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Honus Wagner Signed Ball and Other Openers

  15 Lots      




Lot 1.  Spectacular Honus Wagner Single-Signed Baseball with Authentication by Kevin Keating, JSA and PSA/DNA. One of baseball’s top 10-15 players of all time, Wagner placed a large, strong autograph on the sweet spot of a MacGregor Goldsmith Official 97 League ball. The result is one of the finest examples of his signature on a baseball. Grading nm+ 7.5 to nm-m 8, the autograph stretches for almost 2 ¾” across the sweet spot. It is consistent with the way Wagner signed in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The ball was manufactured by MacGregor Goldsmith in the late 1940s, probably 1949. A thin coat Krylon or similar acrylic material forever protects the signature of the Hall of Fame shortstop and eight-time N.L. batting champion, who passed away in 1955. The ball is nm-m, white to slightly off-white, and very slightly darker where the coating was applied; the printed areas are strong. A full JSA Letter of Authenticity accompanies the autograph, along with a Collectible Classics LoA based on Keating’s review. PLEASE NOTE: PSA/DNA HAS ALSO AUTHENTICATED WAGNER'S SIGNATURE. IN ADDITION TO THE JSA AUTHENTICATION AND CCA LOAs, THE WINNING BIDDER WILL RECEIVE A PSA/DNA LOA.
Winning Bid $10,871     


Lot 2.  Rare 1888 Book: “‘Play Ball:’ Stories of the Diamond Field” by HoFer Mike (King) Kelly. This copy of the book is an 1888 original, published by Emery & Hughes of Boston in paperback form. The 1888 covers are missing, and the book has been re-bound in hard covers with gilt lettering. The title is on the cover and the spine. All of the text is present, and 10 pages of advertising follow. The first two and last two leafs have noticeable edge chips; the other pages are vg-ex with minor corner wear. Kelly’s book, the first memoir published by a baseball player, is an autobiographical collection of baseball stories, often written with humor. How much writing Kelly did himself is uncertain. Boston journalist John J. “Jack” Drohan is known to have assisted with the project. Kelly was one of the best and most popular players of his era – 1878-93, primarily with the Chicago White Stockings and Boston Beaneaters. He helped Chicago to win five pennants in the 1880s. He was only 36 when he died of pneumonia in 1894. The Old-Timer’s Committee, now the Veterans Committee, elected him to the Hall of Fame in 1945. His book is extremely difficult to find.
Winning Bid $393     


Lot 3.  Hank Greenberg Autographed Louisville Slugger Bat. In thin black sharpie, Greenberg signed the sweet spot of the 30-inch Model 225LL bat. His signature is under the engraved words “Batting Champion,” which accurately describes his ability to deliver home runs and RBI. In 13 seasons, he led the A.L. in both categories three times. He also led the league in RBI in 1937, and home runs in 1938. He was a two-time league MVP and four-time All-Star. Like such stars as Ted Williams, he almost certainly would have put up larger career numbers if he had not lost three seasons and part of another to World War II. Prior to getting this bat signed, the collector sanded the region Greenberg was to sign, allowing for solid adhesion of his autograph, which is nm 7 to 7+. While baseballs signed by Greenberg are somewhat common, this is the only signed bat of great Detroit slugger that we have ever encountered! THE AUTOGRAPH IS AUTHENTICATED BY KEVIN KEATING AND JSA AUTHENTICATION. IT COMES WITH A FULL JSA LETTER OF AUTHENTICITY.
Winning Bid $783     


Lot 4.  Scarce Babe Ruth Forever Collectibles 2004 Original Edition 36-inch Bobblehead. From the Cooperstown Collection, this bobblehead is sold-out and very seldom offered. Search the Internet, and there’s a strong chance you won’t find even one. (Examples from a more recent issue may be available.) Wearing New York Yankees’ pinstripes and holding a piece of lumber, Ruth stands 32” tall on a 4” pedestal, which is slightly more than 14” in diameter. The pedestal lists the bobblehead as No. 58 of only 100 produced. A Cooperstown Collection plaque stands on the pedestal in front of Ruth. Nm. WE'VE ADDED A PHOTO WITH A NORMAL-SIZED BOBBLEHEAD FOR PERSPECTIVE. SHIPPING WILL BE APPROXIMATELY $40 TO LOCATIONS SUCH AS NEW YORK, AND $75-80 TO LOCATIONS IN THE WEST (Continental U.S.). You don’t have to be a Yankees fan to enjoy this delightful and rare collectible!
Winning Bid $600     


Lot 5.  Ty Cobb Autograph on a 3” x 5” Index Card. Nm 7 to n-m 8 signature by ESPN’s 20th best U.S. athlete of the 20th century and the third best baseball player of all time, according to “The Sporting News.” ESPN rated five baseball players better than Cobb. He was a member of the inaugural class of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The card Cobb signed has some creases. Kevin Keating authenticated the autograph.
Winning Bid $477     


Lot 6.  Billy Martin Autographed OAL Bobby Brown Baseball. Martin’s signature is mint 9 on the baseball’s sweet spot. The ball is white to off-white with strong printed areas and light discoloration away from the signature. In addition, at some point, someone placed a small sticker with Martin’s name on the south panel, and “Mar” shows now that the label is gone. The ball can be displayed so that only the bold autograph of the battling player and manager shows. Martin played for four world championship Yankees teams and managed the 1977 team to World Series success. In a 1987 poll of 600 former major leaguers, Martin ranked as the eight best manager of all time. He died in a car crash on Christmas Day, 1989. Authenticated by Kevin Keating and JSA Authentication. The JSA Auction Letter of Authenticity may be exchanged at a discount for a full LoA.
Winning Bid $198     


Lot 7.  Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle Signed 8” x 10” B&W Photo. This photo boldly displays autographs of both Hall of Fame New York Yankees greats. Berra’s is mint 9, and Mantle’s nm-m 8 to mint 9. The photo is triple-matted to 12.75” x 14.75. Berra passed away in September. In 1998, “The Sporting News” rated him the 40th greatest baseball player of all time. Johnny Bench and Josh Gibson were the only catchers that placed higher. He was an All-Star in 15 consecutive seasons and a three-time A.L. MVP. Mantle, also an MVP three times, died in 1995. KEVIN KEATING AND JSA AUTHENTICATION AUTHENTICATED THE AUTOGRAPHS. THE JSA AUCTION LETTER OF AUTHENTICITY MAY BE EXCHANGED AT A DISCOUNT FOR A FULL LOA.
Winning Bid $218     


Lot 8.  RARE NASA Space Program Memento – Dr. Edward Gibson U. of Rochester Academic Regalia. Gibson was a NASA astronaut who earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Rochester in 1959 and a Ph.D. at CalTech in 1964. The following year, he was selected for NASA’s scientist-astronaut program. After serving as part of the support crew for Apollo 12, he joined the Skylab space station development team. From Nov. 11, 1973 to Feb. 8, 1974, he explored space as the science pilot for Skylab 4, the third and final manned flight to Skylab. Gerald Carr was the commander, and William Pogue, the pilot. The crew spent 84 days in space, the longest period for a manned spaceflight at the time. Under Dr. Gibson’s direction, the crew accomplished 338 hours of Apollo Telescope Mount operation, which made extensive observations of the sun. Dr. Gibson retired from NASA in 1982. Two months after the Skylab 4 flight, on April 3, 1974, the University of Rochester presented Dr. Gibson with an honorary doctor of science degree. Here are the academic gown, hood and cap Dr. Gibson wore for the ceremony. His name is inside the gown, from Cotrell and Leonard of Albany, on a University of Rochester label. More recently, Dr. Gibson donated the regalia to a fundraiser event for the university’s Memorial Art Gallery. The gown and other items are accompanied by a booklet that includes a photo showing him wearing the gown in 1974 and providing information on his career. Included also is a note handwritten by the astronaut: “I hope this robe is well used. It’s lucky – the last guy who wore it got an honorary Ph.D.” It is signed “Ed.” Kevin Keating authenticated the signature. The academic regalia is impressive, nm-m to mint, one-of-a-kind and simply magnificent!.
Winning Bid $300     


Lot 9.  Rare Fritz Pollard Signed Index Card Offering His “Most Thrilling Moment” in Football. Pollard starred at Brown University before becoming one of the first two African American players in the NFL in 1920. Later, he became the NFL’s first black coach. At Brown, he helped the team to win the 1916 Rose Bowl, and he was the first black running back on Walter Camp’s All-America team. Camp described him as “one of the greatest runners these eyes have ever seen.” Pollard began his pro career in 1920 with the Akron Pros, and his ball carrying prowess helped the team to win the first NFL (APFA) championship. (The American Professional Football Association became the NFL in 1922.) In 1921, he became co-head coach of the Pros and played halfback as well. He also was head coach of the Hammond Pros in 1923 and 1924. In addition to the Akron and Hammond teams, Pollard played for the Milwaukee Badgers, the Providence Steam Roller, the Akron Indians and two non-NFL teams. His NFL playing and coaching career ended in 1926 when the league banned all black players. Pollard was enshrined in the College Hall of Fame in 1954 and, posthumously, in the Pro Hall of Fame in 2005. He died in 1986 at the age of 92. His autograph is mint 9 on a biographical index card that provides some college and pro information. In addition, on the back, Pollard described his “most thrilling moment in sport” which occurred “when Yale was leading Brown 6-0 and I ran a punt back for a touchdown which completely changed the complexion of the game. We won 21-6, all touchdowns scored by myself.” Also enclosed is a vintage newspaper photo of Pollard that could be displayed with the autograph. AUTHENTICATION BY KEVIN KEATING AND JSA AUTHENTICATION. THE AUTOGRAPH COMES WITH A FULL LETTER OF AUTHENTICITY BY JSA.
Winning Bid $2,426     


Lot 10.  Chief Meyers Single-Signed Baseball with Authentication by JSA and Keating. Nm 7 signature in printed form by Meyers on a vintage nm-m 8 to mint 9 Wilson Official Adoption League ball. John Tortes “Chief” Meyers, a Native American from California, was already 28 when he reached the majors. From 1911-13, he helped the New York Giants to win three consecutive pennants by batting .332, .358 and .312. With the Giants, he was Christy Mathewson’s primary catcher. He played also for the pennant-winning Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) in 1916. After retiring (with a .291 career batting average), he managed briefly in the minor leagues and then worked for the Department of the Interior. He died in 1971. Meyers’ autograph comes with a full Letter of Authenticity from JSA Authentication and has been authenticated by Kevin Keating as well. Baseballs single-signed by Meyers are scarce.
Winning Bid $429     


Lot 11.  Photo Signed by James J. Braddock, the “Cinderella Man,” with Dual Authentication. Both JSA Authentication and Kevin Keating authenticated the “Jim Braddock” autograph, which is on a vintage 7.5” x 9.5” b&w photo that shows him in the ring. The photo, which has a tack hole in the upper right corner and a chip in the lower right, likely is a wire photo, but no identification or caption is present. Braddock’s signature at the bottom right of the photo is nm7 to nm-m 8, personalized to “Sam Rose – Always in my corner. Keep punching.” Sam Rose may be the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame member who was a Braddock contemporary and had a lengthy career as a boxing “second” and manager. Braddock grew up in northern New Jersey. His fairytale-like rags to riches story led journalist Damon Runyon to nickname him the “Cinderella Man.” From a poor local fighter in the mid-1920s, Braddock battled his way to the world heavyweight championship in 1935. In the mid to late-1920s, he successfully fought some substantial opponents. Beginning in 1929, injuries limited his effectiveness. After the stock market crashed, he struggled to feed his family as the Depression wore on. Life improved for him in 1934-35, however, when he scored upset victories over Corn Griffin, John Henry Lewis and Art Lasky. These three victories earned him a title bout with Max Baer on June 13, 1935, in Long Island. A 10 to 1 underdog, Braddock scored a convincing 15-round win. He held the title for two years and then lost it to Joe Louis. He fought one more time, defeating Tommy Farr in 1938, before retiring. Braddock is a member of the Ring and International Boxing Halls of Fame. He died in 1974. His signature comes with a full Letter of Authenticity from JSA Authentication and has been authenticated by Kevin Keating as well.
Winning Bid $163     


Lot 12.  Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier Signed “Sports Illustrated” Before the “Thrilla in Manila.” Ali and Frazier are pictured on the cover of the Sept. 15, 1975 issue with promoter Don King. When two of boxing’s best heavyweights met two weeks later in the Philippines, Ali scored a TKO and retained his world heavyweight title. Both Ali and Frazier placed large, bold signatures on the cover, which is adhered to foam board and shows scuffs along the lower left side and some creases and wrinkles. Cover only. Ali’s autograph is mint 9, and Frazier’s, in gold, is nm-m 8. The autographs come with a full Letter of Authenticity from JSA Authentication and have been authenticated as well by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $218     


Lot 13.  EXTREMELY RARE First Edition Illustrated 3-Volume 1880 Set of Books on British Boxing. Titled “PUGILISTICA: THE HISTORY OF BRITISH BOXING” and written by Henry Downes Miles, these hardback volumes were published in 1880 by Weldon & Co. of London. They are far less common than the 1906 version published by John Grant of Edinburgh. Miles, the author, was an early sportswriter and editor of “The Sportsman’s Magazine.” In the three volumes, he provides, according to the title page of each, information on the “the lives of the most celebrated pugilists, and full reports of their battles,” as well as ”biographical details” and “personal anecdotes.” His history covers 1719-1863, including the last championship fight between King and Heenan. African-American boxers Thomas Molineaux and Bill Richmond are among the boxers discussed. They also are among more than 100 illustrations of boxers in the three volumes, each bound in brown cloth with gilt vignettes on the spines and front covers. The volumes each have a bookplate inside the front cover and are vg+ to vg+ to ex.
Winning Bid $220     


Lot 14.  D&M Circa 1930 Model 3H Football Helmet with the Original Box. Quality ex-m helmet with a strong Draper & Maynard dog logo in silver on the back. The felt inside shows some light soiling or toning. The original chin strap is present. Like the helmet, the accompanying box carries the “3H” designation. It is fully intact with some creases on the sides and an indentation on the lid, where someone has written in pencil, “Do not throw this out.” Fortunately, people paid attention, and the helmet and box constitute a rare pair of very special football relics.
Winning Bid $770     


Lot 15.  Babe Ruth and 25+ Other Autographs on a “Pennant National League” Ball. It’s likely that this ball was signed in 1920s. MAGNIFICATION REVEALS THAT MOST OF THE SIGNATURES, AND POSSIBLY ALL, HAVE BEEN NEATLY TRACED OVER IN VINTAGE FOUNTAIN PEN. The Ruth signature, which has been traced over, is on the sweet spot with a signature of K M Landis and one other. The north panel has the autographs of Sherrod Smith, Joe Judge, Owen (Donnie) Bush, Stanley (Bucky) Harris, E.R. Morrison and one other; the south panel, Lena Blackburn, Ray Caldwell and five more; the east, Steve O’Neill, Urban Shocker, Sam Jones, U.C. (Red) Faber, F. Reiber and two others; and the west panel, Matty Matthews, Jack McCallister, Mike McNally, Joe Shaute, Hod Eller and two unknown. Generally, the autographs are dark but frequently incomplete as a result of scuffs on the ball’s surface. Ruth’s signature is essentially complete, and the tracing is not obvious. The ball was originally signed by an interesting and eclectic group, including some great names! Authenticated by Kevin Keating.
Winning Bid $433     




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