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Len Koenecke was more well-known for his death than his life, having been fatally struck in the head while on a flight after forcibly attempting to take control of the aircraft. The veteran of just 265 major league games (most of which were with Brooklyn) is one of the key signatures on this official 1934 National League (Heydler) baseball. In all, 32 Dodgers signed the ball with an average of 6-7/10, a few of which are lighter. The ball has a coat of clear shellack and grades VG to EX. Other names include Casey Stengel, Tom Zachary, Dutch Leonard, Van Mungo, Dazzy Vance, Al Lopez and Sam Leslie.
Hopelessly drunk and belligerent, Koenecke had been subdued and shackled to his seat on an earlier flight after harassing passengers and even striking a stewardess. After sleeping on an airport chair, he chartered the second flight in Detroit and became so unruly and threatening, the pilot left his controls and struck Koenecke on the head, along with the hep of the other passenger. Upon an emergency landing in Canada, Koenecke was pronounced dead of a cerebral hemorrhage. The two men were tried and acquitted of murder.
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