A New Indianapolis 500 Winner Autograph for My Collection

Kin Kinsley
September 12, 2016

I own this one all to Jason.  One evening he messaged me that he was bidding on something on eBay and he saw something that he thought I might be interested in.  He was correct.  

It was a signed expense report from two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rodger Ward.  I did not have a Ward signature in my collection.  Also, as I’d been reading more about Lloyd Ruby, Ward’s name kept coming up.  He also got his start in racing in the Texas and Oklahoma area.

I’m sure that many of you have never heard his name, but I wanted to share this bit with you.  I’m paraphrasing, but when Ward got his first ride in the Texas/Oklahoma area, it was because of him talking about his stories of all his open-wheel racing successes in California.  They weren’t true, Ward had never raced before.  He was convincing enough to talk his way into a ride.

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Another reason I was so interested in this was the crossover appeal of Lloyd Ruby’s (and Johnny Parson’s) name on it. I had mentioned my fondness of Ruby to Jason before, but he told me that he hasn’t even noticed his name on it.

As a card collector of 30 years, I’d never thought outside the box much on autographs.  I would be interested in them on cards, photos or maybe a ball.  I’d never thought about pieces like this until the last few months.  I was chatting with a friend that has an extensive autograph collection and he told me that he has a bill of sale signed by a driver that I want.  If he’d never mentioned that, I’m not sure I would have been interested in this piece.  I’m glad that I was.

I haven’t yet done the research, but I am intrigued to find out perhaps where this tire test was.  It mentions Dallas, and then a hundred or so miles three times.  Was it a track about 100 miles from Dallas?  It also says “Speedway” three times.  Speedway is the name of the town where the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located.  I’m not sure, but I do want to find out more.

Recently I joined the National Indianapolis 500 Collector’s Club.  I have collected cards for years, but something I read somewhere about the NI500CC struck a nerve with me.  It said (paraphrasing) that part of the goal of the club is preserve Indianapolis 500 history.  That’s what I feel I am doing with this piece.  I’m giving this piece of racing history a home.

There were a couple other items that came with the expense report.

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Obviously anyone can forge a certificate of authenticity.  I’m also a little confused out the “9/9/18.”  However I do feel in my heart that this is completely legit.  If it’s not for some reason, I’m not out that much.

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It’s just a pieve of personal stationary and it’s not “worth” anything.  I do think it’s really cool that it was included.  This is the kind of thing that often would just be thrown away.  This wasn’t and will be preserved to the best of my ability.

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