A souvenir baseball sold at Yankee Stadium with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig’s signatures, a Christy Mathewson signed Spalding ball, a signed Beatles “Abbey Road” album, a 1962 Topps Mickey Mantle card in Gem Mint 10 and a document signed by General George A. Custer are among the eclectic mix of fascinating items up for sale in the 10th of 13 Coach’s Corner Sports & Celebrity Auctions set for 2005. The auction “week” will run from Sept. 12-16, with online and fax bidding already under way at the Web site. In all, there will be more than 3,000 items up for grabs.
The lead item is the Ruth-Gehrig ball and it is a red-laced souvenir ball with “1927 Yankees” stamped on the reverse sweet spot and the Babe’s autograph on the sweet spot. Gehrig signed a side panel. Coach’s Corner officials estimated the value of this ball at $10,000. Also in the auction is a Ruth-Gehrig cut signature from the 1920s and a Ruth-signed three-finger glove.
Coach’s Corner President Scott Malack said that perhaps the most valuable item in this auction is a great-looking, non-official Spalding ball that has red-and-green laces and was signed by Christy Mathewson in bold, black ink. Malack said the value could be as high as $20,000.
Coach’s Corner is offering a vintage “Abbey Road” LP cover signed by John, Paul, George and Ringo (estimate: $3,500). Two other Beatles items also appear in the auction: a “Something New” signed album and a 1960s back-signed postcard.
The 1962 Topps Mickey Mantle comes slabbed and graded by Pro Grading at Gem Mint 10. According to GM Lee Trythall the card could be worth as much as $25,000.
Two blondes command prominent positions in this auction. The Marilyn Monroe item is a black-and-white, 8-by-10 photo signed in bold, blue pen. General Custer, who had movie-star charisma before anyone ever thought of movies, signed a U. S. patent paper on a new field cultivator. Custer historian Ray Allen consigned this item that Coach’s Corner officials said was valued at several thousand dollars.
Other interesting and important signed baseballs include a Robert Clemente signature on a Chub Feeney official NL ball, a second Clemente signature on a Rawlings “Official League” ball, an Eddie Plank signed red-laced “All Purpose Practice Ball,” a Grover Cleveland Alexander signed and game-used red-laced ball, a Honus Wagner signed “Energized League Ball,” a Larry Lajoie signed “NBC” red-laced ball and a Mel Ott signed MacGregor non-official ball.
Also: team-signed balls from the 1951 and 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers, a 1955 Dodgers team ball that includes the rare Frank Kelleher signature, and a Yankees “Legends” signed ball with 11 former Yankees, including Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Billy Martin and Whitey Ford.
This auction features some other really noteworthy Hall of Fame signed items. For example, there is a handwritten and signed letter from Ty Cobb in his notorious green ink, as well as a Cobb-signed Terry Moore Model Ken-Wei glove and a Cooperstown 1939 cachet. There are also three Mickey Mantle items: a signed Mitchell & Ness jersey, a signed Yankees cap and a signed full-sized Pro Model Rawlings bat.
In addition, there is a Mantle-Maris signed 1961 photo and a Thurman Munson Yankees photo, a 1960s Baseball Hall of Fame ball with 28 signatures on it, a Cap Anson signed 1906 official document (from his city clerk days in Chicago), a full Connie Mack stadium seat, a signed Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter jersey, a 2004 Red Sox signed bat and an Ed Delahanty cut.
Also: a signed Jimmie Foxx and Ty Cobb JC Higgins button black glove, a Joe DiMaggio signed Louisville Slugger C244 Pro Stock bat, a NASCAR Legends signed official racing helmet (both Earnhardts, Petty, Wallace, Foyt and many more).
Also on the block is a multi-signature 1961 Yankees photo with Mantle, Maris, Bobby Richardson and Tony Kubek, etc., a Mark McGwire signed Olympic baseball, a 500 Home Run Club signed ball, including Eddie Murray, a 16-by-20 “Dream Team” picture signed by Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. In the mix, too, is an MVP.com signed photo of the principals of that short-lived enterprise: John Elway, Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan, and a Jordan-signed Bulls jersey.
Other key sports-related items include a Walter Payton signed Bears lithograph, a Tiger Woods signed golf ball and a Muhammad Ali “Butterfly Stats” glove.
In addition to the Mantle card mentioned earlier, the card lineup will feature a 1981 Topps Joe Montana graded Gem Mint 10, a Topps Rickey Henderson rookie graded Gem Mint 10 and a 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie graded Pristine 10.
Historical items include a Neil Armstrong signed NASA photo, a cut signature of President Andrew Johnson, a photo bearing the signatures of five U.S. Presidents: Bush Sr., Carter, Ford, Reagan and Nixon, two original “Titanic Sinks” newspapers, and a Geronimo custom wall-hanging, including strands of his hair.
From the entertainment world comes a signed Doors “Waiting for the Sun” LP, a Walt Disney signed Jack Dempsey’s Restaurant menu, a Judy Garland signed 8-by-10 photo, a “Wizard of Oz” signed cast photo, an Elvis Presley signed 8-x-10 and a signed “Elvis” album, a signed Mel Blanc sketch of Daffy Duck, a James Dean signed magazine page, a Bob Marley signed record jacket, a Greta Garbo signed book picture, a Grateful Dead signed album, a Picasso signed litho and a Three Stooges signed movie photo.
Bids will be accepted online at www.myccsa.com, by phone at (215) 721-9162, or by mail prior to the auction date. The complete auction listings are featured on pages 24-41 in this issue of Sports Collectors Digest.