Nile Kinnick Autographed Football Found in Basement

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.

Now, you can add one more to the list.

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.

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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.

University of Iowa Libraries

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.