Almost 90 lots of items from Cassius Clay, later known as Muhammad Ali, at auction

The Gary Traugh Cassius Clay Collection headlines the Morphy Auctions Premier Sports Memorabilia sale, scheduled for March 29 at the company’s Denver, Pennsylvania gallery.

The collection includes one-of-a-kind, museum quality articles from the beginning of Muhammad Ali’s climb to international celebrity

All hands will be in the air over this sale’s selection of athletic gloves. Lot #1, a Cassius Clay left hand, sparring size boxing glove from 1954, is estimated at $10,000-$20,000. This is the earliest known glove associated with the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion in boxing.

On the front, it is painted “Glove Used By Cassius Clay When He First Came To Columbia Gym Age 12.” On the inside of its wrist area are the initials “C.C.” and “Columbia Gym Louisville KY.” It is accompanied by a letter of provenance from Peter Markovian and a letter of opinion from Craig Hamilton.

Lot #11, a pair of Post brand Cassius Clay amateur training gloves from the 1950s, is estimated at $3,000-$5,000. These brown leather gloves were discovered in the attic of Cassius Clay trainer Joe Martin. They are stamped “Columbia Gym” and are initialed “C.C.” in pen. This lot includes a notarized letter from Martin’s daughter Jole Martin and a letter of opinion from Craig Hamilton.

Lot #65, 1972-era black leather Muhammad Ali sparring gloves, is estimated at $3,000-$6,000. These 16 ounce gloves were made by G&S and were probably used at the time Ali was training for George Chuvalo or Mac Foster. Each glove has been signed “Ali” in pen. These gloves come with a letter of opinion by Craig Hamilton and a letter of provenance by Peter Markovian.

Lot #12, the earliest known training trunks worn by Cassius Clay, is estimated at $20,000-$40,000. Clay wore these Post brand purple satin trunks while training at the Columbia Gym in Louisville, Ky. They are marked “C.C.” and are stamped “Columbia Gym.” They have a vintage tag that reads, “VERY EARLY PAIR OF BOXING TRUNKS WORN BY CASSIUS CLAY COLUMBIA GYM CIRCA 1954.” The tag’s reverse is stamped “From the desk of Joe Martin Columbia Gym Louisville, KY.” The trunks are accompanied by a letter of provenance from Peter Markovian and a letter of opinion from Craig Hamilton.

Other training and athletic materials from Cassius Clay and Muhammad include: a Cassius Clay Columbia Gym used jump rope that is estimated at $2,000-$4,000; a Cassius Clay Columbia Gym punching bag estimated at $2,000-$4,000, and a signed glass Muhammad Ali training water bottle estimated at $1,000-$2,000.

A final stellar Clay highlight is lot #6, a 1956 Cassius Clay Louisville Golden Gloves & WAVE TV Future Star trophy, estimated at $5,000-$10,000. This white Bakelite award is 14” tall and is crowned with a metallic boxer. This prize is from the collection of Joe Martin and is accompanied by letters Joe Martin, Peter Markovian, and Craig Hamilton.

Vintage baseball memorabilia is also well represented in this sale, with treasures from some of America’s favorite “boys of summer” on offer. Lot #127, a 1925-1926 George “Babe” Ruth professional model game used bat, is estimated at $35,000-$50,000. This Hillerich & Bradsby Co. brand bat is made from ash, measures 35” long, and weighs 39.5 ounces. It was used by the Bambino during the 1925 and 1926 seasons.

Also of championship caliber is lot #113, a Babe Ruth single signed baseball, estimated at $20,000-$40,000. The ball has letters of authenticity from PSA/DNA, JSA, and SGC, as well as a notarized letter from its original owner’s family.

Lot #132, features a Mickey Mantle game used H&B bat from 1960. Estimated at $15,000-$25,000, this bat shows signs of heavy game use with marks on all sides of the bat, but its factory stamps are still strong. The bat is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from PSA.

Over 100 lots of trading cards representing every major sports league in America are certain to generate friendly competition amongst collectors. Lot #274, a complete master set of T205 American Tobacco Company baseball cards, is estimated at $40,000-$60,000. This set has been handpicked over several years and currently ranks 8th on the PSA Master Set registry with a 4.53 GPA.

The sale starts promptly at 9 a.m., and includes over 300 lots. All lots from this March event are on display and available for preview in Morphy’s Denver auction gallery now. Collectors can also view the items online anytime at www.morphyauctions.com.”

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