Negro League Baseball Ernie Banks, Curtis Thompson, and who else?
I still don't believe we can put pictures directly in messages with Android phone so the best I can do is add them as attachments.
I finally decided to start looking more into this ball in my possession, given to my friend from a former Negro League player who married a woman from the small town nearby.
I have some questions I am working to get answers to, such as who was the player and what team(s) did he play for.
I believe these are all Former KC Monarchs players. The ball player who gave this to my friend was apparently on the Monarchs. Unfortunately my friend is near 77 and his memory began fading in the past year. He told me who the player was about 2.5 years ago when my wife and I befriended him. I will bet my life that I will get this figured out by tomorrow since the gal he married was from one of the larger farming families in the area. One older farmer isn't sure but he thinks the former player is deceased and thought his name was Henry.
The two signatures I can pinpoint thus far are the following (AS IT IS WRITTEN ON THE BALL):
Ernie Banks "Mr. CUB"
There is another that appears like "Baby Matthews" and Jim Robinson and there are a few more I can't figure out yet.
I looked up the history on Henry "Curtis" Thompson and enjoyed what information I could find. Sounds like he was one of the first to play on MLB teams and likely had to bite his tongue like almost every ball player who wanted a shot had to do. Most of these guys also had to serve in war before, during, or after their baseball career.
Not too sure what to do with the ball. There is no COA. I have no idea how the company put together these balls and whether there are more similar to this one or more of other teams.
Let me know what you guys think. Larry is willing to part ways with it finally and I'm not sure if this is something I should purchase from him or not. I would only want it because it was personally gifted by a player to a person who has become part of my families life, but with that being said, there's 25,000+ other items that would serve a similar sentiment purpose. If the ball is valued more than a certain amount then I would rather let a collector have their hands on it and I'll settle for a photo of it.