SCP Auctions, the Laguna Niguel-based auction house, sold $3.4 million in memorabilia, autographs and game-worn items during an auction that ended Jan. 22. A uniform worn by Babe Ruth to promote the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair fetched nearly $228,000 at the winter auction. One bidder paid more than $142,000 for Tony Gwynn’s 3,000th hit baseball.
SCP Auctions’ 2017 Winter Premier online auction closed early Sunday morning and the top selling lot was a 1938 “NEW YORK” uniform worn by the late, great Babe Ruth to promote the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair that sold for $227,854. The entire auction of 1,021 lots of coveted sports memorabilia, game-worn items and sought-after autographs brought in $3.4 million. Other top selling lots included Tony Gwynn’s 3,000th Hit baseball, $142,762; a rare 1969 Super Bowl III yellow variation full, unused ticket, which scored a winning bid of $59,098 to set a new industry record for a single sports ticket sold at auction; and a pair of World Series Championship rings (2012 and ’14) that were awarded to San Francisco Giants legend Orlando Cepeda, which both sold for $59,098 apiece. The much-publicized sale of Jim Bouton’s Ball Four manuscript archive from his 1970 best seller did not meet its reserve price.
“It’s no surprise that once again, Babe Ruth carried the day in an auction featuring a broad array of historic sports memorabilia,” said Dan Imler, vice president of SCP Auctions. “The ‘Sultan of Swat’ still resonates with collectors more than any other name in sports history, more than 70 years after his passing.”
The one-of-a-kind, custom-made “NEW YORK” flannel uniform was manufactured by A.G. Spalding & Bros. and Ruth wore it in 1938 at several stops to help promote the upcoming 1939-40 New York World’s Fair. Gwynn’s 3,000th hit baseball marked the late Hall of Famer’s milestone hit which occurred on August 6, 1999, versus the Montreal Expos. The 1969 Super Bowl III yellow variation ticket surprised many industry insiders as it set a new auction benchmark for the sale of a single sports ticket. The heavily coveted modern 14K white gold World Series championship rings represent the Giants’ second and third baseball titles in the City by the Bay and were issued to Cepeda, a Hall of Famer and one of the franchise’s greatest players.
Other highlights from the auction included: 1909-11 T206 White Border Near Complete Set of 520 Baseball Cards, $51,356; Vince Lombardi’s 1956 New York Giants World Champions 10K Gold Ring, $50,131; early 1980’s Magic Johnson L.A. Lakers Game Worn Road Jersey (MEARS A10), $47,188; Orlando Cepeda’s 2010 San Francisco Giants World Series Champs 14K Gold Ring: $44,401; and Tony Gwynn’s 2007 Baseball Hall of Fame Induction 10K Gold Ring: $37,663.
The buyers of the items wish to remain anonymous at this time. All prices include a buyer’s premium. Full auction results are available at SCP Auctions. -Terry Melia