Negro Leagues Autographs and Memorabilia
Lot 99. Rare Autograph of HoFer Hilton Smith on a KC Monarchs Panoramic Photo. Large, bold signature on a 1946 Kansas City Monarchs 7” x 17” team photo printed on thin paper stock. Lefty Bryant also signed the photo. Less flamboyant than Kansas City Monarchs teammate Satchel Paige, Smith may have been the Negro Leagues best pitcher, certainly during the 1930s and early 1940s. Bob Feller thought he was better than Paige. In his first 12 seasons, he won at least 20 games. A strong hitter and excellent fielder, he also played the outfield and first base. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001, almost two decades after his death in 1983. Bryant also pitched for the Monarchs, as well as a variety of other teams. He passed away in 1992. Authenticated by Kevin Keating, author of The Negro Leagues Autograph Guide. Two guides list a Smith signed index card at $500. This item is much better because Smith’s autograph on any photo is extremely rare.
Winning Bid $357.
Lot 100. Walter Buck Leonard Pre-Stroke Autograph. Playing for the Homestead Grays in the 1930s and early 1940s, Leonard and Josh Gibson were the Negro Leagues’ equivalent of Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. A lifetime .328 hitter, Leonard averaged 34 home runs per year in an eight-season period. He was enshrined at Cooperstown in 1972. In 1986, Leonard suffered a stroke that partially paralyzed his right side. After that, he wrote with his left hand. Pre-stroke autographs such as this one command a premium. The signature is large, bold nm-m 8 beauty, filling a 1 ½” x 4 ¾” section of unlined paper that is matted and framed to about 10 ½” x 13 ½” with a Perez-Steel postcard of Leonard. Kevin Keating, author of The Negro Leagues Autograph Guide, authenticated this signature.
Winning Bid $92.
Lot 101. Negro League Legends Bat Signed by Dandridge, Day, Irvin, Leonard and Others. Including the four Hall of Fame members, the complete star-studded lineup that adorns this 34” Louisville Slugger consists of Ray Dandridge, Leon Day, Monte Irving, Buck Leonard, Gene Benson, Bill (Ready) Cash, Jim Cohen, Mahlon Duckett, Wilmer Fields, Stanley Glenn, Bob Harvey, Ted Radcliff, William Bobby Robinson, Edsall Walker and Al Wilmore. The autographs are bold, almost all 9s or 10s including Dandridge, Irvin and Leonard. The Day autograph is equally strong, with the “ay” somewhat compressed as he signed close to the end of the bat. There is some smudging on the Duckett and Radcliff autographs. The bat can be displayed so that the Leonard, Fields, Dandridge, Irvin and Day signatures are seen together with the “Negro League Legends” label. From the Wilmer Fields autograph collection. Authenticated by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $218.
Lot 102. 45+ Negro Leagues Autographs – Day, Dandridge, Radcliff, Others on Baseballs. The signatures are on a mix of single and multi-signed balls that average nm-m. With one exception, the players signed OAL Budig or ONL White or Coleman balls. The exception is a ball from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which has 15 signatures, nm-m 8 or better unless otherwise noted. The east and west panels are occupied by Buck Leonard (ex-m 6), Jim Cohen (ex 5), Mel Duncan, Wilmer Fields, Frazier Robinson and Buster Haywood. Leon Day and Ray Dandridge (ex-m 6 to nm 7) are on the west panel with Josh Johnson and Sherwood Brewer, and Double Duty Radcliff, Lester Lockett and Russell Awkard are on the east. Buck O’Neil signed next to his printed name, which identifies him as honorary chairman of the Museum. The ball displays very nicely. The signatures on the other baseballs are almost all mint 9s or gem mint 10s. Nine balls are single-signed on the sweet spot: Buck O’Neil (3), Lyman Bostock Sr., Max Manning, Buck Leonard, Wm Bobby Robinson, Wilmer Fields and A Vazquez. The two other group-signed balls contain the signatures of: 1. Wilmer Fields, Jim Zapp, Bill Powell, Cecil Kaiser, Red Moore, Art Pennington, A Vasquez, Ernest Burke, Bill (Ready) Cash, Lyman Bostock Sr., Stanley Glenn, Mrs. Leon Day and Double Duty Radcliff (trace-over on “R”). And 2. Max Manning on the sweet spot; Lyman Bostock Sr., R. Vargas, Josh Gibson Jr., Art “Superman” Pennington, Bobby Robinson, Vincent Lee, James Pee Wee Jenkins and Wilmer Fields. Authenticated by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $148.
Lot 103. Collection of 137 Photos Signed by Buck Leonard (HoF), Other Negro Leagues Stars. The autographs are overwhelmingly mint 9s or gem mint 10s on 8” x 10” or 8 ½” x 11” sepia or black & white photos. The signers are Russell Awkard (2 photos), Gene Benson (10, 2 different poses), Sherwood Brewer (2), Bill (Ready) Cash (2), Mahlon Duckett (7, 2 different), Rodolfo Rudy Fernandez (6), Jose Figueroa (2), Wilmer Fields (6), Stanley Glenn (7), Bill Greason (7), Wilmer Harris (4), Gordon “Hoppy” Hopkins (4), Cowan “Bubba” Hyde (2), Buck Leonard (29, 2 different), Verdell Lefty Mathis (4), Red Moore (6), Andy Porter (13), Frazier Robinson (10), Armando Vazquez (11, 2 different) and Al “Apples” Wilmore (3). Enshrined at Cooperstown in 1972, Leonard was the best first baseman in the Negro Leagues from the mid-1930s through much of the 1940s. He batted .328 lifetime and, in the prime of his career, averaged 34 homeruns per season. With signed photos of Leonard listing for as much as $50 each, this collection, with 29 signed Leonard photos, has significant break-up potential! From the Wilmer Fields autograph collection. Authenticated by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $436.
Lot 104. Outstanding Collection of Baseballs Multi-Signed by Negro Leagues Players. The leadoff ball in this collection is a beauty, a mint OAL Budig ball that holds the mint 9 and gem mint 10 signatures of 20 players, including Buck Leonard. Stanley Glenn, Larry Kimbrough and Wilmer Harris share the sweet spot. Leonard is on the east panel with Cowan Hyde, Bill (Ready) Cash, Leroy Ferrell and Jim Cohen. Other signatures are by Max Manning, Elbert Isreal, Sherwood Brewer, Joe Black, Rudy Fernandez, Jose A Figueroa, Al Wilmore, Josh Gibson Jr., Armando Vazquez, Gene Benson, Mahlon Duckett and Gordon “Hoppy” Hopkins. The signed baseballs in this group were carefully selected from a larger collection. The other signatures are predominantly 9s and 10s on ONL or OAL baseballs that are nm-m or better. 2. Leonard on the sweet spot (SS) with Peace; Glenn, Wilmer Fields, Fernandez, Joe B. Scott (OAL Brown, ex to ex-m ball). 3. Leon Day and Isreal (SS), Jim Cohen, Russell Awkard (Official American Legion ball). 4. Double Duty Radcliff and Ernest Burke (SS), Glenn, Cecil Kaiser, Jim Zapp, Peace (Coleman). 5. Glenn (SS), Lester Lockett, R Vargas, “Butch” McCord, Gibson, Jr., Andy Porter, Duckett, Jose Pereira, Scott, Harold Gould (Coleman). 6. Glenn (SS), Scott, Porter, Gibson Jr., Gould and Lockett (Coleman). 7. Mrs. Leon Day and A Vazquez (SS), Glenn, Zapp, McCord, Ferrell, Burke, Peace and Duckett (Coleman). 8. Bert Simmons and Gene Smith (SS), Curly Williams, Fields and Glenn (Budig). 9. Fields, Glenn and Pee Wee Jenkins on the west panel, Manning, Jim Wilkes and Duckett on the east, Willie Pope, Harris, Benson, Double Duty, Cash and Burke (Budig). 10. Monte Irvin and Garnett E. Blair (SS), Lonnie Blair, Fields, Bob Thurman, Leonard, Pope, Gibson Jr., Clarence Bruce and a clubhouse signature of Cool Papa Bell. 11-12. Glenn (SS), Gould, Manning, Fields, Duckett, Cash, Harris, Irvin (NLBPA ball). This collection contains more than 100 autographs of more than 40 different players on 12 baseballs! From the Wilmer Fields autograph collection. Authenticated by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $301.
Lot 105. Collection of 5 Bats with 55+ Autographs of Negro Leagues Players. These bats are signed by such stars as Buck Leonard, Same Jethroe and Wilmer Fields. The autographs are predominantly 9s and 10 with some nm-m 8s and a few grading lower. The bats are nm-m or better. A 34” Adirondack 302 bat engraved with “Negro Leagues Baseball Players Assoc. 1920-1950” has 27 autographs: Russell Awkard, Gene Benson, Sherwood Brewer, Bill (Ready) Cash, Jim Cohen, Jimmy Dean, Mahlon Duckett, Rudy Fernandez, Leroy Ferrell, Wilmer Fields, Jose Figueroa, Josh Gibson Jr., Stanley Glenn, Sammie Harris, Wilmer Harris, Gordon “Hoppy” Hopkins, Cowan “Bubba” Hyde, Elbert Isreal, Larry Kimbrough, Buck Leonard, Max Manning, Emillito Navarro, Bert Simmons, Gene Smith, Armando Vazquez, Al Wilmore and Curly Williams. The four other bats are from the Young Bat Co. or C. T. Young. A 34” “Negro League Legends” limited edition bat, #7 of 12, has autographs of Ernest Burke, Stanley Glenn, Art “Superman” Pennington, Leroy Toots Ferrell, Wilmer Fields, Double Duty Radcliff, Armando Vazquez, Jim Zapp and Carlos Santiago. A 33” “Negro League Legends” bat is signed by Bernard Fernandez, Stanley Glenn, Walty Williams and Jim Zapp. The fourth bat, a 34” model, has the Negro League Baseball Players Association logo and the autographs of Mahlon Duckett, Stanley Glenn, Bill (Ready) Cash, Max Manning, Wilmer Harris, Harold Gould, Monte Irvin and Wilmer Fields. A 34” Wilmer Fields Autograph Model is signed by Jim Zapp, Cecil Kaiser, Leroy Toots Ferrell (smudged), Art “Superman” Pennington, Emilio “Millito” Navarro, Curly Williams, Sam Jethroe, Gene Smith, Stanley Glenn and Bert Simmons. These bats will make a significant contribution to an outstanding Negro Leagues display, and they have significant break-up value as well. From the Wilmer Fields autograph collection. Authenticated by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $218.
Lot 106. Wilmer Fields Autograph Collection Including a Signed Ron Lewis Print. Fields was the ace of the Homestead Grays’ pitching staff in the 1940s. He passed away in 2004. These signed items are from his personal collection. The most dramatic is an autographed 11” x 17 limited edition print (#19 of 500) of the artwork Ron Lewis produced for his popular 1991 Negro Leagues postcard set. Fields signature is a large, bold 10. The print is framed to 12” x 18”. Accompanying the print are: Five signed copies his autobiography, My Life in the Negro Leagues, mint first edition 1992 hardback signed on the flyleaf. All five autographs are 10s. Four autographed 8” x 10” photos, all 10s. Three signed 2001 Fleer “Greats of the Game” cards #131 with autographs ranging from nm 7 to mint 9. Two signed 11” x 17” photos, both with gem mint signatures. And two single-signed baseballs. His signature is a 7-8 on a Negro League Baseball Players Association baseball; Fields served as president of the organization. His signature is bold with a slight trace-over of the “s” on a mint Rawlings Official League ball. Fields was good enough to play in the major leagues, but, after the Homestead Grays folded, he concluded that he could better support his family by playing in Canada and in the winter leagues. He not only pitched there, but played the infield as well. From 1950-58, he won eight MVP awards as a winning pitcher and infielder who typically batted well above .300. Kevin Keating authenticated the autographs.
Winning Bid $121.
Lot 107. Ron Lewis “Tribute to Leon Day” Stunning Print Signed by 20 Negro Leagues Stars! Hall of Fame members Buck Leonard and Monte Irvin, along with Buck O’Neil, Joe Black and Sam Jethroe, are among the signers of this magnificent limited edition print signed by the artist. Lewis produced the artwork to honor Day, who died in 1995 a short time after he was notified that he had been elected to the Hall of Fame. The print shows Day and Satchel Paige set against clouds and a rainbow in the sky with their fellow Negro League players seated in a ballpark below. Each of the 20 seated player has signed on his image: Stanley Glenn, Gene Benson, Mahlon Duckett, Al Wilmore, Nap Gulley, Buck O’Neil, Edsall Walker, Wilmer Harris, Warren Peace, Russell Awkard, Sam Jethroe, Verdell Mathis, Max Manning, Wilmer Fields, Buck Leonard, Bill (Ready) Cash, Armando Vazquez, Josh Johnson and Joe Black. The autographs are bold 10s, and the rolled 24” x 30” print is nm. From the Wilmer Fields autograph collection. Authenticated by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $180.
Lot 108. Baseballs with 80+ Negro Leaguers’ Autographs – Day, Leonard, Irvin, Fields, Etc. The autographs are predominantly mint 9s and gem mint 10s with some nm-m 8s and a few less on baseballs that generally are nm-m or better. Most are on ONL Coleman or OAL Budig baseballs: 1. Leon Day on the sweets spot (SS), Jim Cohen, (Elbert) Isreal and Russell Awkard (Official American Legion ball). The Day autograph can be displayed as single-signed. 2. Stanley Glenn (SS), Lester Lockett, R Vargas, “Butch” McCord, Josh Gibson, Jr., Andy Porter, Mahlon Duckett, Jose Pereira, Joe B. Scott, Harold Gould (Coleman ball). 3. Double Duty Radcliff and Wilmer Fields on the west and east panels, respectively, Max Manning on the north, Monte Irvin and Day on the south. The panel with Day and Irvin displays especially well (Brown). 4. Willie Pope, Fields, Glenn and Pee Wee Jenkins on the west panel, Double Duty (Radcliff) and Duckett on the east, and Manning, Jim Wilkes, Bill (Ready) Cash, Wilmer Harris, Gene Benson and Ernest Burke. (Budig.) Extremely nice ball and autographs. 5. Mrs. Leon Day and A Vazquez (SS), Glenn, Zapp, McCord, Leroy Toots Ferrell, Burke, Peace and Duckett (Coleman). Signatures range from ex 5 to gem mint 10. The Burke, Duckett and McCord autographs are light. 6. Glenn (SS), Gould, Porter, Scott, Gibson Jr. (Coleman). 7. Slick Surratt and Connie Johnson on the west, Don Johnson and Fields on the east, Glenn and Duckett (Budig). Only example of the Surratt and Johnson autographs in the collection. Johnson pitched for the White Sox or Orioles 1953-58. 8. Leonard (SS), Peace, Fields, Scott and light signatures of Fernandez and Glenn (Brown). The Leonard autograph is nm 7 with what appears to be a slight trace-over on “c.” 9. Bert Simmons and Gene Smith (SS), Curly Williams, Fields and Glenn. 10. Cash and Glenn (SS), Brewer, Benson, Josh Johnson, Bill Beverly, Manning and Duckett, ex-m 6 and nm 7 signatures. (1995 All-Star Game commemorative from Fotoball). 11. Glenn (SS), Gould, Manning, Fields, Duckett, Cash, Harris, Monte Irvin (NLBPA ball). 12. Manning (SS), Cohen, Leon Day, Fields, Garnett E. Blair, Benson, Duckett, Cash, nm signatures. (Wilson Official League ball). From the Wilmer Fields autograph collection. Authenticated by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $125.