"When Lavagetto's double bounded off the wall, Tommy Henrich, Ol' Reliable, fired the ball to the plate, to me. I remember catching it on one bounce. It was too late to stop Brooklyn from scoring the winning run. Bevens backed me up on the play. After we lost, I gave him that ball. To this day, his game was one of the greatest I ever caught and he deserved the ball."
Berra's letter is addressed to famed collector Barry Halper, who himself supplies a letter of provenance. It reads, in part:
"Many years ago I acquired from Bill Bevens (author of that near no hitter in the 1947 World Series) the uniform which he wore that day, his 1947 World Series ring as well as the ball from that last at bat which was a hit by Cookie Lavagetto. Years later, I had the opportunity to meet the former 3rd baseman, Pete Ward, for the Chicago White Sox and the Yankees who lived near Mr. Bevens. As a special favor to me, Pete Ward said that he would ask Mr. Bevens to sign the items..."
And, sure enough, the ancient OAL (Harridge) ball, bearing a vintage fountain pen "World Series 1947" block lettered notation, likewise holds a much more recent blue ballpoint ink sweet spot signature from Bevens, and his notation on the side panel that reads "Oct 3, Last ball hit." Other earlier signatures have been professionally removed. A unique and thrilling relic that serves as a perfect physical microcosm of the fierce "Subway Series" rivalry that made the Big Apple the center of the baseball world for the better part of two decades. Letter of provenance from Yogi Berra. Letter of provenance from Barry Halper. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (Bevens autograph). Full LOA from James Spence Authentication (Bevens autograph).