The donor purchased this baseball as a child to have autographed at a Topeka Owls game, possibly in 1951. The Owls won the Western Association pennant in 1951, the same year their field was severely damaged by flood. The white leather baseball has red stitching and five signatures in blue ink. The Topeka Owls were a minor league professional baseball team in Class C of the Western Association. The autographed names are not completely legible, but seem to represent the following men:
Elmer Le Roy "Butch" Nieman (1918-1993), born in Herkimer, Kansas, played for the Owls from 1947 to 1951, acting as manager from 1948 to 1951. He played for Kansas State University from 1938 to 1939 and was an outfielder for the Boston Braves from 1943 to 1945.
John Robert "Jack" Dean (1923-2004), born in Marion, Kansas, played for the Topeka Owls from 1949 to 1953, serving as co-manager in 1952. He previously served in the Navy Air Corps during World War II. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from KSU where he played basketball and baseball. He taught and coached at Topeka High School and at Salina South and Salina Central, retiring in 1985.
Harry "Handsome Harry" Richard Suter (1887-1971) broke into the big leagues in 1909, with the Chicago White Sox. In 1932, he married Miriam Hanson in Assaria, Kansas, and, in 1933, while living in Salina, Kansas, was granted permission to form the Ban Johnson League of Kansas. He managed the Leslie Kreps Post American Legion baseball team in Salina, winning several state championships. In 1947 he moved to Topeka where he became a plumbing and heating engineer for the state architect's office, retiring in 1963.
Tony Lucadello (1912-1989) worked as a scout for the Chicago Cubs from 1943 to 1957. The Topeka Owls were affiliated with the Cubs from 1951 to 1952. He worked as a scout with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1957 to 1989. During his career, he signed over 50 players to the major leagues.
William J Prince (b. 1909) was a pitcher in the minor leagues from 1929 to 1942. He was a co-manager and manager of the Cedar Rapids Indians in 1953 and 1954. The team was affiliated with the Chicago Cubs at the time.