For the second month in a row, a baseball signed by martyred Civil Rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the top seller in the Coach’s Corner September auction. The ball, an Official American League Cronin model, went to a new owner for $8,190. A Rawlings baseball signed by Dr. King sold for $6,382 in the August auction.
The 3,914-lot September auction also featured solid prices for items related specifically to the New York Yankees, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, as well as other immortals from all walks of sports, entertainment and political life.
The Dr. King baseball was signed on a side panel in black ink with the date of Aug. 19, 1960, also written in his hand.
The second-highest selling item was a Tour of Japan treasure with virtually the entire team signing the Reach Official League baseball sold for $6,351 and includes Ruth on the sweet spot and all the other key players including super-spy Moe Berg.
A Louisville Slugger bat signed by Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris went for $4,783, while an Official National League Ball (Heydler) signed by Gehrig brought $4,305. A Gehrig-signed Louisville Slugger bat brought $3,990.
A Jimmie Foxx signed National League ball went for $3,938 – even though it also included the signatures of Walt Dropo and Gene Woodling on the side panels.
A unique item celebrating the Gehrig movie “Pride of the Yankees” was sold for $3,695. The item, a baseball signed for “Billings Ford,” includes the signatures of Eleanor (Mrs. Lou) Gehrig, Ruth, actor Gary Cooper and sportswriter Christy Walsh.
A Ruth 1933 Goudey card graded NM/MT 8 by Pro Grading sold for $3,221, followed by $2,548 for a Ruth-signed H&B Model 120 bat and $2,250 for a Ruth-signed Official AL ball. In between the last two items was $2,315 for a John F. Kennedy signed Official AL Cronin baseball.
The balance of the top-15 items included $2,205 paid for a signed Honus Wagner H&B bat, $2,042 for a Bucky Harris signed Official NL Feeney ball, $1,742 for a Mel Ott signed Official NL Heydler ball and $1,712 for a likely Cooperstown signed multi-signature baseball (36 signatures) including many contemporary Hall of Famers and star players.
– Ted Taylor