Tag Archives: New York Yankees

Arod's 1st Hit Bat

On May 7, 2015, New York Yankees superstar slugger Alex Rodriguez passed Hall of Famer Willie Mays on Major League Baseball’s all-time career home run list with his 661st round-tripper. Now playing in his 21st season in the major leagues with more than 3,000 hits to his credit, he has certainly made a name for himself. Next month, collectors can get their hands on one of Rodriguez’s very first pieces of game-used baseball memorabilia. The signed and inscribed bat from which he delivered his very first MLB hit back on July 9, 1994, as a member of the Seattle Mariners goes on the auction block at SCP Auctions starting on Wed., August 5. The online auction concludes August 22.

Rodriguez played in just 17 games for the Mariners in 1994 as the campaign was cut short by MLB’s season-ending lockout that started on August 12. arod_slider2He made his major league debut as the team’s starting shortstop on July 8, 1994, at Boston’s Fenway Park at just 18 years of age. He was only the third 18-year-old MLB shortstop since 1900 and the youngest position player in Seattle Mariners’ history. His first MLB hit was a single off Boston’s Sergio Valdez on July 9 at Fenway Park. During his brief stint in ‘94, Rodriguez compiled a .204 batting average with 11 hits, two runs batted in and three stolen bases.

The 34.5” black Louisville Slugger Alex Rodriguez professional model (# C271) bat shows plenty of contact marks throughout the barrel accompanied by several cleat and bat rack marks. A three-inch crack on the handle is also quite evident. Rodriguez signed and inscribed the barrel of the bat in silver as follows: “1st M.L. Base Hit.” An accompanying Letter of Authenticity signed by Rodriguez from Seattle-based Mill Creek Sports notes this bat as the one A-Rod used to garner his first major league hit but misdates the event as “7/8/94.” There is a strong likelihood that he used this same bat for his debut on July 8th and again on the 9th at Fenway Park to collect his first hit. Regardless, this is the bat that started it all for the player that will forever be included in any discussion of baseball’s all-time greatest players.                                                                                                          -Terry Melia

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Long before the dishonest steroid denials, the season-long drug suspension,  Biogenesis and Tony Bosch,  Alex Rodriguez was a teenage baseball prospect with awe-inspiring talent and sky’s-the-limit potential. A Southern California sports memorabilia company is offering a souvenir of those times: SCP Auctions is selling the bat the Yankee star used to notch his first major-league hit.

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Mickey Mantle’s first Hillerich & Bradsby professional model bat from an order placed in 1950, possibly his first bat ever used as a Yankee, sold for $242,209 to top the bidding in SCP Auctions’ 2015 Spring Premier which concluded early Sunday. A game-worn and autographed Mantle 1952 New York Yankees home jersey was next in line, selling for $227,856. In total, the auction of more than 1,300 sports memorabilia items brought in $4.1 million.mantlejersey1

“Coveted sports artifacts used and worn by Mickey Mantle continue to thrive in the sports memorabilia market,” said SCP Auctions Vice President Dan Imler. “The impressive winning bids on these particular items are testament to Mantle’s undying allure.”

Other top lots included a complete 1957 Topps baseball card set ($207,142), John Wooden’s circa 1970’s UCLA coach’s worn jacket ($103,579), and a pair of 1984 Michael Jordan game-worn and signed Nike Air Shoes from his rookie season ($71,550).
Part 3 of The Delbert Mickel Estate Collection of Important Baseball Jerseys brought in $388,140, led by the sale of a game-worn Stan Musial 1963 St. Louis Cardinals complete uniform for $73,408 from his last season in the majors. The Tony Gwynn Estate Collection fetched $217,770, a portion of which will go toward the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation (www.tagwynn2.org), while the personal collection of NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson took in a total of $177,415, led by the sale of his 2009 NFL Hall of Fame ring which went for $25,076.

Other highlights from the auction included:

• 1973 Hank Aaron Atlanta Braves Game-Worn Home Jersey and ’74 Pants – $50,061
• 1909-11 T206 Baseball Near Set (517/523) – $44,427
• Steve Carlton’s 1987 Minnesota Twins World Series 10K Gold Ring – $44,427
• 1926 New York Yankees A.L. Champion Team-Signed Baseball – $41,435
• 1958 Robin Roberts Philadelphia Phillies Game-Worn and Signed Road Jersey – $40,388
• 1970 Al Kaline Detroit Tigers Game-Worn Home Jersey – $34,190

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 www.scpauctions.com.                                                                       -Terry Melia

Babe Ruth Will Pic

During the 1933 Major League Baseball season, at the age of 38, New York Yankees’ slugger extraordinaire Babe Ruth was still putting plenty of good wood on the ball as he batted .301 with 34 home runs and 104 runs batted in. For good measure, he scored 97 runs and was walked 114 times. But during the off-season, Ruth was busy putting his business affairs in order and even drew up his last will and testament. That important document, which was signed and dated on Dec. 26, 1933, is now on the auction block at www.scpauctions.com with bidding scheduled to close on Saturday, April 25. A featured item in SCP Auctions’ online Spring Premier, it could fetch as much as $150,000.Ruth Sig Close Up

“It is well-documented that the vast majority of Babe’s personal memorabilia was gifted, at Ruth’s consent, to the National Baseball Hall of Fame shortly after his passing,” said SCP Auctions Vice President Dan Imler. “The offered Last Will and Testament is among only a few Ruth mementos ever offered to the public with direct Ruth family provenance. It is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Babe Ruth’s grandson, Tom Stevens.”

The nine-page document (pages are 13-by-9 inches) is in superlative condition and is affixed to the traditional “Last Will and Testament” cover folder, with the ornate old English script and Ruth’s full name and the Dec. 26, 1933 date typed on the cover piece. Ruth’s elegant signature appears on the final page, using his full name “George Herman Ruth,” a grudging nod to formality that The Bambino would typically reserve for official documents and the like. Three other New York State residents have signed as witnesses below Ruth’s signature, adding their residence information. Also included is the traditional heavy cardstock 5-by-10-inch flapped envelope with “Will of George Herman Ruth and the date” typed on the cover. The envelope is in complementary condition, jostled only slightly by a small 3/4-inch tear to the flap.

Online bidding is open to registered bidders only and concludes on Saturday, April 25. The auction is being conducted online at www.scpauctions.com. For more information, call 949-831-3700.                        -Terry Melia

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Babe Ruth’s first season with the Yankees, 1920, is still reverberating. He batted .376, hit 54 home runs and drove in 137 runs. Attendance at the Polo Grounds more than doubled to 1.29 million. It was the season when the future Yankees dynasty began to take shape. Ruth wore a gray wool road jersey that season to perform in Boston, St. Louis, Chicago, Cleveland and the three other American League cities. “Ruth, G. H.” is still visible on the collar in faded pink script. Blue letters spell “New York” across the chest. Dirt stains — and probably some from sweat — are evident. And now, it is the most expensive sports artifact ever sold at auction.