New York Yankees - Munson, Mantle, Ruth, Gehrig, Etc.
Lot 2. CORRECTED DESCRIPTION: Thurman Munson’s Catcher’s Mask and BATTING Helmet from His Final Season. PLEASE NOTE: This is a corrected description. In the original, we described the helmet as one that Munson wore for catching. That description was incorrect. Munson wore this helmet while batting. IT IS HIS BATTING HELMET FROM HIS FINAL MAJOR LEAGUE SEASON. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE ERROR. As described below, Yankees' equipment manager Pete Sheehy gave the helmet to Tommy John the following season. -- As battery mates in 1979, Munson, the Yankee veteran, and Tommy John, the veteran newcomer to the team’s pitching rotation, developed profound respect for each other’s capabilities. They also became friends. After one mid-summer game, Munson offered his mask to his friend. John accepted it with appreciation. Only weeks later, Munson’s life ended when his twin-engine Cessna crashed short of the runway at Akron-Canton Airport. Munson had obtained his pilot’s license and purchased the plane so that he could get home to his family more frequently. Early in the next season, the Yankees’ equipment manager, Pete Sheehy, gave the final BATTING helmet Munson wore to the catcher’s friend. The mask by Rawlings shows good use. The helmet, which has Munson’s No. 15 on the back, SHOWS EXTENSIVE USE. The helmet and mask come with a letter of provenance signed by John.
Winning Bid $28,851.
Lot 3. Thurman Munson Signed Game Baseball Given Personally to Tommy John in 1979. Sitting in the Yankees’ dugout in July 1979, John asked the team’s catcher and captain to sign a ball for him. Munson complied. His signature is nm-m 8 on the sweet spot of an OAL MacPhail baseball. Generally, the ball is evenly toned to a dark-cream color, and the pre-printed areas are relatively strong. Ex-m. The ball was taken from the game bag. Whether it was used in a game is uncertain. Excellent defensively and aided by an exceptionally quick release, Munson was the 1970 A.L. Rookie of the Year, the 1976 MVP, a seven-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner. In 11 seasons, he batted .288. Less than a month after signing the baseball for John, he died when his twin-engine Cessna crashed 1,000 feet short of the runway at Akron-Canton Airport. He was only 32. Kevin Keating authenticated the autograph. John has provided a letter of provenance.
Winning Bid $5,453.
Lot 20. Mickey Mantle Signed Mitchell & Ness Cooperstown Collection 1951 Yankees Jersey. Large, bold and beautiful gem mint 10 autograph on a mint jersey that has the Mitchell & Ness and Cooperstown Collection Authentic tags. Kevin Keating authenticated the autograph. Like the real 1951 jerseys, this example has the American League Golden Anniversary (1901-51) patch on the left sleeve. This jersey could serve as a stunning centerpiece for a Mantle or Yankees display!
Winning Bid $1,183.
Lot 21. Rare 1929 New York Yankees Team Baseball Autographed by 26. The signatures are on an ex-m to nm Official American League E. S. Barnard baseball that is off-white with strong pre-printed areas. The Babe Ruth autograph on the sweet spot is a clubhouse example. Kevin Keating has authenticated the other signatures. They include Lou Gehrig, Bill Dickey, Floyd Van Pelt, (Gordon) Dusty Rhodes, George Pipgras and Fred Heimach on the south panel, Bob Meusel, Lyn Lary, Tony Lazzeri, Tom Zachary, Johnny Grabowski, Charley O’Leary and Benny Bengough on the north, Bob Shawkey, Sammy Byrd, Gene Robertson and Earle Combs on the east, and Ben Paschal, Herb Pennock, Waite Hoyt, Cedric Durst, Julian Wera and Roy Sherid on the west. The autographs generally are light, ranging from poor-fair 1 to ex 5. For approximately one-half of the signatures, all letters can be deciphered with the naked eye (ex). The Gehrig signature rates very good 3; while light, half of the letters can readily be deciphered. The ball is dated 9-19-29. Examples from this year seldom turn up. The 1929 team was among the first to wear uniform numbers. One of the oddities is the presence of Van Pelt on the ball. Records show that he was assigned uniform No. 35, although he never got into a Yankees game. Here is a rare opportunity to own a rare memento from the 29th season of baseball’s most storied franchises. Authenticated by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $1,129.
Lot 24. Roger Maris 61st Home Run “Story Ball” Done Entirely in the Hand of Tracy Stallard! Magnificent mint OAL Budig baseball signed on the sweet spot “Tracy Stallard #61 to Roger Maris 10/1/61.” On the four other panels, he tells the story of delivering the pitch for this record-setting home run: “-1- Last game of 1961 season. I arrived Yankee Stadium one hour before game time, with no clue who was going pitch when Sal Maglie handed me the ball. I warmed up for 15 minutes. 1st inning Maris popped out. -2- He hit it high & hard in the right field seats for his 61st home run. -3- The hit broke Babe Ruth’s single season record set in 1927. I pitched to Roger in the 7th and struck him out. (-4-) When I later talked to Roger he thanked me for having the nerve to pitch to him. (We) lost (the) game 1-0.” Stallard pitched for the Red Sox. His autograph and inscription are bold, mint 9 to gem mint 10. An incredible, unique, “must-have” for all serious collectors, especially Maris and Yankees collectors! Authenticated by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $360.
Lot 39. George Steinbrenner Signed Letter Praising Tommy John. In a typed Sept. 12, 1984 letter on his New York Yankees’ letterhead, Steinbrenner recommend John for an award from the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. In part, he writes, “I think Tommy John, not only as a competitor on the ball field, but as a person and a citizen, exemplifies the highest level of citizenship, conduct and religious belief of perhaps any athlete I have known.” He asserts that he is well qualified to judge whether John deserves such an award because “at times Tommy and I have been in somewhat adversarial positions with each other. But when I put petty things aside, and stop to consider the values, beliefs and actions of the man, he is an exceptional young man.” He also says that since elbow surgery, John “has probably been one of the 10 most-effective pitchers in the American League.” Steinbrenner’s signature at the close of this uncommon letter of praise is a 10. Authentication by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $390.
Lot 61. Billy Martin and Dave Winfield Autographed Hardback Books and a Pennant. Martin signed his biography by Gene Schoor, Billy Martin: The story of baseball’s unpredictable genius. His signature and inscription, personalized to “Tom and Sally,” is on the flyleaf of the 1980 stated first edition. Gem mint 10 autograph, nm book with one bumped corner and an ex-m dust jacket. Winfield’s autograph also is a 10, on the flyleaf of Winfield: A Player’s Life, which he wrote with Tom Parker. In has inscription, he calls Tommy “a Great Competitor.” Dated 1985, the signature is a 10. The book is ex-m, and the dust jacket, ex with light water stains visible on the inside. Both Martin and Winfield signed a Yankees full-sized pennant. Martin’s signature is mint 9, and Winfield’s, nm 7. The pennant is vg-ex. Martin died on Christmas day 1989 when his truck, driven by a friend, crashed. Cardinal John O’Connor eulogized him in a mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Dec. 29. A program from the mass is included. These collectibles come with a “From the Desk of Tommy John” letter stating they are from his collection.
Winning Bid $150.
Lot 63. John’s Surprise Party Jacket from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant, 3 Signed Baseballs. These items represent two birthday parties for the Yankees’ hurler. A size large unsigned jacket from “Mickey Mantle’s” (Restaurant) is embroidered on the front with “Surprise!!! 46th Birthday Party for Tommy John, May 22, 1989.” Mantle’s logo is on the front and back. The three baseballs, from a 1988 birthday party, are autographed to “Tommy” by Jack Clark, Rick Rhoden and Dave Righetti. The signatures, mint 9 to gem mint 10 authenticated by Kevin Keating, are on the side panels of nm OAL Bobby Brown baseballs. The Righetti-signed ball shows light discoloration. Clark wrote, “From ‘1’ great to another, Happy Birthday.” The ball is dated 1988. Also included is a Yankees cap signed on the underside of the bill by John. His signature displays as nm 7 to nm-m 8 against the dark background.
Winning Bid $168.
Lot 79. 4 Signed New York Yankees 8” x 10” Color Photos – Mattingly, Giambi and Gooden. The autographs are mint 9 or gem mint 10 and have been authenticated by Kevin Keating. The photo autographed by Don Mattingly is mounted on a 10.5” x 13” plaque with a bronze plate identifying him as “The Hit Man 1985 American League M.V.P.” Jason Giambi signed two different photos that are framed. Gooden’s signature is on a photo that shows him and his teammates celebrating after a victory. They come with a signed letter “From the Desk of Tommy John.”
Winning Bid $75.
Lot 80. 29 New York Yankees Autographs Including Henderson, Mattingly, Guidry, Duren, John. Eleven autographs are on baseball cards, eight 1987 Topps: #5 Dave Righetti, 62 Bobby Meacham, 174 Henry Cotto, 224 Wayne Tolleson, 236 Tommy John, 584 Ron Kittle, 735 Rickey Henderson and 788 Tim Stoddard. John’s card is mounted on a 5.75” x 7.5” plaque. Ryne Duren, who died in January, signed a 2002 Winning Beyond Winning card; Gary Ward, a 1988 Sportflics card, and Ron Guidry, 1982 Donruss card #558 that shows him with John. Fifteen autographs are on a page from the Yankees’ 2000 Fantasy Camp: Gene Michael, Hector Lopez, Oscar Gamble, Johnny Blanchard, Mickey Rivers, Roy White, Mike Torrez, Joe Pepitone, Graig Nettles, Paul Blair, Elliott Maddox, Jim Spencer and John. Don Mattingly’s autograph and John’s are on folders that reproduce their 1988 Topps cards. There also is an 8” x 10” photocopied photo signed by John. The signatures are almost all mint 9 or gem mint 10, and they have been authenticated by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $68.
Lot 81. 7 Baseballs Signed by 8 Yankees – Gossage, Mattingly, Berra, Larsen, John, Etc. All are signed on the sweet spot. Six are single-signed: GOOSE GOSSAGE, mint 9 signature on a mint OML Selig ball. DON MATTINGLY, gem mint 10, re, ex-m to nm cream-colored Bobby Brown ball. DON LARSEN, 9-10 signature, nm+ OAL Budig ball. BERNIE WILLIAMS, 10 signature, mint OML Selig ball. John Candelaria, 9-10, ex-m to nm Brown ball. TOMMY JOHN, gem mint 10 signature, apparent game-used Brown ball. In addition, DON ZIMMER signed the sweet spot of an nm-m Selig ball, and YOGI BERRA autographed the south panel. Their signatures are 9s. Authenticated by Kevin Keating and accompanied by a signed letter “From the Desk of Tommy John.”
Winning Bid $291.