Ever since the Red Sox Curse got lifted with the World Series win in 2004, things have just been getting sweller and sweller for the legendary franchise. Now, as the Bosox zoom along en route to another likely trip to the playoffs, the trophy from their 1912 World Series win has turned up in the hobby and will be auctioned by Guernsey’s this fall.
The trophy that Guernsey’s President Arlan Ettinger has secured from the family of Jake Stahl, the Red Sox manager of that historic Series, will be in the spotlight in a kind of odd setting: smack dab in the middle of Guernsey’s Oct. 18 Yankee Stadium auction at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“Would the Yankees and Yankee Stadium be as great as they are without great rivals, most notably the Red Sox?” Ettinger asked rhetorically. “We call our sale 418 Yankees treasures and one remarkable Red Sox piece.”
The trophy, which has reportedly been in the possession of the Stahl family for nearly a century, was presented to Red Sox player/manager Stahl by Boston Mayor John Fitzgerald, known as “Honey Fitz,” the grandfather of President John F. Kennedy. It was featured in a grand motorcade through the streets of Boston following the Red Sox win over the New York Giants, led by Christy Mathewson. The Red Sox prevailed in eight games; one game was called because of darkness after 11 innings.
According to Ettinger, the sale of the trophy had even been envisioned as a one-lot auction event at Fenway Park, but when Guernsey’s picked up the vast Baker Collection of more than 150 architectural plans and ephemera related to Yankees and other players, including things like insurance forms for Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, among others, it was decided to plop the unique trophy in the middle of a sale of 400-plus spectacular Yankee items.
The 1912 trophy was one of two made, with the other having been presented to the team’s owner. “It has never been seen again,” said Ettinger. He describes the surviving specimen is the “most significant sports trophy ever to come up for auction.”
As the Guernsey’s president well knows, having produced a number of historic live sports auctions (Mickey Mantle Auction at the Garden in 2003, the Sports Immortals Joe Platt Collection at The Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., also in 2003, and the legendary 1989 auction of Topps archival material), bringing that trophy to Midtown Manhattan promises electricity, to say the least.
“There will be some booing and hissing,” Ettinger conceded with a chuckle.
He also added a wonderful Don Larsen piece to the lineup: a game ball from Larsen’s 1956 perfect game in the World Series, and like some of the best auction stuff, there’s a cool story with it. The ball was given to the photo editor of the New York Herald-Tribune who helped orchestrate the iconic photo of Yogi Berra jumping into Larsen’s arms following the final out. “During the melee, the editor fell and broke his arm,” Ettinger recounted.
The editor, Ben Price, was carried into the dugout as the Yankees started to file in. “Billy Martin sees him in great pain and gets Larsen to come over and give him a game ball, inscribed to him by Larsen,” Ettinger continued. And that ball has been added to the October sale.
For more information about the auction, go to www.guernseys.com. or call (212) 794-2280.