Collectible Classics’ December auction, which contained 619 lots, proved to be popular with collectors. John Burk of Collectible Classics described the auction as “a true auction of affordable lots for collectors.” The average lot sold for just under $100.
Two lots receiving plenty of interest were 19th-century photos. The first was an 1891 photo of New York Giants catcher “Buster” Burrell in uniform. Burrell played only 15 games with the Giants, making a photo of him in a Giants uniform extremely rare. It sold for $796, including the 15 percent buyer’s premium. The other 19th-century photo was a cabinet photo of Arlie Pond, a pitcher for Baltimore, which sold for $602.
As well as those two photos sold, it was a 1960 dinner program signed by Roberto Clemente and 27 other Pirates that took home the highest selling price, with a final price of $1,319. The program was for the “Fourth Annual Welcome Home Pirates Dinner” on April 16, 1960. All the signatures were signed in ballpoint pen. Other players that signed the program included: Gene Baker, Joe Brown (Pirates general manager), Smoky Burgess, Joe Christopher, Gino Cimoli, Ben Daniels, Elroy Face, Bob Friend, Joe Gibbon, Dick Groat, Don Gross, Harvey Haddix, Don Hoak, Danny Kravitz, Vernon Law, Bill Mazeroski, Roman Mejias, Danny Murtaugh, Rocky Nelson, Bob Oldis, Dick Schofield, Bob Skinner, Hal Smith, Dick Stuart, Jim Umbricht, Bill Virdon and George Witt.
Another Pirates item that sold well was a 1913 Pirates spring training team photo. The photo included Honus Wagner, his brother “Butts,” Fred Clarke, Max Carey and 36 other members of Pittsburgh’s organization. The photo sold for $763.
No auction is complete without some New York Yankees lots. Not surprisingly, a Mickey Mantle lot proved to be extremely popular. The lot included a Mantle autograph on a 1970s Hillerich and Bradsby store-model bat. The bat sold for $655.
The second most popular Yankees lot included a sports page reporting Lou Gehrig’s death, in addition to ticket stubs from his memorial service. The lot sold for $408.
Other items that sold well included: an unopened box of 1965 Philadelphia Gum “War Bulletin” cards ($793); 462 Football HOF autographs on Football Immortals, Swell Cards ($833); a 1948 Cleveland Indians team-issued picture pack near set of 30 out of 31 ($327); an 1891 cabinet photo of George Haddock ($339); a near-mint plus 1951-52 W576 Callahan Hall of Fame set of 62 in the original box ($336); 20,000-plus trading
cards, including 2,000-plus Hall of Fame players ($362); a Police Gazette Supplement of the 1905 Pittsburgh Pirates ($330); original 1958-62 Babe Ruth, Roger Maris Hartland Statues ($372); a 1944 All-Star Game Program at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field ($401); 24 World Series Wire photos from 1936-78 ($371); and a baseball glove game-used by Dan Bankheard,
the first black pitcher in the major leagues ($407).