Heritage Sports Collectibles (HSC) officials recently announced that the company will offer an array of collectibles once owned by Hall of Famer Casey Stengel in its upcoming Oct. 29 Signature Auction.
“There is no question that this represents the most sizable and significant offering of Stengel memorabilia to ever reach the auction block,” noted Chris Ivy, director of HSC. “And with the vast assortment of unique pieces, there will surely be something for every collecting taste, particularly those interested in New York City baseball.”
The collection was willed to the woman who tended to Stengel’s personal affairs in the final years of his life, a lady to whom Stengel jokingly referred to as his “foreign secretary.” The only man to wear the uniform of all four New York City major league teams, Stengel managed to save noteworthy artifacts from the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, New York Yankees and New York Mets, with personal and professional mementoes spanning a full six decades.
Noteworthy in the collection are such pieces as a seldom-seen oversized poster advertising the newsreel of the 1913 World Series, a long, handwritten letter of praise from fellow baseball legend Ty Cobb, various uniform pieces from Stengel’s years managing the Yankees and Mets, dozens of team-signed baseballs, personal correspondence, hundreds of personal and Wire photos, awards and other presentation pieces, and material relating to Stengel’s Hall-of-Fame induction.
Though an unhappy day for Stengel and the rest of Yankees nation, Casey did hang onto his handwritten and signed lineup card for Game Seven of the 1960 World Series. This is one of several Stengel lineup cards in the auction.
“Probably the most unique piece,” said Ivy, “is Stengel’s game-worn home uniform pants from the 1962 Mets, the inaugural season for the team. Casey’s caretaker told us that she personally delivered the matching jersey to the funeral home where Stengel lay in state, and that the jersey was buried with him. A Yankees jersey was buried with him as well, and we have the matching pants for that, too.”
Heritage will also offer an assortment of pieces from one of the nation’s finest early 20th-century Philadelphia Athletics collections in the same auction.
“This is a grouping that is certain to impress even the most jaded collector,” said Ivy. “Some of the pieces have never been seen before in the hobby, and most are so rare that years can pass between sightings.”
Ivy points to Frank “Home Run” Baker’s marriage license, dating from 1909, as an example of the rarities contained within the collection. “This incredibly personal piece is all the more noteworthy to baseball historians as it was the death of Baker’s wife that caused him to sit out the 1920 season in despair and allow Babe Ruth to take an even larger share of the New York Yankees spotlight in his first season in New York.”
Also exceptionally rare and important to Athletics collectors is a high-grade example of a 1910 World Series program issued in Chicago. Only a handful of these programs are known, and Heritage officials said this offering represents the finest of that population.
There is also an official American League (Ban Johnson) baseball clubbed for a home run by Baker in 1914.
Also up for bidding will be an oversized cabinet card featuring the exact image used for Eddie Plank’s M-116 Sporting Life card, the only known example of this remarkable piece in the hobby. Ivy said the piece is believed to derive from the estate of a prominent Philadelphia Athletics player.
The collection also features a pair of beautiful panoramic photographs picturing both the 1914 Boston Red Sox and the greatest assortment of early 20th-century baseball talent, including Ty Cobb, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Rube Waddell, Eddie Plank and more, coming together for the famed benefit game to raise money for Addie Joss’ widow on July 24, 1911.
HSC specializes in rare and collectible sports cards, as well as uniforms, equipment, and related vintage sports memorabilia. Consignments for future Signature Sports Auction are currently being accepted.
Prospective consigners or sellers can call (800) 872-6467, or go to the Web site at heritagesportscollectibles.com.