Althea Gibson autograph, Wimbledon
Here is a wonderful souvenir, collectible and piece of American history. It's an original Althea Gibson autograph signed in ink during her 1976 appearance on the ABC TV show "The Superstars". The event was held in Rotonda, Florida on January 19-20, 1976. Photo sheet booklets of all the athletes competing in the men's and women's competitions were given out to fans in attendance and almost every athlete was more than happy to sign their photos in this fan friendly atmosphere. The sheet measures 8 x 11 and individual photos of the stars are 3 1/2 by 2 1/2. This preliminary round sheet has two staple holes at top where it was detached from pamphlet and is also signed by bowler Laura Boxberger, skiiers Kiki Cutter and Genia Fuller and platform tennis star Hilary Hilton. The crown jewel signature is that of Althea Gibson, who was known as the Jackie Robinson of women's sports. She became the first African-American woman to be a competitor on the world tennis tour and the first to win a Grand Slam title in 1956--the French Open. She also captured two Wimbledon crowns and two U.S. Open championships in singles and also captured six Grand Slam doubles titles.. She also broke the color barrier on the women's pro golf tour. Gibson became the first African American woman to join the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour in 1963. Her best finish on the tour was a tie for second after a three-way playoff at the 1970 Lem Immke Buick Open. Gibson retired from professional golf at the end of the 1978 season.
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