Near sets and signed material headline next Classi

47866a.jpgStriking signed baseballs from the likes of Ty Cobb and Willie Mays (shown, inset photo), several huge lots of vintage card sets and partial sets and a single lot of more than 250 signed balls headline the March 2 MastroNet Classic Collector Auction.

The auction, the company’s first of 2006, will exceed 1,500 lots of sports and Americana items, with all lots opening with $100 minimums. Bidding begins on Feb. 13.

The auction also features the sixth installment of the sale of material from the famed John Branca Collection of high-grade vintage cards, plus a wide range of game-worn jerseys, including one from White Sox Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk and another from last year’s World Series hero Paul Konkerko.
In addition to lots from the John Branca Collection, the card lineup features a host of coveted hobby rarities like the 1888 WG1 Base Ball Playing Cards John Clarkson in PSA 5, the highest grade accorded this card, a 1915 T214 Victory Tobacco George Stovall and the 1933 R399 George C. Miller “Ivy” Andrews, the key card in that popular, offbeat Depression-era offering.

There is also a 1953 Bowman Color Mickey Mantle in GAI 8, plus a 1933 Goudey Gehrig No. 37 in the same pristine grade. A 1933 Delong complete set is offered, along with a 1933 Goudey Canadian partial set and the two massive lots mentioned above: a 1947-55 Bowman Baseball run of sets or near sets and a similar configuration involving 1951-59 Topps Baseball (shown at right).

Some of the highlighted signed pieces include a personal check from Cobb, a signed 1933 Goudey Mel Ott (shown upper right), 1959 player contracts from Hall of Famers Henry Aaron and Eddie Mathews, a completely signed 1975 SSPC “Superstars” set, a 1983 All-Star Game First-Day Cover signed by Bart Giamatti and Pete Rose, a signed and game-worn Shaquille O’Neal Magic jersey and an “All America Team” signed photo with Red Grange, Bronko Nagurski, Sammy Baugh, Jay Berwanger, Mel Hein and Don Hutson.

As usual, the city of Chicago gets the full treatment from MastroNet, which is headquartered in the Windy City western suburb of Willowbrook, this time with a Michael Jordan signed Bulls home jersey, a Steve McMichael signed 1990 Bears game-worn jersey, a Bears vs. Redskins NFL Championship program from 1937, a rare grouping of the seldom-seen 1930-31 Blue Ribbon Malt premiums (shown lower left), a 1935 White Sox autographed ball with Hall of Famers Luke Appling, Jocko Conlan, Ted Lyons and Al Simmons, a Ken Hubbs game-used bat from 1962-63, game-worn jerseys from Matt Karchner (Turn Back the Clock, 1997), Tony LaRussa 1982-86 (batting practice), and a Nellie Fox “Foxy” stadium pin.

A sterling non-sport roster includes a Pope John Paul II signed photo. a 1966 Beatles “Yesterday and Today” Butcher Cover album variation, a 1960s-70s rock poster collection and presidential items from John Adams, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Teddy Roosevelt, plus a 1939 Emperor Hirohito signed letter of state.

To register for the Classic Collector auction or more more information, go to www.mastronet.com.

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