For the fourth consecutive year, Hunt Auctions will host Auction Week at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory on Nov. 7-10, culminating with a live auction of more than 675 lots of historical baseball memorabilia on Nov. 10 at 10 a.m.
Auction items will be on display for museum visitors beginning Nov. 7. Hunt’s team of experts will also conduct complementary appraisals of sports memorabilia Nov. 7-9 during museum hours. Select items from the appraisal fair might also be consigned to the live auction.
The highlighted piece in the auction is Lou Gehrig’s 1938 New York Yankees home jersey attributed to that year’s World Series. The jersey was acquired after the 1938 season by a New Jersey man forming an amateur baseball team. In need of uniforms, he bought the entire stock of 1938 Yankees jerseys and kept the Gehrig jersey for repair patches. When the team went defunct a year later, the unaltered jersey was put in storage until its current sale by a family member.
According to David Hunt, president of Hunt Auctions, the jersey is the finest Gehrig shirt to be offered at a public auction on account of its well preserved original condition and direct provenance. It is expected to sell for between $250,000-$350,000.
Jerseys and bats used by other baseball legends will also be available, including a Pittsburgh Pirates home jersey worn by Honus Wagner in 1946. He was a hitting instructor at the time. With only two or three Wagner jerseys known, this example is estimated to sell for $50,000-$75,000.
Pirates fans willing to part with $15,000-$20,000, will also have the chance to bid on the bat Roberto Clemente used in the 1965 All-Star Game, and Philadelphia fans of an earlier era will appreciate a professional model hat worn by the Philadelphia Athletics’ ace pitcher, Lefty Grove, which is expected to sell for $20,000-$30,000.
Complementing the Grove hat is a set of six baseballs from the collection of Athletics pitching legend Chief Bender. The group includes a rare 1910 Philadelphia Athletics team-signed baseball ($10,00-$20,000), a Bender signed baseball attributed to Game 3 of the 1911 World Series ($7,500-$10,000) and the last out baseball from Game 4 of the 1913 World Series ($7,500.00-$10,000).
Hunt Auctions will be offering two other player collections, as well, including that of Hall of Fame manager Bill McKechnie and 1920s-30s center fielder Mule Haas.
The McKechnie Collection includes items from the teams McKechnie led to the National League and World Championship series (Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds), including his Cardinals home jersey circa 1928-29 ($15,000-$25,000), 1948 Cleveland Indians world championship ring ($7,500-$10,000) and a 1925 handwritten letter from Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss explaining his theory of “Harmony and Hustle” ($5,000-$7,500).
The Mule Haas group of 20-plus items features two American League team-signed baseballs from the 1933 and ’34 All-Star games and a baseball used and signed by the 1933 All-Star game umpires.
Today’s All-Star players will also be well represented. For the second year, Hunt Auctions will offer 65 autographed jerseys issued to players for the 2007 All-Star Game Workout Day and Home Run Derby. Although the jerseys were not worn, they are signed by the respective players, including Barry Bonds, Ryan Howard, Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez. Valued at $300-$1,000 each, the jerseys will benefit MLB’s Baseball Assistance Team charity.
Hillerich & Bradsby Co. will open its archives to offer several vintage photographs, such as a group of eight large-format mounted golf images from the 1930s ($300-$750 each) and a selection of baseball portraits and action shots of Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, the Waner brothers and others ($300-$1,000 each). H&B will also sell a handful of the baseball bat dies used to brand Louisville Slugger bats, and an 1898 letter from Wilbert Robinson, which is expected to bring $4,000-$6,000.
For those collectors interested in vintage baseball cards, Hunt Auctions is offering two early groups with unusual backs, including almost 30 1909-11 T-206 cards with Drum Cigarette advertising backs. One to watch for is a Red Portrait Ty Cobb. These extremely rare Drum backs are among the toughest of all T-206 types to collect, with the Cobb expected to bring $2,000-$4,000.
The sale will also include a set of 15 scarce 1910 E104-1 candy cards picturing members of the 1910 World Champion Philadelphia Athletics. The back of each card has a period stamping for a “Swift’s Variety Shop.”
Living Legend award
Running concurrently with Auction Week will be the presentation of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory’s Living Legend award to Ken Griffey Jr. Griffey, Jr. will be on hand at the museum Nov. 9 to accept the award at a private event to benefit the Greater Louisville Sports Commission (GLSC). A limited number of tickets are being sold through the GLSC office, which can be reached at (502) 587-7767.
The entire auction catalog and a full Auction Week schedule can be viewed online at www.huntauctions.com. Bids and catalog orders can be placed through the website or by calling (610) 524-0822.
Hunt Auctions is also currently accepting consignments for several future auctions, including its 2008 March Live Auction.