surface.

Panel 2 (6 signatures): Blank Panel #2: - Cal Hubbard, Milt Gatenbein, Wuert Engelmann, Paul Fizgibbon, Joseph Red Dunn, & Russ Saunders.

Panel 3 (5 signatures): Blank Panel #3: Hank Bruder, Dick Stahlman, Hurdis McCraray, Arnold Herber, & Whitey Woodin. Pane 4 (5 signatures): Pump instructions: John Blood, Roger Grove, Tom Nash, Rudy Comstock, and Curly Lambeau.

Regarding the football itself, the manufacturer’s panel is stamped, “Regulation, Varsity 5” / Reach logo”. The air hole panel is stamped, “NOTICE, USE FOOT OR HAND PUMP ONLY. NEVER USE SERVICE STATION AIR HOSE. DO NOT INFLATE OVER 13 POUNDS. PATENT. NO1, 330.309” It is our belief this was the model ball used in the games by the Green Bay Packers.

The autographs are all very strong, signed in period ink. The nipple for the air and the laces has been removed. It is our opinion this is a very easy fix, but we will leave any restoration to the consignor. (I would personally recommend it).

This lot represents the finest in Green Bay Packers memorabilia. The assemblage of autographs is like a Pro Football Hall of Fame Reunion of the team’s early greats. A full JSA letter will accompany this lot. Auction Note: JSA completed a thorough examination of this football during the course of this auction. MEARS was notified that extra time was needed for JSA to complete the evaluation. The final results were not presented to us until after the auction ended. At that time, JSA deemed the Arnie Herbert signature was a secretarial example. This fact was noted on the final JSA full letter. Our winning bidder was notified of this fact and the transaction was still completed. (69W0175)

(JSA Auction Letter)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $13,317
Number Bids: 18
Auction closed on Saturday, October 4, 2014.
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