BST Auctions Fall Auction 2019
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/20/2019

For nearly 120 years Army has played Navy in an annual football match-up that is one of sport's most well known rivalries. Offered here is one of the finest and most significant pieces that BST has had the pleasure to auction...a game ball from the 1919 Army Navy game. The game was played at the Polo Grounds in New York City on November 29, 1919. This was was the first game between the two teams since 1916 due to World War I. This ball was set aside following Navy's first score, a 2nd quarter field goal by Clyde King to giving the Middies a 3 to 0 lead. King would add a second field goal in the 4th quarter which would be the final points of the game as Navy won 6 to 0. Depending upon the source, the 1919 contest is typically ranked in the top 10 of “best games” in the Army-Navy rivalry.

Footage from the game exists and can be seen here: 

The ball was part of the estate of William A. Richardson. Richardson was a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy in 1919 and from contemporary accounts served as a coach for the team. One specific story describes Richardson’s role in preparing the 1919 squad during the summer prior to the arrival of head coach Gil Dobie. A later account (November 25, 1919) lists Richardson as a member of the “party” accompanying the team to the Polo Grounds. Richardson’s role with the team must have been fairly significant to have received a game ball. Richardson’s tenure at Navy extends back to at least 1906 when he was a player on Navy’s football team. Box scores list him as a halfback, fullback and end. He was a member of the graduating class of 1910.

Clyde King, in addition to being a starting member of the 1919 team and the source of all of Navy’s points in this game, was a gold medalist from the United States rowing team at the 1920 Olympics. King served during World War II and Korea eventually reaching the rank of Rear Admiral.

The football is a typical “melon” style measuring approximately 28” around the long axis and 22 1/2” around through the midpoint of the laces. The ball was branded/burned with the following inscription “First Score 3 kicked by King Nov. 29th 1919 Army Navy Polo Grounds New York”. The ball has been cleaned and conditioned with the original bladder (the ball predates inflation valve style models) removed and replaced with filler to permanently shape and preserve the ball.

A museum quality piece and one of the finest trophy footballs ever offered.

1919 Army vs. Navy Game Used Trophy Football!1919 Army vs. Navy Game Used Trophy Football!1919 Army vs. Navy Game Used Trophy Football!1919 Army vs. Navy Game Used Trophy Football!
1919 Army vs. Navy Game Used Trophy Football!
1919 Army vs. Navy Game Used Trophy Football!
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.:
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Sunday, October 20, 2019.

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