Lelands.com offers rare Honus Wagner ‘rookie,’ Orr

39884b.jpgFresh off its December auction where it sold the Bruce Smith Heisman Trophy, a 1921 Babe Ruth home run bat and a Pete Rose “corked” home run bat for more than $700,000, Lelands.com is at it again. Its Spring 2006 Auction is headlined by a one-of-a-kind Honus Wagner rookie card, four Bobby Orr game-worn jerseys, an autographed baseball from Josh Gibson, Jimmy Foxx’s MVP trophy and a basketball net from one of the most important college basketball games ever played.

The auction, closing on April 28, includes more than 1,000 items of sports and Americana. All bidding can be done at www.Lelands.com. Prices in parentheses indicate the reserve price.

The Honus Wagner “rookie” card is a circa 1897-99 Henry Reccius tobacco trade card that surfaced in the hobby barely more than eight years ago and is thought to be one of a kind. The card front touts the “Hans Wagner 10-Cent Cigar.”

The card ($25,000) predates the famous T206 Wagner by at least 10 years and was issued during Wagner’s very early playing days with the Louisville Colonels, featuring the earliest known photo of baseball’s first superstar. The card was discovered in 1998 when it was found in an old scrapbook of a deceased Louisville resident and has subsequently been graded PSA 1.

The 1932 Jimmie Foxx American League Most Valuable Player Award ($25,000) is one of only a handful of MVPs to be sold at auction and by far the oldest. The silver-plated award is 29 inches tall from its base to the apex of the silver baseball which rests on top of three crossed bats. It has remained in the consignor’s possession since Foxx’s untimely death in 1967.

From Negro leagues legend Josh Gibson comes a rare autographed baseball ($10,000) and 1950-51 Toleteros card ($2,500). “This is one of only three known baseballs to be sold at auction that bear an authentic signature of Gibson,” said Lelands.com founder Josh Evans. The 1945-46 Santuce Crabbers team-signed ball features a clear Gibson signature and a dozen other signatures on a Spalding Official National League (Ford Frick) ball, which also has the added wartime “U.S.” stamp. The ball also bears the Puerto Rican League official stamp “Liga Professional de Base Ball de Puerto Rico” on the sweet spot, with a “Fernando Zegri, Pres.” seal on the side panel.¬†

Lelands.com, which sold a 1950-51 Josh Gibson Toleteros SGC 88 for nearly $70,000 last year, this time offers a well-centered SGC 50 card. Evans said there are fewer than a dozen specimens known.

For Boston fans there’s a 1920s Boston Red Sox sweater ($2,500) manufactured by Wright-Ditson, which appears on an inside label, and Bobby Orr collectors will have four chances to own a rare game-worn jersey from the Boston Bruins Hall of Famer, each starting at $25,000. That remarkable lineup includes his 1967-68 home jersey, which Lelands.com officials described as the earliest Orr jersey known to exist in its original state from his second year in the NHL. He is wearing this exact jersey on the cover of the Dec. 11, 1967 issue of Sports Illustrated.

The other three game-worn jerseys are a 1969-70 NHL All-Star jersey, a 1972-73 Bruins road jersey and a 1975-76 Bruins home jersey.
 Lelands.com officials noted that the 1975-76 jersey, which comes with a photo of Orr wearing the jersey, might be the last one that he ever wore in the Boston Garden.

As noted in last week’s SCD (April 14), Lelands.com is offering the basketball net ($5,000) that was cut down following Texas Western University’s 72-65 victory over the University of Kentucky in the NCAA Championship game on March 19, 1966, at Cole Field House in Maryland.
The net, which is in pristine condition, has been in the possession of TWU guard Willie Worsley. Worsley also consigned the watch that he and every member of the team received after the game ($2,500). 

Other highlighted items include: a massive hockey puck collection from more than 70 years and a dozen different leagues ($10,000); single-signed balls from Cy Young ($5,000), Mel Ott ($5,000) and Herbert Hoover ($5,000); a Babe Ruth signed 16-by-20 photograph ($5,000); a 1961-62 Mickey Mantle game-used H&B bat ($5,000); 1944 Leo Durocher game-worn Brooklyn Dodgers satin jersey with pants ($5,000); Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King 1979 Ladies Doubles Wimbledon Trophy ($2,500); a rare Henry Aaron 1950s bat ($2,500) and two Aaron home run baseballs (Nos. 727 and 739); a Willie Mays home run ball (No. 624, $1000); an original boxing cartoon book created by Thomas Aloysius “Tad” Dorgan ($5,000); a complete set of game-used sticks from all 33 of the NHL’s 500-Goal Scorers ($5,000); and a 1968 Catfish Hunter game-worn jersey ($2,500).

For more information call (516) 409-9700 or go to www.lelands.com.

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