Served up rare is a truly remarkable antique baseball in original factory box. From the tenure of NL President John Heydler comes this Spalding No. 1 ONL ball in its sealed original box. This incredibly rare box is printed with graphics and text that are totally consistent with balls manufactured during the 1919-1924 period of Heydler's tenure as head of the National League, with the addition of a "J.C. Toole President International League" overstamp on a paper band that is wrapped around the box. John Conway Toole was president of the IL for eight years in the 1920s, overseeing a period of noted stability for the previously volatile minor league.
The Spalding factory box is very pleasing with moderate corner wear and a 1/2" split on an edge at one of the corners. All images, graphics and text remain very bold and the surfaces are fairly clean, with just one small stain at the center of the top panel. The paper band is detached from the box and upon gentle inspection, it is evident that a bit of the band's backing paper is adhered to the box. The band's overlapping segment is securely adhered to the main part of the band and as with the box, all text and graphics remain bold and completely legible. The box has flap openings on the vertical end sections, but these are not tuck type flaps and the box cannot be opened without cutting open the tightly sealed horizontal edge sections.
The top panel of the box features an image of a Spalding No. 1 baseball with red and blue stitching and "Official National League Baseball" on the reverse sweet spot flanked by "Cork" and "Center", with the patent date "August 31-1909" beneath. The bottom panel shows an image of the "Cork Center" in cross-section. The Toole facsimile signature and IL overstamp are located on the band section wrapped across the back panel of the box.
It is likely that the baseball itself has a "John C. Toole President International League" stamp for IL use on the side panel where the "John A. Heydler Pres't National League" stamp for NL use would ordinarily be, but as the box is sealed in original factory state, it's impossible to say which stamp is present. As we relish playing the role of Captain Obvious, we're going with this item is RARE!