SCP Auctions’ 2015 “Mid-Summer Classic” begins today and runs through Saturday, August 22 at www.scpauctions.com. Top lots include Ernie Banks’ 1968 game-worn Chicago Cubs home jersey, Great Britain goaltender Jimmy Foster’s 1936 Winter Olympics hockey gold medal, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1960’s used custom golf bag and clubs, a complete 1912 T202 Hassan Triple Folder PSA-graded set currently ranked No. 2 on the PSA Set Registry, and Ted Williams’ 1950-51 game-worn and signed Boston Red Sox home jersey. The estate collections of former New York Yankees pitcher Johnny Murphy, a bullpen specialist during the ‘30s and ‘40s , and Hall of Fame basketball coach Chuck Daly – two-time NBA champion and orchestrator of the original “Dream Team” – are also being featured.
Ernie Banks’ 1968 Game-Worn Chicago Cubs Home Jersey
The impeccably preserved 1968 jersey’s technical details are breathtaking. In a season in which Banks ripped 32 home runs and knocked in 83 runs, it’s an especially coveted gamer that’s been photo-matched several times over. Completely unknown to the collecting community, it has rested quietly for more than 40 years in the possession of a Cubs-loving family by the name of the Bermans. Chicagoans who at one time lived right across the street from Wrigley Field, the family’s second son, Jeff, acquired the jersey directly from Banks in 1974. “Mr. Cub” handed it to the then 21-year-old as a token of his appreciation for coaching Ernie’s fraternal twin boys, Jerry and Joey, in basketball at a local Boys’ Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is where the Cubs used to play their spring training games. Berman then gifted the jersey four years later to his nephew, Randy “Boomer” Berman, on the latter’s actual birthday: Dec. 14, 1978. Early estimates price the jersey at more than $150,000.
1936 Winter Olympics Gold Medal Presented to Great Britain Goaltender Jimmy Foster
At the 1936 Winter Olympic Games, 11 British Canadians came together to make history by leading Great Britain to its only Olympic gold medal in ice hockey. Between the pipes for the Brits was goaltender Jimmy Foster, who cemented the team’s legacy by allowing just three goals over seven games and posting four shutouts during the tournament. In addition to winning the gold medal, Great Britain stopped Canada’s undefeated Olympic winning streak at 20 games with a 2-1 victory in the final. Offered here is Foster’s gold medal from the ’36 Games, which boasted the largest and heaviest medals ever awarded to Olympic athletes: 100 millimeters in diameter, four millimeters thick, and 324 grams. The Winter Olympic were held in the neighboring villages of Garmisch and Partenkirchen in Germany’s Bavarian Alps where Foster and company quickly became the talk of the town. Estimate: $150,000.
1912 T202 Hassan Triple Folder PSA Graded Complete Set
This is a magnificent 1912 Hassan Triple Folder PSA Graded complete set, the second finest listed on the PSA Set Registry with a 6.34 GPA. After completing and selling what was then considered the finest T206 PSA Graded set over 15 years ago, the consignor then turned his efforts toward building the finest T202 Hassan Triple Folder PSA Graded set. His efforts these past many years resulted in the offered set, with almost 50% of the cards PSA NM 7 or better and over 75% in PSA EX-MT 6 or better. Estimate: $125,000.
Important 1960’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Used Custom Golf Bag and Full Set
Offered here is Eisenhower’s used custom golf bag and full set of specially engraved “General Ike” Spalding clubs that he used and played with more than once at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, the home of the Masters Tournament. The clubs were designed by the great Bobby Jones who customized them with built-up grips for Ike’s arthritic hands as Eisenhower suffered from bursitis. The red leather golf bag stands 35” tall and has “General Ike” emblazoned across the front in white and includes four red leather head covers. The four Spalding Hydro sealed woods – 1, 2, 3 and 4 – are all registered and engraved “General Ike” with five stars on the bottom and serial numbered in red 1AAAAAA. The accompanying irons – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 – include pitching and sand wedges that are all similarly engraved on the back of the club heads with “General Ike” and the five stars. Estimate: $75,000+.
Ted Williams’ 1950-51 Boston Red Sox Autographed and Game-Worn Home Jersey
The 31-year-old Williams was enjoying another noteworthy season in 1950 and earned his eighth All-Star Game nod. Playing in the Mid-Summer Classic in Chicago on July 11, Williams found himself racing to catch a line drive by Pirates’ slugger Ralph Kiner with his momentum carrying him into the Comiskey Park scoreboard. Williams made the catch but suffered a broken left arm in the process. Despite missing 43% of the season, Williams still batted .317 with 28 home runs and 97 RBI. This lot features Williams’ autographed and game-worn Boston Red Sox home jersey from that memorable season. The left sleeve features a restored original American League Golden Anniversary Patch (1901-1951) that would not have been uncommon to find on a jersey originally issued in 1950. Estimate: $75,000.
The Johnny Murphy Estate Collection
Murphy, a 6’ 2” right-hander, was a closer before that role was even created. The New York Yankee clubs he played on were some of the most powerful teams of all time, winning consecutive World Series titles from 1936 to 1939, and again in 1941 and 1943. He led the A.L. in wins for a relief pitcher seven times. In eight World Series games, Murphy won two, lost none, saved four, and posted an ERA of 1.10. In all, he was on seven World Series winning teams, the most of any pitcher in history. Top items include his 1938 New York Yankees World Championship gold pocket watch, an incredible 1938 New York Yankees (World Champions) large format 19″ by 11″ team-signed photo, a 1937 American League All-Star team-signed baseball, and a couple of Babe Ruth autographed photos inscribed to Johnny Murphy.
The Chuck Daly Estate Collection
The late Chuck Daly was a former NBA head coach who led the Detroit Pistons to consecutive titles in 1989 and ‘90, and the United States Men’s Olympic Basketball Team – nicknamed the “Dream Team” – to the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. During the course of his prolific coaching career, Daly picked up several mementoes and key pieces of sports memorabilia including a very important 1992 U.S. Men’s Basketball Dream Team signed and painted game-used ball from the historic Olympic gold medal clinching victory over Croatia. More than two dozen items are featured and every one comes with exceptional provenance.
Bidding is open to registered bidders only and concludes on Saturday, August 22. The auction will be conducted online at www.scpauctions.com. For more information on how to participate, visit SCP Auctions or call (949) 831-3700. -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
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.
The fan who wound up with Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit Friday night knows a thing or two about catching home run balls. David Kohler of SCP Auctions, which sold Rodriguez’s 500th home run ball for $105,000, told ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell that the 3,000th hit ball is worth more than $50,000.
When Alex Rodriguez hit his 500th home run in 2007, his reputation was still unblemished by evidence that he had used steriods. The ball was sold at auction for $105,000. On Friday night A-Rod hit his 660th home run, tying with all-time great Willie Mays for 4th on the record list. What’s that ball worth? Looks like it’s taken an 80% haircut.
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.
“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
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.
“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
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.