There are so many unique niches in the upcoming Collect.com Auction sale, you really have to grab a catalog and see it for yourself. From Babe Ruth to Sonny Liston, all of the big names across all of the major sports are here, spilling into entertainment and the music world as well. A few of the big-time categories, which will be discussed in length below, include signed license plates from athletes from all sports, along with celebrities; a top-notch vintage-card selection that happens to include 18 more Al Demaree Die-Cuts and a 1910 E103 Williams Caramels Honus Wagner PSA 2; complete baseball sets from 1954, 1955 and 1957; a game-used bat collection with Elston Howard and Bobby Richardson; a signed boxing collection that is among the best you’ll ever find and a certain King of Pop’s signed fedora. In several key categories, this sale represents “our best offering to date,” said Steve Bloedow, director of auctions. “The game-used bats and boxing items are very strong, and we expect them to do well.” The auction kicked off Nov. 15 and ends Dec 2 (www.collect.com/auctions).
Plates and pins
The auction kicks off with an autographed license plate collection of fascinating scope and execution. While there are piles of collections of old license plates from all over the world, it would be difficult to find many that are then signed by Hall of Famers, celebrities and other noted personalities. Yet these all are, 108 lots worth, and the plates all match up with the athlete who signed them.
For instance, Mickey Mantle is on an Oklahoma plate, and Bobby Thomson signed a 1951 N.Y. license plate, as did Joe DiMaggio (his final season). The list of Hall of Famers is several dozen deep and includes all of the major sports and beyond. It’s a unique offering and perfect for single-player collectors.
Following the plates are nine lots each containing one of the rare 1910 Hermes Ice Cream pins featuring members of the World Champion Pirates. There are 12 pins known to exist in the set, and nine of them are offered here – eight graded, with two of them a PSA 7. These pins are so rarely found that each graded example is the only one that exists in PSA’s population report.
It’s all in the cards
The backbone of any auction is the selection of vintage cards, and you’ll find plenty here. From T206 cards to 1887 N72 Old Judges, they are all here. One of the rarest examples is a 1910 E103 Williams Caramels Honus Wagner that checks in at PSA 2. There are only four examples that have been graded higher according to PSA’s Population Report.
Eighteen 1934 Al Demaree Die-Cuts will be featured in the auction. Some examples include Goose Goslin PSA 1, Frankie Frisch PSA 3, Dizzy Dean PSA 1, Pie Traynor PSA 2 and Sammy West PSA 5. These are “leftovers” from the massive find that was featured in the August Collect.com auction.
Complete sets in the lineup include a 1954 Topps Baseball set highlighted by a Hank Aaron rookie graded PSA 4.5. There’s also a 1952 Topps baseball complete low-number set (1-310). This is followed by a 1955 Topps Baseball complete set with a Koufax rookie at PSA 6 and a 1957 Topps high-grade complete set with more than 100 cards graded PSA 7.
Other highlights include a 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle PSA 3, a 1956 Topps Sandy Koufax BVG 8 and a 1955 Bowman Elston Howard SGC 88. Plus there are some partial sets of signed cards from 1957, 1969 and 1975, all featuring multiple Hall of Famers. A more-modern signed set in the auction is a 1987 Fleer Baseball complete set that includes the update cards.
Another strength of the auction is a string of high-end signed items that feature the legends of the game. Babe Ruth signed items make multiple appearances, with examples that include signed photos, a single-signed baseball from 1933 and a signed $1 bill (with Ken Strong). Roberto Clemente also appears on a 1969 Pittsburgh Pirates team-signed ball, a 1970 Chicago Cubs program and a 1959 Topps cards. Other famous signatures include a Barney Dreyfuss Signed Letter, Thurman Munson signed ball from his days with the Syracuse Chiefs, Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella on a 1948 Brooklyn Dodgers ball, Tris Speaker signed photocard, Jimmie Foxx signed 8×10 photo, Giants scout and Negro leagues executive Alex Pompez signed letter, Ty Cobb signed check and a Rube Marquard scrapbook signed by Satchel Paige, Pie Traynor and dozens more.
Collect.com Auctions offers its best lineup of game-used bats to date. Notables include a 1961-64 Elston Howard gamer graded PSA/DNA 8.5, a 1961-64 Bobby Richardson game-used bat tabbed PSA/DNA 8 and a Pete Rose 1965-68 game-used bat graded 7.5. Other game-used bats include Ozzie Smith, Joe Pepitone (both Adirondack and Louisville Slugger examples from his Yankees and Cubs days, respectively), Billy Williams, Eddie Mathews, Rickey Henderson and Albert Pujols.
A Michael Jordan game-used Chicago White Sox jersey from spring training during Jordan’s foray into baseball leads the game-used jerseys segment. Other jerseys include Ryan Klesko, Derek Jeter batting practice jersey, Joe Becker, Miguel Tejada, Yogi Berra batting practice jersey and Adam Jones.
The football selection is kicked off with some unopened vending boxes, which include 1972 Series 1 Football and 1973 Football. Top autographs in the auction are an Ernie Davis signed dinner program, Jim Thorpe signed photo, George Marshall cut signature and Goal Line Art cards of Gene Hickerson and an Fortmann. A great selection of signed full-size helmets is highlighted by Joe Namath, Jim Brown, Paul Hornung, Terry Bradshaw, Dick Butkus and Len Dawson. More gems in the football category are a Red Grange signed index card, Heisman Trophy winners signed poster and a 1980 Philadelphia Eagles NFC Championship ring.
Get in the ring with boxing
If you are a boxing collector, this auction is for you. How’s this for a sampling: Jack Johnson signed photo, Sonny Liston signed “Best Wishes” card, James Jeffries signed cabinet photo, Joe Louis/Max Baer dual-signed photo, Muhammad Ali signed note and original drawing, Eligir Cerdan “Kid Chocolate” signed document and dozens more. Other signed photos are signed by the likes of Archie Moore, Jack Sharkey, Gene Tunney, Billy Conn, Rocky Graziano, Carlos Monzon, Jack Kid Berg, Joe Frazier, George Forman and many more.
King of Pop
We’d be remiss without mentioning another unique item. Included in the auction is a Michael Jackson signed fedora similar to the ones he wore on stage. The inside brim is even personalized with “MICHAEL JACKSON” trimmed in gold lettering. Fedoras similar to this have sold in a Julien’s auction for $50,000 earlier this year. It comes fully authenticated by JSA.
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The Sports & Americana Auction No. 6 will kicked off Nov. 15 and ends Dec. 2. To register to bid, visit www.collect.com/auctions, or call 888-463-3063.