Tony Gwynn has another huge hit on his hands. A baseball launched by the Padres’ slugger has sold for $142,762 at auction. Of course, it wasn’t just any ball. This was “Mr. Padre’s” 3,000th career hit on Aug. 6, 1999. Gwynn’s 2007 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ring also brought in $37,663.
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
Paula Kurman first met her husband, Jim Bouton, in 1977, at a hospital fund-raiser at a Bloomingdale’s in Hackensack, N.J. She thought he was handsome, but she didn’t understand why people wanted his autograph. He said he had once pitched for the Yankees, but for Kurman that wasn’t a good enough reason. She is a doctor, a behavioral scientist, and the more she talked to Bouton, the more she knew there was something else there. She found him witty, maybe even brilliant, and she knew she liked him.
Nearly two years after the family of Padres great Tony Gwynn began selling off memorabilia from his storied career, more of his personal artifacts are up for bidding. SCP Auctions is currently conducting Part 2 of the Tony Gwynn Memorabilia Auction, which began last week and runs through Jan. 21.
A Hall of Fame ring, several awards and important pieces of memorabilia from milestone moments are among the personal artifacts from Tony Gwynn’s career that are currently being sold through SCP Auctions. A total of 25 pieces of Tony Gwynn memorabilia are part of the company’s 2017 Winter Premier Auction. All come direct from the Padres legend’s widow, Alicia Gwynn.