On Sunday, August 11, 1929, the New York Yankees visited Cleveland’s League Park to take on the Indians. Babe Ruth, batting cleanup, led off the second inning of a scoreless game…
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 $3.5 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 one of the franchise’s greatest players, Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda.
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; 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
Any NFL player will tell you the ultimate prize in pro football is a Super Bowl ring. But the hefty hunks of 10K gold emblazoned with diamonds and iconic team imagery are not easily won. They’re even harder to obtain if you’re a collector of sports memorabilia. Almost always, if a Super Bowl ring is to be sold, it ends up at auction, where it’s likely to make the most money.
SCP Auctions is proud to present legendary Boston Celtics’ point guard and recently inducted Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Jo Jo White’s personal memorabilia collection as part of its 2015 Fall Premier online auction. Bidding began on Wednesday, Nov. 18, and will conclude on Saturday, Dec. 5 at SCPAuctions.com. As the organization’s director of Special Projects and a longtime community relations representative, White was awarded a 2008 Boston Celtics NBA Championship 14K white gold ring upon the 2008 squad’s claiming of the franchise’s 17th title. It tops the list of valuable items amongst White’s two dozen lots with a current bid of $17,270. View Jo Jo’s lots here.
“We are extremely pleased to be offering many of Jo Jo’s coveted basketball heirlooms,” said David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions.
White helped the Celtics win a pair of NBA titles (1974 and ’76) during his 10-year tenure in Beantown. Selected by Boston with the No. 9 overall pick in the 1969 NBA Draft out of Kansas University, he finished his career with Boston averaging 18.3 points per game and led the team in assists four different times. An outstanding post-season performer, he played key roles in Boston’s run to both titles, finishing with a 21.5 career playoff scoring average. In a jaw-dropping exhibition of his incredible conditioning, White played 60-plus minutes and scored a game-high 33 points in the Celtics’ historic triple-overtime win over the Phoenix Suns on the Boston Garden’s parquet floor in Game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals, and was later named the series MVP. He is still remembered as one of the most durable Celtics of all-time as his streak of 488 consecutive games played remains a franchise record. A seven-time All-Star, his No. 10 jersey was retired by the Celtics in a ceremony at the Boston Garden on April 9, 1982.
Among the other items up for bid will be White’s 1974 and ‘76 NBA championship rings (minimum bids are $2,500 each) that he was given as replacements when the originals were lost, as well as numerous warmup and game-used uniforms from his participation in NBA All-Star Legends games, his 1976 NBA Finals MVP digital wristwatch, two of his College All-American award plaques from Kansas, his Kansas Sports Hall of Fame induction plaque, and his 1976 and 1977 NBA All-Star Game plaques.
Bidding is open to registered bidders only. For more information on how to participate, please visit SCPAuctions.com or call (949) 831-3700. -Terry Melia
A prized Dream Team-signed basketball from the Chuck Daly Estate Collection sold for $230,041 to tally the highest bid in SCP Auctions’ Mid-Summer Classic, which concluded early Sunday morning. It is the highest price ever paid for a basketball at auction. The multi-signed, painted basketball (autographed by 11 players including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird plus Coach Daly) was used in the U.S. Men’s 117-85, gold medal-clinching victory over Croatia in Barcelona. The entire auction of nearly 1,000 sports memorabilia lots brought in $2.5 million.
“The outstanding results of this auction prove once again that the market for historic memorabilia with exceptional provenance has never been stronger,” said SCP Auctions Vice President Dan Imler.
Other top lots included a rare 1968 Ernie Banks game-worn Cubs home jersey from a season in which “Mr. Cub” hit 32 home runs that sold for $137,865; a 1960’S Dwight D. Eisenhower-used custom golf bag and full set of specially engraved “General Ike” Spalding clubs that went for $121,122; and a 1970 Nolan Ryan New York Mets game-worn home flannel jersey captured $60,667.
Overall, the Chuck Daly Estate Collection brought in $333,547, led by the sale of the Dream Team-signed, game-used Barcelona Summer Games basketball. Part 4 of the Newport Sports Museum Collection realized $274,901, led by the sale of presidential golf sets used by Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, while the Johnny Murphy Estate Collection took in a total of 72,620, led by the sale of his 1938 New York Yankees World Champs pocket watch which went for $33,378.
Other highlights from the auction included:
• 1996 NBA 50 Greatest Players Signed Lithograph – NBA Edition (6 of 100) – $34,190
• 1968 Boston Celtics 10K Gold NBA Championship Ring (Tom Thacker)- $29,336
• Carl Erskine’s 1956 N.L. Champion Brooklyn Dodgers 10K Gold Cuff Links and Tie Pin – $28,651
• 1976 Montreal Summer Olympic Games 1st Place Winner’s Gold Medal – $24,243
• Babe Ruth Autographed Hillerich & Bradsby Model 40 B.R. Signature Model Bat – $20,724
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
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. He 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