On April 22, 1876 — 141 years ago this Saturday — the Boston Red Stockings beat the Philadelphia Athletics, 6-5, in the first game ever played in the National League of Professional Base-Ball Clubs, the outfit that would ultimately become Major League Baseball.
The league grew from the ashes of the failed National Association. It got its start at a Feb. 2, 1876 meeting organized by Chicago owner W.A. Hulbert in which the NL’s original eight franchises agreed, among other things, to discourage the gambling that had been prominent at N.A. games, to “make base-ball playing respectable and honorable,” and to end the practice of forfeiting games by teams that had fallen out of the pennant race.
Babe Ruth’s life and career on the diamond has resulted in some interesting pieces of memorabilia. And while jerseys, autographs and bats may be the cornerstones that come to mind, there are some things that fall outside that realm and offer a more personal look at the icon. Babe Ruth’s Last Will and Testament from 1933 is one such item. It’s part of SCP Auctions‘ 2017 Spring Premier Auction, which starts May 24.
He was still a solid player and in the prime of life by today’s standards but after the 1933 baseball season, Babe Ruth decided to get his business affairs in order. At age 38, with a wife and family, he decided to draw up his last will and testament. The document, signed with his full given name 1933 Babe Ruth will testament and dated the day after Christmas, is coming to auction next month. It’s expected to bring a six-figure price.
SCP Auctions is proud to feature the Willie Stargell Collection in its upcoming 2017 Spring Premier Auction. More than a dozen lots from the late Hall of Famer’s personal collection will open for bidding on Wed., May 24, at www.scpauctions.com, and each item is accompanied by a letter from the Stargell Family. The online auction runs through Sat., June 10.
“It is our distinct honor to auction off Willie’s coveted items,” says SCP Auctions President David Kohler. “He was such a beloved player in Pittsburgh and around the league that we are very excited to see how fans and collectors alike respond to these important baseball treasures have never before been offered publicly.”
Among the items to be auctioned are Stargell’s 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates World Series Champions ring and ‘79 National League MVP Award; his 1988 Hall of Fame Induction ring; two personal player World Series trophies from 1971 and ’79; and his 1962-82 Rawlings Career Gold Glove Award.
The late Hall of Fame first baseman, who stood 6’ 2” tall, was affectionately called “Pops” by teammates and fans alike, and led by example with both his booming bat and steady glove. He launched a total of 475 home runs and drove in 1,540 runs during his prolific 21-year MLB career, all with the Pittsburgh Pirates, a testament to his impressive power and fierce loyalty. When it came to encouraging the troops, the 1979 National League MVP was the Pirates’ consummate field general. A vital member of the franchise’s last two World Series Championships (1971 and ’79), Stargell’s feats remain legendary in the Steel City and in baseball circles everywhere. Stargell passed away on April 9, 2001, in Wilmington, N.C., at the age of 61.
Bidding is open to registered bidders only at www.scpauctions.com beginning on Wed., May 24, and closing on Sat., June 10. For more information on how to participate and take part in the bidding, please call 949-831-3700 or visit www.scpauctions.com. -Terry Melia