1946-47 Cienfuegos Team Signed Baseball with Martin Dihigo
Stunning 1946-47 Cienfuegios team-signed ball boasts the hard to find signature of the legendary Cuban Martin Dihigo, arguably the best all-around balplayer ever, black or white. Though Dihigo was 40 at the time, his legend preceded him. Famously, he could play all 9 positions, though he most excelled as a pitcher and centerfielder all over the Western Hemisphere since 1923, periodically in the Negro Leagues, and his epic mano-a-mano battles against Satchel Paige still echo in the Caribbean's breezes. Elected to the U.S., Mexican, Venezuelan and Cuban HOFs, he was revered in his native land, and particularly in his home town of Cinefuegos, where he died in 1971. Known as "El Immortal," a statue of him stands today in front of Havana's Estadio Latinoamericano, where Cienfuegos won the Cuban League title the year prior in '46. The Official League ball has Dihigo's signature prominently displayed on a side panel in green ink, with clear and vivid strokes that grade 7/10. The 22 other signatures are in the same ink, some having faded but all readable, including Luis Tiant Sr. and Rafael Noble as well as Negro leaguers Max Manning and Homer (not Josh) Gibson. Ball is toned a pleasing even gold color and somewhat pocked, lending a gritty ambiance to a special ball blessed by one of the all-time greats. Ball comes with a photo (VG) of the '46 Cinefuego champs signed by Silvio Garcia, another great Cuban and Negro League player, who was with the team at the time.