1939 Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick, who was revered by millions for reasons that went beyond the field, died during a training mission during World War II. His autograph is one of the most sought after signatures in sports.
In a remarkable story, an Iowa legislator staying at a Des Moines home spotted a multi-signed, deflated football sitting on a shelf in the basement. After doing some research, he discovered it was a ball carrying more than two dozen signatures from the 1939 Iowa Hawkeyes team, including that of Kinnick.
The elderly woman who owns the home offered to hand it over, but State Rep. Josh Byrnes, (R-Osage), was a collector of memorabilia and knew that wouldn't be right.
"You don't know what you've got here," he told her.
Now, the ball is in a safety deposit box in a bank as the family decides what their next move might be. Read the story via the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
There's a '39 Hawkeyes ball on display at the school but another has never come to market. There is a 1940 College All Stars signed football currently on eBay priced at $15,000 and a cut signature at $5500.