Ruth, ‘Big Train’ signed balls top Coach’s Corner’

A ball signed “George Herman Ruth” and a Walter Johnson single-signed ball top a list of items up for sale in the first of 13 Coach’s Corner Sports & Celebrity Auctions set for 2006. 

The auction week will run Jan. 2-6,  with online and fax bidding currently going on. In all, there will be more than 3,500 items up for grabs.

The lead item is a vintage Reach Official William Harridge AL ball that is signed on the sweet spot by Ruth, using his full name.

A vintage two-color-laced baseball signed by Walter Johnson is just off-white and comes sweet-spot-signed by the “Big Train.”

Also among the top-five items is a vintage baseball bat signed by eight Hall of Famers in black ink. Included are Cy Young, Ty Cobb, Ruth, Johnson, George Sisler, Larry Lajoie, Honus Wagner and Connie Mack. While the signatures have faded somewhat over the years, they can be easily read.

Other interesting and significant signed baseballs include a Ty Cobb Official AL Cronin ball, a sweet-spot-signed Wahoo Sam Crawford Spalding ball, a Harwood Little League ball signed by Mordecai Brown, a Rogers Hornsby red-laced ball, a Joe Tinker ball, a John J. McGraw red-and-blue laced Spalding ball, a Martin Dihigo side-panel-signed Spalding ball, an Eppa Rixey signed Little League ball, a Jesse Burkett signed vintage ball, two balls signed by Honus Wagner and a Hugh Duffy signed ball.

This auction features some other noteworthy Hall of Famer signed items such as a Ruth and Lou Gehrig autographed 1934 banquet program, a Ruth-signed 1939 first-day cover, a 1920s Lou Gehrig check cut signature, a Grover Cleveland Alexander signed Hall of Fame plaque postcard, a Mike “King” Kelly signed cut, a Mel Ott-Leo Durocher signed photo, a Mickey Mantle signed Mitchell & Ness 1951 replica jersey, a Mantle-signed and numbered lithograph (1,910 of 1,953) of his Topps card, a Roberto Clemente signed 22-by-28 Pirates 1970 giveaway poster, three signed Ted Williams Upper Deck 8-by-10 photos, a Mark McGwire signed bat, one dozen signed Joe DiMaggio Official AL baseballs and six single-signed Hall of Fame pitchers in one lot, including Steve Carlton, Rollie Fingers, Phil Neikro, Dennis Eckersley, Jim Bunning and Robin Roberts. 

Other key sports-related items include a Joe Louis and Jack Dempsey signed boxing glove, an Upper Deck certified 1988-89 Los Angeles Lakers team-signed ball and a Magic Johnson-Larry Bird signed ball.

Trading cards in the auction include a 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan rookie, 1971 Topps Terry Bradshaw rookie, a 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson rookie, a 2003 Topps Tribute Ruth-Gehrig game-used bat relic card, a 1952 Topps Andy Pafko No. 1, a 1968 Topps Mantle and a lot of 82 1960s and 1970s graded baseball superstar cards, including Mays, Mantle and Koufax.
From the world of history and politics comes a John F. Kennedy signed Official A.L. Joe Cronin baseball, an Orville Wright 17-by-22 custom display piece including signed Wright check and a Princes Diana/Prince Charles signed 8-by-10.

Entertainment-related auction items include a Marilyn Monroe signed 8-by-10, an Elvis Presley signed black-and-white, 8-by-10 photo, a Doors signed “Morrison Hotel” album, a Walt Disney signed 8-by-10, a piece of sheet music from “Snow White” signed by Disney, an Abbott and Costello signed 8-by-10 and a signed John Lennon hand-drawn self portrait.

The complete auction listings appear in a 19-page advertisement in this week’s issue of SCD. Bids will be accepted online at, by phone at 215-721-9162 or by mail prior to the auction date.

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