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Pittsburgh Pirates

  28 Lots       »   

Lot 1.  Honus Wagner Truly Unique Bat and a Fantastic 1901 Pittsburgh Pirates Program. 1. Honus Wagner Truly Unique Bat and a Fantastic 1901 Pittsburgh Pirates Program. With the arrival of Wagner in 1900, the Pirates were soon transformed from an also-ran to a strong competitor for the National League championship. From 1900 through 1910, Pittsburgh captured four pennants and a world championship. Meanwhile, Wagner earned seven batting titles and led the league in RBI four times. If the N.L. had chosen an MVP in 1901, Wagner would have been a top candidate. He led the league in RBI with 126, a career high, and 49 stolen bases. He also contributed to the Pirates’ first N.L. title with 194 hits and a .353 batting average. THE BAT: Before 1905, when Wagner signed the first ever bat endorsement contract with Louisville Slugger, baseball lacked hard limits on bat lengths and weights. That’s not to suggest that Wagner ever contemplated striding to the plate with his 42.5-INCH, 5-POUND special dark-brown bat offered here! The history and use of the bat are uncertain. Through Wagner’s granddaughter, our consignor did learn that bat belonged to the Flying Dutchman. She recalls seeing him swing it. It might have been an award for his 1901 MVP-like season. He might have swung it as he waited on deck to face an opposing pitcher. He certainly would not have needed to add a weight to it to lighten the feel of his game bat! THE BAT is truly one-of-a-kind. “Hans (Honus) Wagner” is painted on the barrel, and “1901 PBBC (Pittsburgh Base Ball Club),” on a ring around the end of the bat. THE PROGRAM: Accompanying the bat is one of the finest 1901 Pirates programs known. The eight-page (plus covers) program is scored for a 15-2 win over the Brooklyn Superbas (Dodgers) on July 20. Wagner (at third base), Fred Clarke and Ginger Beaumont are in the pre-printed lineup for Pittsburgh, and Joe Kelley and Willie Keeler for Brooklyn. The program has photos and profiles of Tommy Leach, Wagner, Chief Zimmer, John Donahue, Jesse Tannehill, John O’Connor, Ed Poole, Sam Leever, Jack Chesbro, Lewis Wiltse, Beaumont, Claude Ritchey and Fred Ely, and photos of Clarke (outside back cover), Deacon Phillipe and William Bransfield. The program is ex, clean and free of creases, with “1901” in pen on the front cover. The back cover has small corner chips, and the pages in the second half of the program have small chips in the upper right corner. MORE ABOUT THE BAT: Our consignor has provided a notarized letter stating what is known about the bat’s history. In it, he recounts a conversation with Wagner’s granddaughter, Leslie Ann Roberts (Blair). The letter states that she “confirmed this Bat was that of Honus Wagner. It … probably was an Award Bat – or used by Honus in practice.” The Bat is from the personal collection of George Ryden, Pittsburgh’s first full-time sports collectibles dealer and a well respected collector and fixture in the hobby for more than 45 years. “Unique” is high on the list of adjectives misused and overused. In this case, it absolute fits!
Winning Bid $4,608     

Lot 7.  High-Quality 1913 Pittsburgh Pirates Panoramic Supplement from “The Index.” Measuring approximately 13.75” x 31.75”, this photographic supplement features 27 members of Pittsburgh’s 1913 team, including manager-outfielder Fred Clarke, Honus Wagner, Max Carey, future pro football HoFer Jim Conzelman and Babe Adams. Actually, Wagner was absent when photographer from the R. W. Johnston Studios took the picture. His photo was added, and he wears a 1912 road uniform. The other players are wearing their 1913 home uniforms. These Pirates put together a winning season but trailed New York and two other teams at season’s end. Wagner had his 15th straight, and final, season of batting .300 or higher. Infielder Jim Viox had an excellent season at the plate, Max Carey led the N.L. in stolen bases and runs, and Babe Adams won 21 games with a 2.15 ERA. Appearing in only nine games, compared with 100 in 1912, Clarke essentially became a full-time manager. It’s not likely that a finer copy of this supplement exists; we certainly have not seen it. Framed to 14.25” x 32.25”, this copy has six vertical folds, apparently as issued, or at least mailed. It is free of stains, creases and other characteristics that detract from its magnificence. A few tiny edge creases and one corner crease do not. “The Index” was a supplement to a short-lived Pittsburgh publication titled “The Illustrated Weekly.”
Winning Bid $646     

Lot 8.  Jim Umbricht Scarce Autographed 1960 Rookie Card. Umbricht’s autograph is the scarcest of the 1960 World Champion Pirates. In April 1964, less than three seasons after the Pirates beat the highly favored New York Yankees in the World Series, melanoma claimed his life. He was only 33. During the 1960 season, Umbricht won one game for Pittsburgh, lost two and recorded one save. Kevin Keating authenticated his ballpoint autograph, which is nm 7 on his Topps 1960 rookie card, #145. The card is ex.
Winning Bid $578     

Lot 9.  Roberto Clemente Nm-m 8 Autograph on a Baseball. Clemente signed the north panel of an nm-m baseball sold in American Hardware Stores. It is white to slightly off-white, apparently as made. The signature fills the panel and is a very fine Clemente example. Vernon law autographed the south panel. His autograph also is nm-m 8. Clemente and Law were Pittsburgh Pirates teammates from 1955-67. Together they helped Pittsburgh to win a World Championship in 1960, when Law won 20 games and the Cy Young Award, and Clemente batted .314, drove in 94 runs and scored 89. They finished sixth and eighth, respectively, in the N.L. MVP voting. Clemente was more than just a great baseball player. He was outstanding human as well, showing concern for others out of a daily commitment, rather than an occasional search for a photo opportunity. In the late 1960s, he said “If you have an opportunity to make things better and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on earth.” On the field, some of Clemente’s finest moments came in the 1971 World Series, when he batted .414 with at least one hit in each game and played superbly in the outfield. Subsequently, baseball writer Roger Angell said, “Clemente played a kind of baseball that none of us had ever seen before – throwing and running and hitting at something close to the level of absolute perfection.” The Clemente signature, which is a beauty, can be displayed without the Law autograph visible. KEVIN KEATING authenticated Clemente’s autograph and Law’s. In addition, the autograph comes with a full Letter of Authenticity from JSA AUTHENTICATION.
Winning Bid $1,909     

Lot 22.  10 Forbes Field Postcards – 7 Pre-Linen. These cards provide various views of the ball park and the surrounding area. The first seven are pre-linens: 1. No. 125A, aerial sketch, “New Base Ball Stadium and Park…,” City of Pittsburgh logo in the upper left, Acmegraph, postmarked in 1909, vg. 2. No. 152A, outside main entrance, two cars parked, “Forbes Field, Champion Pirates Base Ball Park…,” City logo in the upper right, Fort Pitt Publishing, postmarked in 1910, vg. 3. No. 2770, aerial from above center field, “Forbes Field, Interior, Pittsburg, Pa.,” Singer Pen & Card Store, postmarked in 1910, g. 4. No. A-14300, “Entrance to Forbes Field, Pittsburg, Pa.,” in black in upper left, crowd leaving main entrance, Fort Pitt Publishing, postmarked in 1911, f-g. 5. No. 24782, Schenley Park area with orange roof of ballpark at center right, three-line title in red, no publisher listed, postmarked in 1915,g-vg. 6. No. 29047, aerial similar to the first card listed, white title, “Pittsburgh, Pa. Exterior, Ball Park,” R. W. Johnston Studios, postmarked in 1910 (Belmont written neatly in the top left portion of the front otherwise) vg-ex. 7. No. A-66914, Schenley Farm District with Forbes Field labeled in the background, Robbins & Son, postmarked in 1922, f. The following are linen PCs: 8. No. 38-61408, aerial from center field, white border, orange roof, Pittsburgh News, 1945 postmark, ex. 9. No. 58-67422, aerial from third base, white border, Mullen Bros., unused, ex. 10. No. 138-1776, aerial from third base, hills and sky in background, Imperial Greeting, Metrocraft logo, unused, g.
Winning Bid $92     

Lot 47.  Extremely Rare Late 1930s Blum Premium of John (Honus) Wagner. This premium was uncataloged in Sports Collector Digest’s 2012 “Standard Catalog” and in Beckett’s 2011 “Almanac.” We have never seen another copy. This example is the 11.5” x 13.75” variety. Typically, the date given for theses premiums - from Fred J. Blum and his “Blum’s Baseball Bulletin – ranges from 1929-34. The earliest possible date for this premium, however, is 1936 because it describes Wagner as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Wagner was selected with the inaugural class in 1936 and inducted in 1939. The premium has two small pieces of tape at the top of the blank back. They apparently were once used to hold the premium in place. Otherwise, it grades g-vg with two small edge chips and displays as vg-ex. It appears to be among the rarest of Wagner collectibles.
Winning Bid $700     

Lot 99.  Pittsburgh Alleghenys (Pirates) at Boston Beaneaters (Braves) 1888 Scorecard. Neatly scored in pencil, the scorecard records a 4-1 victory for Boston in the Oct. 11 game. Old Hoss Radbourn is listed in the pre-printed lineup for Boston, but apparently Kid Madden did the pitching. Other 19th century stars in the pre-printed lineups are, for Boston, Joe Hornung in left field and John Morrill at first base; and, for Pittsburgh, Cannonball Morris on the mound. John Valentine is listed as the umpire. The two-panel scorecard has been trimmed to 5.75” x 7”. Advertising is on the outside, including an ad for Wright & Ditson baseball uniforms. As trimmed, the scorecard has a vg+ to ex appearance.
Winning Bid $110     

Lot 100.  1904 “Husky Hans” Sheet Music Honoring Honus Wagner. Published in Wagner’s home town of Carnegie, PA, the sheet music features his photo on the cover and honors him as “3 Times Champion Batsman of the National League.” This “stirring march and two-step” has lyrics that praise Wagner as “so modest in his way, Yet he’s the star, they say by far, of every game they play.” This copy of the sheet music has a chip in the lower left corner and a ½” split at the top of the spine. Except for the chip, it has a vg-ex appearance, free of any noticeable creases. Reproductions of this sheet music are on the market. This is a 1904 original.
Winning Bid $127     

Lot 101.  Pittsburgh Pirates’ Invitation to Raising the 1909 World Championship Pennant. Before beating the Cincinnati Reds, 8-3, at Forbes Field on June 30, the Pirates had an official ceremony formally raising “the World’s Championship Pennant.” The invitation to the event, approximately 6” x 6”, has an embossed version of the City of Pittsburgh logo at the top. Double-matted and framed to 11” x 11”, it shows light stains on the left side, a small edge tear in the upper left and a couple of scuffs that do not affect the type. The bottom of the invitation, which includes the time of the pennant raising (3:30 p.m.), is not present. The invitation displays well and is a wonderful memento of the Pirates’ first World Championship!
Winning Bid $198     

Lot 102.  Circa 1910 Forbes Field “Champion Pirates” Creamer. In 1909, the year Forbes Field opened, the Pirates of “Pittsburg” were world champions. The creamer, part of a set, is ex, free of cracks and chips. A small spot above “Forbes” is without paint, apparently as manufactured, and the gold leaf on the top rim shows wear. Text under the illustration of the ball park says “Forbes Field, Champion Pirates’ Baseball Park, Pittsburg, Pa.” The closing “h” was omitted from the city’s name from 1891-1911. The image of Forbes Field, the Pirates’ home until 1971, is strong.
Winning Bid $134     

Lot 103.  Circa 1910 Forbes Field “Champion Pirates” Bavarian Porcelain 6” Plate. An illustration of Forbes Field and text reading “Forbes Field, Champion Pirates’ Baseball Park, Pittsburg, Pa” decorate this plate. Ex-m without cracks or chips and gold leaf on the rim that shows essentially no wear. When the text was added, centering was imperfect, and “rk” is absent from “Park.” J&C Bavaria is credited on the back as the manufacturer. The 1909 Pirates were world champions. Spelling Pittsburgh without the “h” was common from 1891-1911.
Winning Bid $134     

Lot 104.  Forbes Field Wood and Metal Folding Chair. Our consignor obtained this gray chair from the locker room at Forbes Field, home to the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1909-70. Exactly when it arrived at the ball park is uncertain, but it may very well have been around for the careers of Honus Wagner, the Waner brothers, Ralph Kiner, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and other Pirates stars. Measuring 32” tall at the top of the back and 15.5” wide, the chair consists of a metal frame and a set with four slats for the seat. One slat has a crack 4” long, and the chair appears to have received multiple coats of paint over the decades. The old ball park disappeared from the Pittsburgh landscape more than 40 years ago, in the summer of 1971. This old chair remains to commemorate some of the best days in Pittsburgh baseball history.
Winning Bid $270     

Lot 105.  1938 World Series Original Paul and Lloyd Waner Cartoon by Fred G. Reinert. This 11” x 12.5” cartoon, matted and framed to 14.5” x 16.5”, depicts the Waner brothers as the only Pirates left from the 1927 team that lost to the New York Yankees in the World Series. The 1938 Pirates looked as if they were headed for a World Series rematch with the Yankees. On Labor Day, they led the National League by seven games. But Pittsburgh slumped, Chicago surged, and in a three-game series in late September, the Cubs swept the Pirates and captured the pennant. The cartoon of the Waners is by Fred G. Reinert, sports cartoonist for the Cleveland “Plain Dealer” and designer of sports-related toys for Rempel Mfg. of Akron. It features outstanding images of the Pittsburgh Hall of Fame outfielders, is signed by Reinert and is ex-m.
Winning Bid $693     

Lot 106.  1940s Stanford Pottery Pittsburgh Pirates Mascot Bank. The face, arms and hands of the “Pirate” mascot depicted in this version of the 7.75” hand-painted bank are reddish-brown. His hair is black. The remainder of the bank is white. The finish is glossy. Stanford Pottery created these banks for the disposal of razor blades. Variations abound. This example approaches perfection - nm-m+ to mint.
Winning Bid $182     

Lot 107.  Panoramic Photo of the 1942 Pittsburgh Pirates at Spring Training in San Bernardino, CA. This wonderful 6” x 22 ¾” original sepia photo is professionally matted and framed to 13 5/8” x 30 3/8”. Thirty-nine Pirates are in the photo. With two exceptions, the name of each is written in pen on his chest. Coach Honus Wagner is part of a team that includes manager Frankie Frisch, Al Lopez, Frankie Gustine, Rip Sewell, Elbie Fletcher, Pete Coscarart, Bob Elliott, Babe Phelps, coach Spud Davis and Johnny Wyrostek. The photo has three creases from the bottom edge than can be seen only close-up. Outstanding display item!
Winning Bid $204     

 »   Next: Lots 108-119, 176


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