Babe Ruth Rookie Sells for $84,000; Rare McKinley Card Hammers Down At $96,000, Setting Non-Sport Card Record!
Collectors turned out in full force for Robert Edward Auctions’ Fall Auction, the second such event added to the company’s calendar after many years of conducting a single blockbuster Spring Auction. An incredible 15,710 bids were placed on the 1410 different lots offered for sale, 98.5% of which sold to an impressive 576 different winners. The auction ended with total proceeds of $4,072,980.
The auction was full of extremely strong showings for hundreds of vintage, rare and high grade cards and historic memorabilia that have long been the REA trademark. “The auction was amazingly successful,” said REA President Rob Lifson. “We had a little bit of everything for sale. The interest from collectors was incredible and the amount realized was considerably more than we anticipated.”
Paced by the highest-graded example of the legendary 1932 U. S. Caramel William McKinley rarity, which hammered at $96,000, a total of seventy-one items sold for $10,000 or more. Other top-selling items included a 1916 M101-4 Sporting News Babe Ruth rookie card ($84,000), a 1909-1911 T206 White Border Eddie Plank ($66,000), and an extraordinary newly-discovered baseball signed by Babe Ruth ($39,000), which had been carefully saved in the same family for decades.
Babe Ruth items continued to be a strong draw, and collectors had their pick from numerous cards, autographs, and other items of the “Sultan of Swat.” In addition to the rookie card and single-signed baseball mentioned earlier, a number of other items produced impressive final figures at the end of the night. A beautiful uncut sheet of 1933 Goudey cards featuring a bold example of #181 Babe Ruth realized $36,000, while a newly-discovered 1915 Boston Red Sox real-photo postcard, depicting a young Ruth in his rookie season, sold for a record $21,600. An original 1917 news photo of Ruth attracted forty-two bids, the most of any item in the auction, and sold for $16,800. 1930s gum cards of Ruth were of special note to advanced collectors, including a 1932 U. S. Caramel PSA NM 7 ($15,600), a 1933 Goudey #149 SGC NM+ 86 ($15,600), and a highest-graded 1933 World Wide Gum #80 SGC NM+ 86 ($10,200). Other Ruth highlights included an extraordinary signed photo ($10,200), a twice-signed check ($7,200), and a signed baseball glove ($6,600).Collectors continued to show great appreciation for the T206 White Border set, long regarded as one of the most popular sets in the hobby. In addition to the Plank rarity mentioned earlier, two large accumulations of T206s were hotly contested by bidders, with a near-complete set of 457 different realizing $27,000 and a new-to-the-hobby group of 325 different hammering down at $20,400. A near-complete PSA-graded set of Southern Leaguers realized $13,200, while a unique and striking printing error of Cy Young, discovered in an old-time collection, brought $10,200. Several rare backs were also up for bid, led by a Brown Hindu example of Mordecai Brown, which sold for forty-five times its opening bid and hammered at $9,000 and a Lenox example of Vic Willis, which realized $7,800. Common players brought big numbers too, including a Lenox example of Mickey Doolan ($7,200), an Uzit example of Doc Crandall ($5,100), and an autographed Nap Rucker ($5,100).
Other card highlights include:
• 1914 T222 Fatima Individual Players Complete Set - #1 PSA Set Registry - $39,000
• 1933 V353 World Wide Gum (Canadian Goudey) Color-Process Sheets - $30,000
• 1915 Cracker Jack #103 Joe Jackson PSA NM 7 - $27,000
• 1878 Boston Team Cabinet with George and Harry Wright - $27,000
• 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle SGC EX 60 - $22,800
• 1917 E135 Collins-McCarthy #80 Rogers Hornsby Rookie SGC EX+ 70 - $20,400
• 1909 T204 Ramly Walter Johnson PSA EX 5 - $19,200
• 1908 PC760 Rose Postcard Honus Wagner - $18,000
Non-baseball cards were also well-represented with many impressive prices turned in among cards from football, basketball, and hockey. A stunning partial set of 1961-1962 Fleer basketball cards, consisting of forty-eight cards graded Mint, was broken up and sold individually, much to the delight of collectors. Led by a sharp example of Wilt Chamberlain’s key rookie card ($10,800), the group totaled an astounding $47,280. A 1959 Topps football cello box realized $19,200. Rookie cards continued their hot streak with a PSA MINT 9 Peyton Manning rookie bringing $13,200, a 1958 Topps Jim Brown graded SGC NM/MT+ 92 sold for $4,800, and a 1962 Topps Fran Tarkenton graded SGC NM/MT+ 92 hammering at $4,200, nearly three times its book value for the grade. A beautiful 1948 Bowman George Mikan rookie graded PSA NM 7 sold for $6,600 while a 1986-1987 Fleer Michael Jordan graded BGS GEM 9.5 ended at $4,500.
Memorabilia collectors had plenty to choose from as well, and the rookie contract of Hall of Famer Ross Youngs, consigned directly by his family, was a highlight. The 1917 contract called for Youngs to earn a salary of $1,200; at the end of the auction, it hammered for an incredible thirty-two times his salary, ending at $39,000. Two championship rings were also among the highest-selling items, with a 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers World Series ring presented to Red Patterson and a 2009 New York Yankees World Series ring presented to an executive each hammering at $30,000. A stunning Christy Mathewson check, accompanied by a letter directly from Mathewson’s wife, brought $20,400, and a 1923 Yankee Stadium opening-day ticket stub realized an incredible record-setting $19,200. A fascinating group of Dieges & Clust items, comprised of many unique items relating to the production of various rings, press pins, and awards, tallied an impressive $33,600. One of the finest collections of baseball Hartland statues to ever be assembled or auctioned was met with extremely strong bidding, selling at $15,600. One of the most unique items in the auction, a 1982 Derek Jeter Little League team-signed baseball and team photo, generated tremendous interest among both the general public and serious advanced collectors, finally ending at $14,400 once the dust settled.
Other memorabilia highlights include:
• 1934 Brooklyn Dodgers Road Uniform - $14,400
• 1931 Lefty Gomez Signed New York Yankees Contract - $10,800
• 1868 Atlantics vs Tri-Mountain Trophy Ball - $9,600
• 1869 Nebraska Otoes Trophy Bat - $9,600
• 1948 Chesterfield Advertising Display - $9,600
• 1971 Thurman Munson Game-Used Home Flannel - $9,600
• Circa 1933 Billy Hamilton Signed Album Page - $8,400
• 1949-1950 Willard Brown Signed Puerto Rican League Contract - $7,800
The second installment of the finest collection of “Three Stooges” material ever to be offered at public auction, consisting of high-end movie posters, lobby cards, and trading cards, proved again to be a tremendous hit with collectors. Ten one-sheet movie posters and more than fifty lobby cards were presented over fifty-five different lots and tallied $157,020 after the dust settled. Two one-sheet posters from 1937 short films, Playing The Ponies and Dizzy Doctors, led the category, realizing $22,800 and $18,000, respectively. A 1935 lobby card from the film Hoi Polloi also generated great interest, hammering at $10,800. On the trading card side of the collection, extremely spirited bidding drove the entire collection of ninety-six ultra high-grade 1959 Fleer cards, presented over thirty-seven different lots, to an astounding total hammer of $162,420, including individual cards of Curly ($13,300), Larry ($5,400), and Moe ($5,400).
Original nonsport artwork also was met with great collector interest as several vintage sets were well represented and turned in outstanding prices. Two original 1962 Topps “Mars Attacks” artworks presented individually sold for a combined $27,000. An assortment of fourteen 1962 Topps “Civil War News” original artworks sold for a collective $18,240, while ten 1965 Topps “Battle” original artworks totaled $14,880. A single 1934 National Chicle “Skybirds” artwork realized a record $5,100.
Modern cards also earned tremendous respect in this auction, with a collection of 133 different cards produced between 1996 and 2004 realizing a staggering $79,020. Led by a collection of rare 1996 Donruss Signature Series cards, highlighted by Derek Jeter and Cal Ripken, which sold for $27,000, the collection showed that there is great demand in this area of the market. Other top sales included $20,400 for a collection of sixteen 1999 Upper Deck Piece of History game-used bat cards, $10,800 for three limited-edition Ted Williams insert cards, and $4,500 for twenty-two 1996 Leaf Signature Series cards.
REA is now accepting consignments for its next auction, set for the spring of 2015. To inquire about consignments, learn more about Robert Edward Auctions, view all auction results, register for future auctions, or receive a complimentary copy of one of their past catalogs, visit www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com. For further information, contact Robert Edward Auctions, PO Box 7256, Watchung, NJ 07069, or call (908) 226-9900.
(Watchung, NJ) - Collectors around the world have long looked to Robert Edward Auctions for the finest sports cards and memorabilia the hobby has to offer. With a reputation as the most trusted auction house in the hobby, Robert Edward Auctions has been able to bring to market countless items discovered among passed-down family possessions or originating from the most advanced collections, resulting in nearly $100 million in sales during the past decade. Beginning October 1, the company will offer more than 1300 lots in their highly-anticipated fall catalog auction, the second such event added to their calendar, which previously consisted of only a spring sale. The auction closing date is October 18.
With material spanning from the 1860s to the present day, the auction is highlighted by an extraordinary selection of cards, featuring all the biggest names in the game: Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, and Honus Wagner, among others. Ruth’s 1916 Sporting News rookie card graded SGC EX+ 70 leads the offerings, followed by a stunning PSA NM 7 1915 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson, and a striking PSA VG-EX+ 4.5 example of the legendary 1909-1911 T206 Eddie Plank rarity. One of the most iconic trading cards ever produced, the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle is featured in a variety of different conditions for collectors to consider, including two beautiful high-grade examples. One of the rarest cards presented in the auction does not even picture an athlete, instead originating from a 1932 set issued by the U.S. Caramel Company, dedicated to U.S. Presidents and featuring William McKinley. This newly-discovered example, which is thought to be one of less than ten in existence, is graded EX 60 by SGC and has the prestige of being the highest-graded example of this extreme rarity ever recorded.
Several other newly-discovered items also promise to draw spirited interest, including two nineteenth century cabinet cards held in the same family for decades, depicting the 1878 Boston Red Stockings (with George and Harry Wright) and the 1879 Chicago White Stockings (with Cap Anson), a 1915 postcard featuring Babe Ruth as a young pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, and an exceptional 1908 Rose Company Postcard of Honus Wagner, which highlights two dozen fresh-to-market examples from this iconic set.
Other impressive highlights include:
- 1888 N173 Old Judge Cabinet Collection Including Rare Brown and Red Mount Examples
- 1909-1911 T206 White Border Partial and Near-Complete Sets Plus Two Magie Errors, Signed Cards, Rare Backs, and Fascinating Printing Anomalies
- Completely graded sets of E91 American Caramel, E93 Standard Caramel, and E95 Philadelphia Caramel
- 1910 E93 Standard Caramel Christy Mathewson PSA NM-MT 8
- 1911 T3 Turkey Red Near-Complete Set
- 1914 T222 Fatima Individual Players Complete Set: #1 PSA Set Registry
- 1914 B18 Blankets “Red Infield” Ty Cobb, Baker, Demmitt, and Moriarty
- 1933 R319 Goudey Uncut Sheet with Five Hall of Famers Including #181 Babe Ruth
- 1933 V353 World Wide Gum (Canadian Goudey) Color Process Proof Sheets (8 sheets)
- 1933 R331 National Chicle Football Complete Graded Set with Nagurski Rookie
- 1959 Fleer “Three Stooges” Complete Set: #11 PSA Set Registry
- 1959 Fleer “Three Stooges” Individual Cards Including 21 PSA GEM MINT 10s, PSA MINT 9 Larry and Moe, and PSA NM-MT+ 8.5 Curly
- 1961-1962 Fleer Basketball PSA MINT 9 Partial Set Break
- 1962 Topps “Civil War News” Original Artwork Collection
- 1965 Topps “Battle” Original Artwork Collection
- Complete baseball set collections, including 1933 and 1934 Goudey, 1948 to 1955 Bowman, and 1952 to 1980 Topps
- Complete football set collections, including 1930s Wheaties, 1948 to 1955 Bowman, 1964 to 1967 Philadelphia, and 1955 to 1969 Topps
Memorabilia collectors will also find a superb offering of items. Autograph highlights include an extraordinary newly-discovered circa 1940 Babe Ruth single-signed baseball and a stunning 1922 Christy Mathewson check graded MINT 9 by PSA/DNA that was long ago a gift from Christy Mathewson’s wife and is accompanied by a letter directly from Mrs. Mathewson! Numerous championship rings and awards will be up for bid, highlighted by an original 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers World Series ring in its original presentation box - issued to key executive Red Patterson, the club’s public relations director and the man who officially announced that the Dodgers were moving from Brooklyn! Also included in the auction are 1998 and 2009 New York Yankees World Series rings and a 2001 New York Yankees American League Championship pendant. A tremendous Dieges & Clust archive, which includes original artwork and dies for the various press pins and championship awards produced by the company, will be offered in twenty-eight different lots. The “crown jewel” of the collection is the original artwork for the 1927 New York Yankees World Series Ring, one of the most revered rings in all of collecting. A number of items consigned directly from the family of Hall of Famer Ross Youngs will be featured in the auction, highlighted by his original 1917 rookie contract. Several uniforms and jerseys will also appear, including the earliest-known Thurman Munson flannel, a 1971 New York Yankees home jersey, as well as an extremely rare complete 1934 Brooklyn Dodgers uniform, originating directly from the family of a former player.
The sale of the finest collection of “Three Stooges” movie posters and lobby cards to ever come to auction continues with Part Two of three installments, comprised of fifty-five lobby cards presented in forty-four lots, plus ten one-sheet movie posters. The lobby cards are highlighted by seven remarkably rare cards from the 1930s, including examples from 1935’s Horse Collars and Hoi Polloi. Among the ten one-sheet posters, all from extremely desirable early titles featuring Curly, are two extraordinary 1930s examples: Dizzy Doctors and Playing The Ponies, both of which were produced in 1937. An exceptional array of additional movie memorabilia will also be offered, including posters from The Day the Earth Stood Still, Godzilla, and Window Cleaners, one of the earliest appearances of Disney’s Donald Duck character, as well as lobby cards from The War of the Worlds and Psycho.
Other impressive highlights include:
- 1863 Abraham Lincoln Signed Military Commission
- 1868 Atlantics vs. Tri-Mountain Trophy Ball
- 1870 Rockford Forest City’s Team Composite with Albert Spalding
- 1885 Cincinnati Red Stockings Large-Format Team Cabinet with Bid McPhee
- 1887 Detroit Wolverines Imperial Cabinet Photograph
- 1889 Baltimore BBC National League Membership Application - Nicholas Young Estate
- 1916 Chicago American Giants Panoramic Photo Including Rube Foster, “Pop” Lloyd, and Pete Hill
- 1923 Yankee Stadium Opening-Day Ticket Stub with Date Printed on Stub
- 1948 Chesterfield Advertising Display - Unrestored Newly Discovered Example
- 1958-1963 Hartland Statues Complete Set In Original Boxes with Original Tags!
- 1959-1963 Hartland Football Statues Partial Set (17) Plus 4 Boxes
- Finest Known 1967 Official George Mikan ABA Basketball
- 1975 John Lennon and Paul McCartney Dual-Signed MacLen Music Check
- The Tonight Show Clock from Johnny Carson’s Final Show!
- 2007 and 2008 Derek Jeter Pro-Model Bats
- Collection of Limited-Edition LeRoy Neiman Serigraphs
“The response to our inaugural fall auction was tremendous, and the response from sellers to the assembly of our second fall auction really confirmed to us that there’s just an enormous demand for the services we provide, far greater than can be satisfied by just one auction per year,” said REA President Robert Lifson. “An essential ingredient that makes our auctions so special is the enormous amount of work that is invested in each auction. That will never change. Whether we have one, two, or someday three auctions per year, the one thing we can promise is that every auction will be extremely carefully assembled and a special event. This auction is no exception, and it has an incredible number of outstanding items.”
Lifson stressed that the company encourages anyone interested in receiving a catalog to contact Robert Edward Auctions by e-mail to receive one free of charge. “You don’t have to bid to receive a catalog. It is our great pleasure to send them out, for free, to anyone who is interested in the types of items we offer. We’re very much looking forward to collectors getting the catalog in their hands. Sending out catalogs is one of the ways we promote interest in the hobby and collecting, as well as in our auctions. So many collectors today tell us they got their start learning about the hobby through REA catalogs. That’s a great feeling, even if it’s starting to make me feel old!”
Catalogs for the auction begin mailing September 26, and bidding begins October 1. The final day for bidding will be Saturday, October 18. For a free catalog and to register for the auction, visit www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com. The company is already working on assembling their blockbuster spring auction, slated for April 2015, and is accepting consignments through the end of the year. To inquire about selling your items in one of the hobby’s most anticipated events, call 908-226-9900 or visit www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com.
Mickey Mantle Jersey Hammered Down at $201,450;
Countless Baseball Card Auction Records Set At REA!!!
Watchung, New Jersey. Collectors of high-end baseball cards and memorabilia were glued to Robert Edward Auctions as prices soared to astounding levels across the board during the record-setting April 26, 2014 auction. An incredible 147 lots sold for $10,000 or more. Nine lots eclipsed the $100,000 mark. The total sales of $8.52 Million defined this sale as one of the largest and most successful baseball auctions in collecting history. A never-before-offered 1874 Boston Red Stockings Cigar poster featuring George Wright sold for $189,600. This set a new world record for a baseball-related advertising poster, and even more significantly, this result also represented a record price for any kind of American advertising poster ever. A 1968 Mickey Mantle jersey, originating from the personal collection of a Yankees batboy and purchased in 1985 as a personal keepsake of his favorite player for the then-princely sum of $5,000 (and, fortunately, kept safely all these years), stunned the owner with its final realized price of $201,450. Carlton Fisk’s iconic home run ball from Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, accompanied by a letter of provenance from Cincinnati Reds outfielder George Foster, drew national media attention and sold for $142,200. An outstanding 1916 Babe Ruth rookie card in EX-MT condition (reserve $25,000) was hammered down at $142,200. A newly-discovered example of 1887 N172 Old Judge tobacco card of Hall of Famer Deacon White, with his portrait on the card misidentified as “McGreachery,” was one of the most exciting 19th century card finds in recent years. One of only two examples known, the legendary Old Judge “McGreachery” rarity (res. $10,000) soared to an astounding $130,350. This auction result set a new record for any Old Judge tobacco card ever sold privately or at auction. The list of extraordinary record-setting prices seems almost endless. REA president Robert Lifson comments, “These results speak for themselves: about the quality of the material offered, about the appreciation of the collecting world for how REA presents items and conducts auctions, about the well-deserved trust collectors have in REA, and about the strength of the market.”
T206 Ty Cobb with Ty Cobb Back from Historic 1997 Find: One of only thirteen examples known of the legendary T206 Ty Cobb with “Ty Cobb Tobacco” advertising reverse (res. $25,000) was consigned by the original collector who purchased it at Robert Edward Auctions in 1997. In that historic auction seventeen years ago, a then newly-discovered find of five T206 Ty Cobb with Ty Cobb back examples (approximately doubling the known population at the time) were offered at the same time. In 1997 this card sold for $22,224. In Robert Edward Auctions’ 2014 Spring Sale, it realized an astounding record $154,050. “All T206 Ty Cobb with Ty Cobb advertising back cards are rare and special, and all have gone up in value considerably since 1997,” notes REA president Robert Lifson. “This particular card not only had a special provenance, but there was definitely a consensus that this card was undergraded. It may have technically graded a modest PSA 1, but it was just a very strong card, far better looking than suggested by the grade. It had everything going for it. There was an overwhelming amount of interest.”
1909 T204 Ramly Tobacco Card Collection: The finest collection of 1909 T204 Ramly Tobacco cards to ever come to auction included a total of 183 cards presented in 101 lots. “This was an unprecedented Ramly collection,” according to REA vintage card expert Dean Faragi, “both in terms of quantity and quality.” The collector who assembled the Ramlys did so in the early days of the organized hobby, when condition was just starting to have a significant impact on value. “He constantly upgraded his set. When he found a high grade Ramly, even if he didn’t need it, he bought it. His philosophy was ‘You can never have too much of a good thing.’” That philosophy certainly paid off. The Ramly collection realized an astounding total of $297,790. The highest graded T204 Walter Johnson (res. $10,000; est. open) in the collection, a remarkable card graded MINT, which was once a part of the collection of legendary hobby pioneer Frank Nagy, all alone sold for $59,250.
More $100,000+ Highlights: A 1909-1911 T206 “White Border” Near-Complete Set that included 518 of the 524 cards in the set (res. $25,000; est. $50,000+) sold for an extremely impressive $100,725. The 1889 Brooklyn Base Ball Club Application for Membership in the National League was one of the most hotly contested lots in the auction. REA memorabilia expert Tom D’Alonzo picked the Brooklyn Application as perhaps the most historically significant item in the auction. “This was a true treasure. It is the single most important document that could possibly exist relating to the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers. This application literally represents the birth of the Brooklyn National League franchise.” Long ago originating directly from the family of former National League president Nicholas Young, it was purchased by the consignor for $27,500 in the mid-1990s and has been the centerpiece of his advanced Brooklyn Dodgers collection for the past two decades. As far as value: Times have changed! “There’s no putting a value on an item as important as this. There’s no right number. But the final selling price didn’t surprise me at all,” comments REA’s Tom D’Alonzo. In this auction, the first and only time the Brooklyn National League Membership Application has ever been available for public sale, it was hammered down at $165,900. D’Alonzo’s summarizing comment on the result: “Really, it’s priceless.”
Record Prices For Classics: A Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig dual-signed baseball (graded NM-MT 8 by PSA) was hammered down for an extraordinary $82,950, a record price in this grade for this classic. A Lou Gehrig single-signed ball with remarkable provenance (including a VHS tape, produced in 1998, that features the original owner describing how he obtained it in 1935) sold for an exceptional $32,587. REA president Robert Lifson notes: “With memorabilia, time and time again, we see how well-documented provenance plays a role in delivering strong prices. It’s not always possible to have this kind of provenance, but when it’s there, it’s impossible not to notice how collectors respond.” A stunning 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card graded EX-MT was the most hotly contested postwar card in the auction. The SMR value in the assigned grade was $23,500. It was hammered down for $41,475, by far setting a new world record for the grade and rewriting the price guides for one of card collecting’s most iconic cards. Vintage card expert Brian Dwyer notes: “The market for the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie has long been on an upswing. That’s a given. But this was a particularly strong and attractive example. Even in the description we mentioned that we felt this might be the best “EX-MT” 1952 Topps Mantle in the Universe.” REA president Robert Lifson adds, “We see a continuing trend where collectors are recognizing that sometimes the technical grades don’t tell the whole story. This goes both ways. But when we can point out that an important card like this ‘52 Mantle really is special for the grade and deserves a significant premium, collectors look more closely, usually agree, and bid accordingly. This card deserved to sell for a record price.”
1914 Cracker Jack Cobb and T206 Eddie Plank: A 1914 Cracker Jack of Ty Cobb graded NM-MT+ 8.5 (res. $15,000; est. $50,000++) was on the radar of dozens of bidders, especially those that missed out on it when this iconic condition rarity was last sold at REA in 2012. A favorite of collectors and by far the finest example REA has ever seen, the last time this gem sold it realized $88,875. In this auction, it sold for a well-deserved new record $106,650. REA vintage card expert Dean Faragi, who picked this as his favorite card in the auction, comments, “When we first sold this card, I was floored by it. In 2012, no one knew how to even value it. There is no SMR value for a 1914 Cracker Jack in NM-MT+ 8.5 condition. The highest listed price is for a PSA 8. When we offered it again in this auction, I wasn’t surprised at all to see it sell for more. It’s unlikely we will ever see a 1914 Cracker Jack Ty Cobb to compare to this beauty.” An example of legendary T206 rarity Eddie Plank graded EX 5 by PSA sold for $88,875, setting a new record for this card which last sold for $85,236. The list of extraordinary record-setting prices seems almost endless. REA president Robert Lifson comments, “These results speak for themselves: about the quality of the material offered, about the appreciation of the collecting world for how REA presents items and conducts auctions, about the well-deserved trust collectors have in REA, and about the strength of the market”.
The Pulse of The Market: Collectors, dealers, and market watchers look to REA’s annual spring event as the key barometer of the health of the market and the most important auction event of the year. According to REA president Robert Lifson, “The market was extremely strong across the board. The auction results were staggering and exceeded our highest expectations. Most important, they exceeded our consignors’ expectations. The great prices are the result of many factors including, of course, being given the very best material in the world to offer, taking great care in cataloguing all material, having the largest circulation, extensive research and authentication, the well-deserved confidence of buyers, and an emphasis on the integrity of the auction process. Altogether, it’s a very powerful combination. The bidders appreciate what we do. And this naturally attracts consignments.” By any measure, this was one of the most successful auctions in the history of collecting. “It was also the smoothest running auction in all respects, including collecting the money. As always at Robert Edward Auctions, there were no delays in collecting money and getting it into the hands of consignors. That’s another extremely strong area for REA. In fact, this year over half the consignors had their checks in the mail within one week. Even I’m not sure how we did that. But we did.” All consignors were paid in full, 100 cents on the dollar with no adjustments due to nonpaying bidders, and in record time. “That’s the standard we strive for and achieve at REA when it comes to paying consignors. Perfection. Consignors really appreciate getting paid quickly and they really appreciate getting paid 100 cents on the dollar.”
REA Statistics: The stunning prices on all nineteenth and early twentieth century baseball cards and memorabilia totaled a staggering $8.52 million. The 1866 lots, offered on behalf of 230 different consignors, were won by an incredible 649 different bidders, illustrating the power of the marketing and auction process, and the breadth of bidder interest. Successful bidders included some of the nation’s most prestigious museums, universities, and corporate institutional collections, as well as representatives from numerous Major League teams. An incredible 24,231 bids were placed. “All areas of the auction received a tremendous response and very strong prices. Nineteenth-century baseball items were unbelievable, as always, as were all early baseball cards, advertising and display pieces, graded cards, Babe Ruth items, autographs, memorabilia, non-sport cards and artwork.” Thousands of bidders from all over the world participated. The average lot realized more than double the high-end estimate. An incredible 99% of the lots sold.
Nineteenth-Century Baseball Card Rarities: One of the most fascinating new discoveries ever offered by REA was an 1869 Forest City Base Ball Club Imperial Cabinet Photograph featuring Hall of Famer Al Spalding as a player (res. $5,000; est. open). Originating from the collection of Cleveland News sports columnist and pioneer collector Charles W. Mears, the photo was consigned directly from the Mears family and realized an astounding $47,400. A collection of three circa 1870 team cards, each with advertising for Peck & Snyder Sporting Goods, were another exciting find included in the auction. The three cards, which included one featuring the 1869 Cincinnati Reds, famous as the first professional baseball team, were recently discovered in a 19th century photo album at an estate sale in Ohio. The three cards were each trimmed, but their great rarity made them extremely desirable to pre-1900 baseball collectors. The three cards together sold for $45,030, providing a once-in-a-lifetime payoff and far exceeding the expectations of the seller. Interestingly, the trio was paced not by the 1869 Cincinnati Reds team card (res. $1,000; est. open), which sold for $10,665, but by the 1868 Brooklyn Atlantics (res. $5,000; est. open) which is far rarer, one of only three or four examples known, which sold for $29,625. An exceedingly rare 1887 Four Base Hits George Van Haltren (res. $5,000; est. $10,000++) realized an extraordinary $47,400, and an 1893 Just So Tobacco card of C. L. Childs graded EX-MT by PSA sold for $32,587, a record auction price for any card from this rare set ever.
Vintage Card Prices STRONG At REA: REA is first and foremost a baseball card auction, so it is not surprising that the big money, as usual, was in the cards: An uncut sheet of 1933 Goudey Gum cards with three Babe Ruths and a Lou Gehrig (res. $25,000; est. open), one of only several examples known, sold for an impressive $98,800. A second 1933 Goudey uncut sheet (res. $5,000; est. $10,000+) featuring the classic green background #181 Babe Ruth card was hammered down at $35,550. The auction featured two extremely rare 1913 Boston Garter advertising cards, Ed Walsh and Frank Chance (reserve of $5,000 each), which sold for $22,515 and $41,475 respectively. A 1933 R319 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie PSA NM 7 (res. $10,000; est. $25,000+) realized an extremely healthy $41,475, representing a new auction record for the grade. A very attractive example of the 1909-1911 T206 White Border Sherry Magie error card rarity (res. $5,000; est. $10,000+) in VG+ condition realized $17,775. A rare 1909 E92 Croft’s Candy Ty Cobb card (res. $1,000; est. $2,000+) realized $14,220. A near-complete collection of 1911 M116 Sporting Life cards presented in fourteen different lots realized a combined $57,654. A stunning 1948 Bowman Stan Musial PSA MINT 9 rookie card (res. $5,000, est. $10,000+) nearly doubled the existing auction record for a MINT example, selling for an extraordinary $32,588. Collectors competed fiercely for a breathtaking 1914 Cracker Jack Ty Cobb SGC EX/NM 80 (res. $2,500, est. $5,000/$10,000+), raising the bidding until it stopped at $26,663, a new auction record and almost exactly double the previous highest-recorded sale for the card in the same grade.
Additional Vintage Card Highlights: The All-Time Finest Ernie Banks PSA Collection was presented individually in separate lots. The 19 cards spanning Banks’ entire Major League career totaled $104,931, paced by an astounding $44,438 for the 1954 Topps rookie card of “Mr. Cub” in PSA 9 MINT condition, a record price for the grade. Thirteen PSA MINT 9 Mickey Mantle cards, spanning the years 1953 to 1969, were each offered individually and sold for a collective $111,153. A newly-discovered collection of 156 T206 White Borders (res. $2,000, est. open), still affixed to their original album pages, sold for an impressive $35,550. A near-complete set of 1909-1911 E90-1 American Caramel cards (res. $2,500; est. $5,000+), saved for decades by the consignor (who ironically was not a card collector but fortunately took great care with the cards since buying them as collectibles in his youth), drew very spirited bidding and ended at $22,515. The Joe Jackson rookie card from the same set (res. $2,000; est. open), a beautiful card encapsulated as “Authentic” by PSA, realized a very healthy $21,330. A near-complete master set of 1949 Bowman baseball cards (res. $2,500; est. $5,000+) sold for an impressive $20,145. More recent sets also sold extremely well. An exceptionally crisp complete set of 1963 Topps baseball cards (res. $2,500; est. $5,000++) hammered down at $26,663. The same collection yielded complete sets of 1964 Topps (res. $500; est. $1,000/$2,000+), which sold for $11,850, 1965 Topps (res. $500; est. $1,000/$2,000+), which sold for $16,590, and 1966 Topps (res. $800; est. $1,500/$2,500), which sold for $14,220, all incredibly impressive prices for complete, ungraded sets. Uncut sheets of vintage cards were extremely well received among buyers throughout the auction, with numerous record-setting prices achieved. A 132-card sheet from the 1959 Topps baseball series sold for $10,073, approximately fifty times the modest opening bid of $200. A 132-card sheet of 1967 Topps baseball (res. $500; est. $1,000+) hammered down at $7,703. A 110-card sheet from the 1956 Topps baseball series (res. $2,500; est. $5,000++) realized $23,700.
T206 Drum Checklist Addition Discovery: A previously unknown T206 card of Wid Conroy featuring a very rare Drum advertising reverse (res. $500; est. open), which was discovered by REA in an old-time collection, sold for $16,590. “This was a particularly exciting card for us in the auction,” notes REA president Robert Lifson, “because when it was given to us, it was presented as just a $75 or $100 T206 card of a common player in VG-EX condition. It was part of a near-set assembled decades ago, long before collecting rare T206 backs became popular. We always check the backs for rarities and this gem just happened to be there.” The discovery of any T206 Drum back is noteworthy, but this was a particularly special find as this front-back T206 combination had not been previously confirmed. It was a new checklist addition. “The consignor didn’t understand the significance when we told them. But they understand now!”
Unopened Material: Vintage unopened packs and boxes is a specialty at REA and as always delivered strong prices across the board. A 1963 Topps football wax box with twenty-four unopened packs (res. $2,500; est. $5,000/$10,000) sold for an astounding $32,587. A 1959 Topps football cello box (res. $2,500; est. $5,000/$10,000) set a new auction record, hammering down at $21,330. A 1971 Topps football second-series wax box (res. $2,500; est. $5,000) far exceeded expectations and when the bubble-gum dust finally settled, closed at a remarkable $17,775. A rarely-seen 1959 Fleer Ted Williams unopened wax box with 24 packs (res. $2,500; est. $5,000/$10,000) sold for $17,775. The only known unopened wax pack of 1962 Topps “Mars Attacks” trading cards (res. $1,000; est. open), one of the signature pieces from the Fred Walstrom “Mars Attacks” Collection, sold for $11,850. Tobacco collectors were equally as enthusiastic about an extraordinary unopened pack of 1911 Piedmont Cigarettes (res. $500; est. open). This pack - the first REA had even seen which could possibly contain a T206 card - was riveting to T206 and pack collectors alike, who competed until it hammered down at $8,887. A single 1952 Bowman baseball wax pack (res. $800; est. $1,500/$2,500) realized an amazing $5,628. Not a bad return for a nickel! A newly-discovered 1973 Topps football cello box (res. $500; est. $1,000+) was also hotly contested and realized $7,110. Five additional early 1970s football wax and cello boxes from the same collection were enormously appealing to collectors and sold for a combined $16,116. Unopened 1975 Topps Mini cello boxes continue to be on the rise, and the crisp box offered in this auction (res. $500; est. $1,000/$2,000) realized $3,258.
Additional Auction Highlights:
Autographs: REA’s spring auction featured one of the finest selections of signed baseballs in recent memory with many significant rarities. A 1934 Tour of Japan team-signed baseball with Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, and Berg (res. $2,500; est. $5,000+) sold for $21,330. A 1949 Mel Ott & Carl Hubbell Dual-Signed Baseball graded NM+ 7.5 by PSA/DNA (res. $1,000; est. open), of special note to “500 Home Run Club” collectors as the ball could be displayed as a Mel Ott “single” (true Mel Ott single signed balls are particularly rare), sold for an impressive $13,035. An incredible multi-signed baseball, signed by sixteen Hall of Famers, including Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, and Johnson, hammered down at $29,625, more than ten times the modest opening bid of $2,500 (representing the seller’s original cost some twenty years ago). A beautiful single-signed Jimmie Foxx baseball (res. $1,000; est. open), graded EX-MT 6 by PSA/DNA, sold for $17,775. A fascinating collection of autographed baseballs, consigned by the family of the original owner, who attended many significant games and then had players sign game-used baseballs, was presented in twenty-three different lots and sold for a collective $77,795, paced by an incredible 1937 All-Star Game baseball (res. $1,000; est. open), which sold for $10,072, and a stunning single-signed Ty Cobb baseball (res. $500; est. $1,000/$2,000), which realized $9,480. Canceled checks have always been highly prized among autograph collectors due to the inherent authenticity they provide for the signatures. This auction featured a particularly extraordinary Christy Mathewson check (res. $2,500; est. $10,000+) that was all the more special because it was accompanied by a letter from Mrs. Christy Mathewson, who personally sent the check as a gift to the consignor’s husband in 1955. This special provenance further distinguished it as one of the best, if not the finest, and most interesting Mathewson check in existence, and collectors took special note. The Mathewson check sold for an astounding $21,330, setting a new record for any Mathewson check to ever appear at auction.
Player Contracts: Player contracts have long been a specialty at REA. Collectors again showed their tremendous interest in this popular area of collecting, responding with record-setting prices. An extraordinary 1914 Ed Walsh Chicago White Sox Contract (res. $2,000; est. open) with a letter of provenance directly from the Veeck family sold for a remarkable $50,362. A 1930 Lefty Grove Philadelphia Athletics Contract (res. $2,000; est. open) realized $47,400. Roy Campanella’s final contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers dating from 1958, signed just weeks before his career ending car accident, was hammered down at $32,587. Signed contracts for ten Hall of Famers, each presented individually, realized a combined $187,170.
Game-Used Jerseys and Bats: Collectors are often driven towards memorabilia issued to specific players and REA’s selection of game-used jerseys and pro-model bats was especially well-received by bidders. A 1924 jersey of Chicago Cubs pitcher Vic Aldridge (res. $2,500; est. $5,000+) was offered that was recently discovered, in of all places, in a house on Catalina Island, off the coast of California. While that might seem like a most unlikely place to find a 1920s Cubs jersey, research reveals that the island was owned by William Wrigley Jr., owner of the Cubs, and for years he made the island the team’s spring-training headquarters to help promote tourism. We don’t know if this really helped tourism, but it helped the gentleman who found this jersey. It sold for $10,072. An outstanding 1919-1922 “Shoeless Joe” Jackson “Black Betsy” Pro-Model Bat graded GU 8 by PSA/DNA and A10 by MEARS, which sold for $48,809 when previously offered at auction elsewhere in 2004, was hammered down at $65,175. An extraordinary 1958-1960 Mickey Mantle signed bat that was obtained in 1958 as the top raffle prize at a father-and-son school dinner sold for a lot more than anyone imagined when it was given away as a prize over 50 years ago. In 2014, this prize sold for $22,515. An exceptional signed Roberto Clemente bat (res. $2,500) that was presented to the consignor as a personal gift by the Pirates star in the stands during the middle of a game, sold for $10,072. Jackie Robinson was another magic name represented in the auction. His game-used jerseys sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars when offered, which is rare. This auction did not have a Jackie Robinson jersey, but did, however, feature a pair of Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers game-used pants! Dating from his final season of 1956, the pants (res. $5,000) were a more affordable alternative to a jersey. But “affordable” is relative when talking about Jackie Robinson. Amid feverish bidding, they still set the buyer back $26,625.
More Memorabilia Highlights: An extraordinary 1915 Boston Red Sox World Champions Panoramic Photo with Babe Ruth was described as perhaps the most impressive panorama ever offered by Robert Edward Auctions. Collectors obviously agreed. With a reserve of $10,000, it was finally hammered down at $50,362, a record for any panorama photo ever sold at REA. Bob Shawkey’s 1913 Philadelphia Athletics World Championship Pocket Watch (res. $2,500; est. open) realized $18,960. Watches such as these were very popular for teams to award to players in the days before World Series rings became the norm. From more modern times, the auction featured two exceptional World Championship rings. Billy Herman’s 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers World Series Ring (res. $5,000; est. open) awarded to him as a coach was a special highlight. This particular ring was once part of the famed Barry Halper Collection, originating directly from Billy Herman’s wife and accompanied by letters of authenticity from both Barry Halper and Mrs. Herman. After spirited bidding, the ring hammered down at $38,512. A 1999 New York Yankees World Series ring, issued to a high-ranking minor-league staff employee is naturally valuable as a Yankees World Series ring but also due to the its substantial materials (48.29 Grams, 119 Diamonds). With a reserve of $5,000, this modern classic sold for an impressive $29,625. A ticket in the shape of a light bulb from Johnny Vander Meer’s second no-hitter, the first night game in Dodgers history, carried a reserve of $500 and sold for $2,666. A rare Official Negro American League Baseball in Original Box (res. $500; est. open) sold for a record $5,628. It took more than peanuts to land the 1913 Barnum & Bailey “Famous Elephant Base-Ball Team” Circus Poster (res. $1,000; est. $2,000+). This classic poster, featuring elephants playing the National Game, has long been a favorite among both baseball and circus collectors, and realized a record $8,295. A ticket and program to the 1923 Opening Game at Yankee Stadium, saved by the consignor’s father (who actually attended the game!), carried a reserve of $2,500. The souvenirs to the christening of “The House That Ruth Built” realized a staggering $26,662. Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees for only $125,000!
1934-1956 “Three Stooges” Poster Collection: The first installment of the finest and most advanced collection of original “Three Stooges” movie posters and lobby cards to ever come to auction was a huge hit with collectors. All “Three Stooges” movie posters and lobby cards are extremely rare and have long been recognized as “blue chips” by advanced collectors in the movie poster world as well as among “Three Stooges” collectors. The offering of just a few lobby cards and posters is a rare collecting event. This auction, the first of four installments representing the entire collection, featured 37 lots selling for a total of $144,807. The six one-sheet posters alone sold for $83,246, paced by an amazing record $56,287 for the extremely desirable and early 1935 Uncivil Warriors poster. Forty-one “Three Stooges” lobby cards sold for a total of $61,560, highlighted by $9,480 for a 1934 Men In Black lobby card (res. $2,000). Interesting note: this lobby card had the amazing provenance of having originated years ago directly from Moe Howard’s daughter. Collectors are anxiously awaiting the future installments of this unprecedented once-in-a-lifetime collection. There were only 174 short films in total made by The Three Stooges between 1934 and 1956. This collection has advertising one-sheets and lobby cards representing 115 of them, including the one-sheet for The Three Stooges’ very first short, 1934’s The Woman Hater’s Club, which will hit the auction block in the near future.
Non-Sports Cards (1886-1976): While REA is primarily known for baseball cards and memorabilia, non-sport cards and card artwork from all eras have always been an important area of focus. In this auction, non-sport collectors were treated to the only known example of one of non-sport’s legendary rarities, the R72 Schutter-Johnson “Strong Man” (res. $1,000; est. open). The card, which had been kept in a private collection for more than three decades, sold for an appropriately “strong” $22,515. A rarely-seen complete set of 1950s Exhibits “Slick Chicks” (res. $200; est. open) sold for a staggering $10,665. The second-highest graded “Mars Attacks” set listed on the PSA Set Registry sold for an incredible $68,433 for all fifty-five cards. Several other rare “Mars Attacks” items from the same collection, including display boxes, wrappers, and production material totaled $32,469. Original card artwork was also incredibly well-received by collectors, and numerous auction records were set in the process. A 1950 Bowman “Wild Man” artwork, purchased at another auction recently for $1,200, sold for an eye-popping $4,740. A pair of 1938 Gum, Inc. “Horrors of War” artworks purchased in the same auction for a combined $1,285, realized a superb $4,147. Six original “Mars Attacks” artworks, each offered individually, tallied a combined $46,511. A collection of nineteen 1950 Topps “Freedom’s War” original artworks (res. $2,000, est. open) realized $9,480. Ten different 1962 Topps “Civil War News” original artworks, each offered individually, sold for a collective $22,929, while ten different 1965 Topps “Battle” original artworks offered as their own lots realized a combined $15,997. Perhaps most amazing, forty different ultra high-grade 1959 Fleer “Three Stooges” cards sold for an astonishing combined total of $97,110.
Many other auction records were shattered for pre-1948 baseball cards, nineteenth-century baseball cards and memorabilia, non-sport cards, and Americana. Further information and complete auction results are available online at www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com
Copies of the 694-page full-color premium catalog are also still available free of charge. Go to www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com, click “Free Catalog,” and fill in your name and address. Robert Edward Auctions is currently assembling its next sale. For further information contact: Robert Edward Auctions, PO Box 7256, Watchung, NJ or call (908)-226-9900.
Robert Edward Auctions, LLC is one of the world’s leading specialty auction houses, devoted exclusively to the sale of rare baseball cards, memorabilia, and Americana.
1919-1922 “Shoeless Joe” Jackson “Black Betsy” Pro-Model Bat - PSA/DNA GU 8 and MEARS A10: Additional Information Including Past Auction Sale HistoryPublished by Robert Lifson on Tagged Uncategorized
One of the best bats we have ever had the privilege of offering, and one of our favorite items in the entire auction, is the 1919-1922 “Shoeless Joe” Jackson “Black Betsy” Pro-Model Bat (authenticated and graded A10 by MEARS and GU 8 by PSA/DNA respectively). Was this very bat actually used by Joe Jackson in the 1919 World Series? It’s possible, but we’ll never know for sure. But we have come up with some great additional information regarding its past sale history, and for those interested, we have posted this, along with additional information, here:
Past Auction Sale History:
This bat has previously been sold at auction. It was purchased by our consignor at a Vintage Authentics auction in 2004 for $48,809 (Hammer price of $42,443 + 15% buyers premium). We did not have the precise past auction history information until now (our consignor just found his original invoice and has provided it to us) so we post a copy of this invoice below. (Please note: there are two bats listed on this invoice as both were purchased at the same time. The bat we are offering, of course, is the second one listed as “Joe Jackson GU Bat”):
Note: The original SCD Authentic LOA that accompanied the bat when purchased from Vintage Authentics in 2004 has now also been posted online. (The previously posted MEARS and PSA/DNA letters did not accompany the bat in 2004, and were obtained when the bat was submitted by the consignor for authentication to these companies in more recent years.)
Past Private Sale Offering:
We have been asked if this bat is the very same bat that was on display (and advertised to be on display) at the MEARS booth at the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention and offered for sale for in excess of $100,000. It is the very same bat!
Additional Extremely Informative Letter From John Taube PSA/DNA:
1975 Carlton Fisk World Series Game 6 Home-Run Ball
Then all of a sudden the ball was suspended out there in the black of the morning like the Mystic River Bridge. Carlton Fisk broke forward for a step, then stopped and watched. He later remembered none of the clumsy hula dance that NBC made famous, only that “it seemed like the wait for Christmas morning” as he watched to see on which side of the fine line it would land: home run/victory or foul ball/strike one. - Peter Gammons
Robert Edward Auctions is proud to offer what, in our estimation, is the most iconic home run ball in the history of the game: Carlton Fisk’s twelfth inning “walk off” home run ball from Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. For those who experienced the sheer exhilaration of Game 6, Fisk’s walk-off blast was the ultimate finale to what can only be described as the most exciting game in baseball history. While the home run itself was historic, the theatrics of the moment, with Fisk, arms overhead, literally willing the ball fair with his body English, left an indelible impression upon the collective consciousness of baseball fans everywhere, making it one of the most memorable moments in all of sports. The physical act of the home run, from the time the ball left the bat to its impact upon the mesh screen of the foul pole, took less than four seconds; but in that brief period of time the entire baseball world stood still. Never before had the question of fair of foul been more exciting, or had more riding upon it. The suspense was palpable as the tiny orb sailed silently upwards, beyond the dizzying height of the “green monster,” until it finally made contact with the foul pole. The only sound those of us watching the game on television heard, and it was almost surreal, as off in the distance somewhere, was the now unforgettable call of NBC announcer Dick Stockton: “There it goes! A long drive, if it stays fair…HOME RUN! . . We will have a Seventh Game in this 1975 World Series.” That the Series would continue for one more game seemed to be a gift from the baseball gods to fans everywhere, with Fisk the conduit of their will.
Lost in the jubilant, near riotous, celebration that ensued following Fisk’s home run was the ball itself. What happened to it? As one can clearly see in this clip of the home run (http://m.mlb.com/video/v2650440/greatest-world-series-moments-no-6), the ball ricocheted sharply off the mesh screen of the foul pole straight down into the glove of Reds left fielder George Foster, who took it in hand and headed back to the dugout. Foster, realizing the significance of the ball, saved it for nearly twenty-five years before consigning it directly to Leland’s’ July 9, 1999, auction of sports memorabilia, where it sold for $113,273. (The sale of the ball was a major news story at the time and was reported on by all of the wire services and leading papers, including the New York Times.) It was purchased at that sale by our consignor, in whose possession it has remained for the past fifteen years. At the time of the original sale in 1999, George Foster provided a one-page typed-signed notarized letter, on his company’s letterhead (George Foster’s Pro-Concepts), attesting to the ball’s provenance. That letter remains with the ball and is included in the lot.
Also accompanying the ball, and perfect for display with it, is a marvelous 16 x 20-inch black-and-white autographed photo of Fisk hitting his historic Game 6 home run. What truly distinguishes this photo is the fact that Fisk specifically references the offered ball in his witty personalization to our consignor: “Rick/There it goes/into your living room/Carlton Fisk.” Both the inscription and signature are executed in silver paint pen and grade “10.” The photo (Nr-Mt) has been matted and framed to total dimensions of (26.5 x 22.5 inches).
So much has been written about Game 6 of the 1975 World Series that the game has risen to almost mythical status today. Fisk’s Game 6 home run can normally be found in any of the top ten countdowns listing baseball’s most memorable moments, while Game 6 itself was voted baseball’s greatest game ever by the MLB Network. If there is such a place as baseball heaven, then it probably consists of a box seat right behind the first base dugout at Fenway Park while Game 6 is replayed continuously for all eternity. After Game 6 finally ended, television journalist Clark Booth stated that “Instead of playing a seventh game, they should spread tables and checkered tablecloths across the outfields and just have a picnic, a feast to a glorious World Series, and toast one another until dawn.” Even the players involved knew that they were taking part in something special at the time. Carlton Fisk said afterwards it was the most emotional game he ever played in, while in the other dugout Pete Rose was quoted as saying “What a game! If this isn’t the national pastime. . . . well, it’s the best advertisement you could ever have for baseball. . . . it had to be the greatest World Series game in history and I’m just glad I’ll be able to say I was in it.” Despite all of the incredible moments in the game, from Bernie Carbo’s dramatic game-tying three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning, to Dwight Evan’s unbelievable game-saving catch in the top of the eleventh inning (Red’s manager Sparky Anderson said “It was just about the greatest catch I’ve ever seen”), the final outcome came down to one unforgettable event: Fisk’s home run.
One other story that should probably be mentioned with regard to the Fisk home run is that it literally changed the way in which games were televised. At that time, cameramen were instructed to always follow the ball; however, when Fisk came to the plate in the bottom of the twelfth inning, NBC cameraman Lou Gerard, who was stationed in the Fenway Park scoreboard, had a problem: a swarm of rats. According to Gerard, “There were some rats running around. With Fisk coming up, Harry Coyle, who was the director at the time, he told me, ‘Lou, you have to follow the ball if he hits it.’ I said, ‘Harry, I can’t, I’ve got a rat on my leg that’s as big as a cat. It’s staring me in the face. I’m blocked by a piece of metal on my right.’ So he said, ‘What are we going to do?’ I said, ‘How about if we stay with Fisk, see what happens?’” Coyle, of course, agreed, and the rest is television history. If not for the rat, America would have probably missed one of the most dramatic moments in sports history (the entire story, as related by Sporting News writer Matt Crossman, can be found at this link: http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2012-04-17/fenway-park-100-years-carlton-fisk-rat-boston-red-sox-1975-world-series).
The ball itself is an official American League (MacPhail) ball, displaying minor soiling commensurate with its game use. Interestingly, there is a minor area of abrasion on a side panel that was probably the result of its impact with the mesh screen connected to the foul pole. It should also be noted the the use of specially manufactured World Series balls did not begin until 1978; therefore, all balls used in World Series prior to that time were either standard American or National League balls (use of an OAL or ONL ball was dependent upon the home team).
As previously mentioned, this is only the second time this ball has ever been offered for sale, publicly or privately, and it may be quite some time before it appears on the market again. Over the past forty years REA has handled countless treasures from baseball’s storied past, but only a small few can compare with the offered ball in regard to both historical and cultural significance. This is an item that more rightfully belongs in the Smithsonian Institute than the Baseball Hall of Fame, and one that will represent the crown jewel of any collection in which it resides. Total: 3 items (ball, LOA from George Foster, signed Carlton Fisk photo). LOA from James Spence/JSA (for the Foster and Fisk signatures only). Reserve $100,000. Estimate (open).
Extraordinary high-grade and possibly unique example of Hall of Famer John Ward from one of the rarest of all nineteenth-century baseball-card issues: the 1889 Police Gazette cabinet-card series. This is an astonishing newly-discovered example which is of tremendous note, not only for its rarity as a sample, but for its heretofore unconfirmed existence! The 2011 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards lists only thirty-six different known subjects, and John Ward, offered here, is not among the cataloged subjects. This card had only ever been seen once when a photo was shared anonymously on the Full Count Vintage Baseball Card Forum (http://vbbc.forumotion.com/forum.htm) in September 2010. The astute collectors there immediately recognized the significance and marveled at the find. We were equally as stunned by the card at the time and never dreamed that we would someday be contacted to present it at auction.
Adding to this card’s miraculous existence is the incredible provenance which accompanies: it has been consigned by the great-grandnephew of the original owner and has been passed down through the family with the original mailing envelope from the publisher of Police Gazette, Richard K. Fox of New York. The envelope is addressed to the great-granduncle, Arthur Everts, who at the time of issue was twelve years old. Arthur kept the card until his death in 1966, at which time it was inherited by his nephew, and then upon his death, passed on to our consignor, who has kept it in his possession for the last eighteen years. A letter from the family and detailed “family tree/card history” accompanies and fully documents provenance. This incredible and perfectly documented chain of custody has kept the card in the family of the original owner for the last 125 years!
Few cards, nineteenth century or otherwise, can compare with the extreme rarity of this set. This is one of only three Police Gazette cabinet Hall of Famer cards we have even seen in our many years (REA’s 2009 auction featured examples of Tim Keefe and Sam Thompson). Fewer than fifty Police Gazette examples in total are known to exist from this set. For many years, the exact method of issue of this set was unknown. The prevailing theory was that they were most likely issued as premiums by Police Gazette in 1889. The Police Gazette, one of the most prominent of all weekly periodicals of the era, provided in depth coverage of professional baseball. The discovery of the original mailing envelope offered here (the first we have ever seen or heard of existing) confirms this theory. Printed on the back of the envelope is an advertisement billing “Police Gazette Cabinet Photographs” at a cost of ten cents each as well as advertising for a “Catalogue of Police Gazette Books and Photographs.” Advertisements for these cabinet photos likely ran in the periodical and interested parties could send away for the cabinets or books they desired.
The formal studio photo pictures John Ward (identified as Johnny Ward on the card) in uniform as a member of the New York Giants. This particular image of Ward is the same one used for his 1888 S. F. Hess card, and with the distinctive oval-style portrait design identical to that used by S. F. Hess, at first glance looks like a giant S. F. Hess card. (For reference, an example of the smaller S. F. Hess tobacco card of Ward is illustrated in the 1991 Copeland auction catalog, lot 767). This is an outstanding and extremely striking cabinet card. The image on the photo is very bold, with virtually flawless clarity and contrast. Small spots of surface wear, of no consequence to the overall display value, are present near the top edge of the photo and near the “W” on Ward’s jersey. Bright and crisp, both front and back, with a near-flawless black mount, which bears the gilt-embossed imprint “Richard K. Fox - Publisher of the Police Gazette, Franklin Square, New York.” The blank reverse is entirely clean, which is extremely rare to see on nineteenth-century cards as they are often found with writing, album residue, or paper loss. Outstanding overall Excellent appearance. This is an exceptional Hall of Famer example, with a remarkable original-owner provenance, accompanied by an extremely significant and (to date) unique original mailing envelope, from one of the nineteenth century’s most elusive and highly regarded issues. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open).
Above is one of the many highlights in the upcoming REA Spring auction.
Catalogs mail the first week in April!
Bidding begins approximately April 7, 2014.
Auction closing date: April 26, 2014.
For more information about Robert Edward Auctions, please visit:
To register to bid in the auction, please visit:
To request a complimentary catalog or inquire about consignments,
please contact us at:
Robert Edward Auctions LLC.
Robert Edward Auctions is honored to have been chosen to present what is by far the finest and most advanced vintage Three Stooges lobby card and movie poster collection to ever come to auction. All Three Stooges movie posters and lobby cards are extremely rare and have long been recognized as “blue chips” by advanced collectors in the movie poster world as well as among Three Stooges collectors. The offering of just a few lobby cards and posters is a rare collecting event. This remarkable collection has been assembled over a period of thirty years. The collection spans from their first year of making films in 1934 (including the one-sheet for The Three Stooges’ very first short, “The Woman Hater’s Club,” which is an iconic rarity deserving of display in the Smithsonian), all the way up to a one-sheet for their final short in 1956. Included are an astounding total of 101 different Three Stooges one-sheets (including seven extraordinary examples from the 1930s and seventeen early 1940s Stooges one-sheets featuring Curly) and 153 lobby cards (twenty-two extreme rarities from the 1930s, eighty-three 1940s lobby cards from shorts featuring Curly, and seventy-six cards from 1947-1955 shorts featuring Shemp).
This is an unprecedented offering and literally a once-in-a-lifetime collecting opportunity. The entire Three Stooges Collection will be presented over a series of several auctions. This first offering is comprised of forty-three lobby cards presented in 38 lots, plus six one-sheet movie posters. The lobby cards are highlighted by six remarkably rare cards from the 1930s, including an example from 1934’s Men In Black (which was personally purchased by our consignor directly from Moe Howard’s daughter decades ago) and 1935’s classic Hoi Polloi. The six one-sheet posters are all from extremely desirable early titles featuring Curly, and include two extraordinary 1930s examples (1935 Uncivil Warriors and 1938 Mutts to You).
There were only 174 short films in total made by The Three Stooges between 1934 and 1956. This collection has advertising one-sheets and lobby cards representing 115 of them. At REA, we have often joked that everything we know about the world, including about “high society” and stereotypes, really came from watching The Three Stooges. The truth is not far off! It is a special privilege to present what is by far the finest, most comprehensive and significant Three Stooges collection that has ever been seen (and probably ever will be seen) in the auction world, and in the process pay tribute to these comedic icons that have both been a mirror of, and made such a lasting impact on, American culture.
Catalogs mail the first week in April.
Bidding begins approximately April 7, 2014.
Auction closing date: April 26, 2014.
For more information about Robert Edward Auctions, please visit:
To register to bid in the auction, please visit:
WATCHUNG, NJ — If there was any trepidation about breaking from the long standing once-a-year format, it quickly evaporated once the dust began to settle at Robert Edward Auctions early Sunday morning. The company’s inaugural Fall Auction generated $3.06 million in sales led by extremely strong showings for the hundreds of vintage, rare and high grade baseball cards and historic memorabilia items that have been the REA trademark.
The Fall Auction marked a big milestone for REA, which has operated on a one auction per year basis since the company’s inception. Delivered in the spring, the huge catalog has always been highly anticipated by collectors. The Fall 2013 catalog was smaller by design but drew a crowd of bidders that weren’t shy about chasing after the 1,140 lots.
“This auction exceeded all of our expectations,” said company president Robert Lifson. “We had a little bit of everything but a big part of the auction was our experimenting with breaking up extremely high grade sets. We were very pleased with the results. Collectors were very excited about the chance to bid in another REA auction in October and the feedback from consignors has been just as clear and maybe even louder. They were thrilled.”
A remarkable 12,231 bids were placed from open to close and there were 456 different winning bidders.
Four high grade vintage card sets that were broken up, allowing collectors to more easily acquire what they needed, all alone represented 35% of the auction lots. In most cases, the results far surpassed expectations-and ‘book’ value.
- The #3 ranked 1956 Topps baseball set on the PSA Set Registry was offered as 110 different lots. The SMR value of the set was $137,985, but at REA the set realized a total of $188,593 representing a remarkable across-the-board 36% premium to book value.
- A high-grade collection of eighty 1958 Topps cards with a total SMR value of $17,520 sold for a combined $36,794. In addition, two PSA 10s from the same set sold for an astounding $6,517 each.
- The #5 ranked 1955 Topps All-American football set was offered in 30 different lots. The SMR value was $36,875 and the set realized $40,883 in total.
- Every card in the #1 T205 Gold Border set on the PSA Set Registry was sold as an individual lot, and at the end of the night, the set hammered down at a combined $321,076, including $23,500 for Christy Mathewson graded NM-MT 8 by PSA.
The first lot in the auction was perhaps the sale’s greatest highlight and fittingly drew the largest bid. 126 years after it was placed in a store to promote trading cards of ‘base ball’ players available in Old Judge cigarettes, the display poster which features 19th century stars and somehow survived destruction, realized $112,575. “There was a tremendous amount of interest in the Old Judge display. This is the first Old Judge baseball card store display we have ever offered at auction. They are so rare that there is naturally very little price history. So it was interesting to see so many bidders instantly recognize the value of the piece, thinking for themselves, and bid accordingly. It’s a strong sign of a very healthy market for the very best items in general, as well as a sign of tremendous appreciation by collectors for this item in particular.”
A Ty Cobb pro model bat dating the 1916-1919 period which could be traced directly to the hands of Ty Cobb and which once resided in the legendary personal collection of pioneer collector and noted bat expert Michael Montbriand, found a new home at a price of $65,175.
As bidding wound down late Saturday, the Boston Red Sox were earning another trip to the World Series and two key pieces of Bosox memorabilia were getting some extra attention from bidders. A 1955 Ted Williams game-worn road jersey sold for $77,025 while a 2004 Red Sox World Series ring with original box tallied $32,587.
Finding a truly game-worn Michael Jordan jersey is a challenge. Even though they’re often labeled as such, many are actually just game issued or even replicas. However, REA was able to present a 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball jersey worn by Jordan that came with a letter of authenticity directly from Jordan’s foundation. Originally purchased at a 1992 fundraising gala, the jersey was also graded A10 by MEARS and sold for $53,325.
T206 cards featuring rare advertising backs continue to generate interest and one card illustrated how much that sector of the hobby has grown. A Walter Johnson graded SGC 60 and featuring a Broad Leaf Tobacco ad sold for an astounding $65,175.
A T206 Tris Speaker featuring a Drum Tobacco ad on the back and graded PSA 4 sold for a remarkable $32,587 while a Rube Marquard Uzit back, graded PSA 7 (highest graded) brought $18,960.
The 1955 Ebbets Field Model Recreation by artist Steve Wolf was one of the most fascinating items ever offered by REA. It was hammered down at $47,400. With over 50,000 separate pieces and over 1,800 hours invested in its creation, this is the first and only Steve Wolf stadium model to ever be presented at auction. All other Steve Wolf stadium creations have been by commission. This model is the only one ever produced by Wolf as his own pet project, and the detail and work involved was greater than that of any of his other stadium projects, all of which are renowned as masterpieces. The buyer has volunteered that he hopes to someday display the 1955 Ebbets Field Model Recreation in a museum, and that is certainly where this remarkable work would be most at home.
REA is now accepting consignments for its next auction, set for the spring of 2014. To inquire about consignments, learn more about Robert Edward Auctions, view all auction results, register for future auctions, or receive a complimentary copy of the catalog, visit www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com. For further information, contact Robert Edward Auctions, PO Box 7256, Watchung, NJ 07069, or call (908) 226-9900.
19th century team photo with remarkable significance to integration in baseball.
Presented is a unique card of both tremendous rarity (it is the only example we have seen) and enormous historical significance with regard to integration in baseball. The cabinet card pictures cameo portraits of thirteen members of the 1887 Syracuse Stars of the International League, including nineteen-year-old African-American star pitcher Robert Higgins. Each player is featured in formal attire, with Higgins’ portrait situated in the lower left corner. All of the players are identified by name, including manager Joe Simmons. The team name and year, “Syracuse Stars/1887,” appears in print along the top. The name of the photographer, “P. S. Ryder,” appears at the base of the both the photo and mount.
This card was originally discovered in our consignor’s attic, along with numerous other period photos, over twenty-five years ago and has never been seen in the modern collecting world until now. What makes this team cabinet so significant is that it was issued during the very year in which organized baseball’s league owners agreed not to sign any more black ballplayers. The “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” as it came to be known, remained in effect until Jackie Robinson joined Montreal in 1946. In 1887, Fleetwood Walker, Bud Fowler, Frank Grant, Robert Higgins, George Stovey, and three other black players went to play in the newly organized International League, the equivalent of Triple A baseball and just one step down from Major League status. They were not welcomed with open arms by either their teammates or fans. It was in the middle of the year that the International League’s board of directors told its secretary to approve no more contracts for black players, although it did not terminate the contracts of the league’s few remaining black ballplayers.
Moses Fleetwood Walker, who in 1884 became the first black player in Major League history, joined the Syracuse Stars in 1888. Higgins, who was from Memphis, endured harsh treatment from his teammates during his short time with Syracuse. During his second start with the club, on May 5th in Toronto, the fielders intentionally muffed balls in an effort to have Higgins taken out of the game. The team lost 28-8 (twenty-one of the runs were unearned) and the following day the Toronto World newspaper made note of the farce by issuing the headline “Disgraceful Baseball.” The Sporting Newsoffered a different headline: “The Syracuse Plotters.” On June 4, two of the Syracuse players, outfielder Henry Simon and pitcher Doug Crothers, refused to appear in the official team picture with Higgins. Crothers, whose refusal was punctuated by a fist fight with team manager Joe Simmons, was initially suspended for the year. He was briefly reinstated before being given his outright release on July 2nd. Simon was not punished for his action, but, as the local papers made note at the time, he was far more valuable to the team than Crothers and thus his offense against Higgins was overlooked. It is interesting to note that while Simon refused to pose with Higgins in person, he was powerless to prevent his image from appearing together with Higgins’ on this card. Crothers’ image does not appear on the card, indicating it was issued after he was released. The “Gentlemen’s Agreement” allowed black ballplayers who had existing contracts to remain in their respective leagues, but by the early 1890s few remained.
Many cards have a story, but this one has a much greater and more significant story than most, with a direct connection to the history of the banning of black ballplayers from professional baseball, an event which soon led to the glorious rise of the Negro Leagues. This is truly a rare and unique nineteenth-century baseball card. The only other example of an 1887 Syracuse Stars team card featuring Higgins that we have seen (a very interesting but very different style card in much poorer condition) appeared as Lot 58 in REA’s April 2007 auction, where it realized a final sales price of $2,643. (The card was actually a promotional card issued by a local pool hall, which gave it the distinction of being the first baseball card featuring an African-American player.) The offered cabinet photo (4.25 x 6.5 inches) displays a tiny chip in the lower left corner (not affecting Higgins’ portrait or name) as well as a tiny area of light discoloration along the top (not affecting any of the portraits). There is also minor separation of the photo from the mount in the bottom left corner. The mount displays minor border wear. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. This 1887 Syracuse Stars team cabinet card is a remarkable and extremely significant find relating to the formal end of integration in organized baseball in the nineteenth century. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).
Here’s the link to the bidding page for Lot 26:
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