Welcoming integration, the 1948 Cleveland Indians introduced Hall of Famers Satchel Paige and Larry Doby and proceeded to supplant the Yankees as World Champions. This baseball was employed at Cleveland’s cavernous Municipal Stadium on August 20, 1948 as 41-year-old Paige blanked Chicago, 1-0 with a three-hitter. The OAL Harridge orb shows soiling from game use and is signed on the south panel by that day’s home plate arbiter, Bill McKinley, who inscribed, on the west panel, his title and “Aug 20, 1948 – 78,3000” (actually, the attendance was 78,382, marking the largest night game attendance in baseball history). Also of note regarding the attendance figure, it trumped the reported 75,000 who attended Babe Ruth's funeral in New York City that day.
Executed in blue ink, McKinley's penning shows ("5-6") strength and clarity. The lone run, incidentally, was driven in by Doby with two outs in the fourth inning. The triumph, Cleveland's eighth straight, increased the Tribe's lead to three games over the Red Sox and 4-1/2 over the fourth-place Yankees. Over the 12-year span from 1947 through 1958, the Yankees won 10 American League pennants with Cleveland interrupt the run both times (1948, 1954). Full photo LOA from JSA.