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Lot # 7: 1926 Leona Kearns, "Tragic Early Ladies Baseball Star" Dies on World Tour

Starting Bid: $25.00

Bids: 41 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed




This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Spring Collectors Auction 2022",
which ran from 4/27/2022 4:00 AM to
5/14/2022 8:00 PM



One of the most tragic stories in baseball history is that of superstar Leona Kearns. She was the top player of her era and was the centerpiece of the "Bobbies" which was a barnstorming team that traveled to play teams in Japan in late 1925. The tour was a disaster as it was poorly funded and despite being coached by former Major Leaguer Eddie Ainsmith, this group of ladies came up with the idea to sail to Japan and play exhibition baseball matches to earn money and gain publicity. Problem was, nobody came to watch them after they started losing and they were stranded on the island with no way to get home and no money. They had to hold benefit dances to buy passage back home and tragically, seventeen-year-old Leona Kearns was swept overboard during a storm on the trip and drowned. One of the saddest and most interesting stories about the hurdles that women had to endure to garner legitimacy in a man's game. An extremely rare photograph of Kearns, proudly wearing her USA jersey and warming up at the ballpark before a game. Possibly the only one to have survived and an important piece of baseball history, there is a note on the back that she has been swept overboard and died on the trip home! Issued by Underwood and Underwood and stamped on the back, this is a Hall of Fame-worthy relic that is being offered here for the first time ever!

Size: 4.75x6.5
Designation: Vintage 1
Condition: 4.5/5
Quality: 5/5
Overall Grade: 9.5/10

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