Huggins and Scott Auction Preview – Bidding Begins March 17th

Fresh off a record-setting $2.4 million event in October of 2007, Huggins and Scott has completed preparations for a new major sports memorabilia catalog auction that will begin March 17th. The Maryland-based company, which sold a rare Joe Jackson-Buck Weaver autographed baseball for $69,000 last fall, will offer 1,384 consigned lots of vintage and modern sports cards and memorabilia in a two-day Masterpiece Auction with bidding conducted by phone and internet via the company’s web site. Another one-of-a-kind piece of vintage baseball memorabilia highlights the auction, one which should stir the interest of game-worn jersey collectors as well as the legions of St. Louis Cardinals fans and hobbyists.

Lot number one is a Chick Hafey game-used Cardinals’ home jersey dating from the 1929 or 1930 season.  Hafey was a hard-hitting outfielder for the Cardinals who was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1971. So prolific was Hafey that in 1971 renowned author Lawrence Ritter ranked him as one of the Top 100 greatest baseball players of all time.

Game-worn or used memorabilia from pre-war Hall of Famers is securely nestled in advanced collections as permanent keepsakes. The Hafey jersey is a remarkable artifact of this depression era stalwart. Manufactured by Sainz, the button-down flannel reveals moderate to heavy game usage. The embroidered team lettering is vibrant and intact, while the unnumbered back conceals a lightly stitched “Hafey” team identification tag on the tail. The jersey has been graded and authenticated by Memorabilia Evaluatioin and Research Services, a highly respected sports memorabilia authenticator.

“The Hafey jersey is probably one of the neatest items we’ve come across in some time,” said Vice President of Auction Operations, Josh Wulkan. “Vintage game used jerseys are scarce, but having a Hall of Famer from the pre-World War II era of baseball is really special for us. It will be the highlight of someone’s collection.”Â

Several pieces of high quality autographed items from baseball icons will also be offered in the upcoming auction.  Included is a fascinating collection of Ty Cobb personal hand-written letters and autographs dating from an extended period of the Hall of Famer’s life. This compilation spans four decades and contains hand-written letters, typed letters and dictated multi- and single-page letters, notes and a signed 8×10 photograph. The majority of the group were letters Cobb exchanged with the well-traveled author and entrepreneur Helene Champlain.

A 1929 New York Yankees team signed baseball features the signatures of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and other Hall of Famers who toiled for an early edition of the Bronx Bombers. The ball includes 19 black ink signatures forged with a steel-tip pen and has been authenticated by James Spence Authentication.

Fans flocked to Ruth and Gehrig and the H&S auction is evidence that the two superstars accommodated whenever possible, personalizing items for those who asked. A phenomenal Lou Gehrig signed 7×9” black and white photograph is also being offered as well as a few different single-signed Babe Ruth baseballs.

Nearly three quarters of a century after his death, the name Knute Rockne still invokes a mythical quality and the godfather of the Fighting Irish is represented by the inclusion of a 1930 Notre Dame autographed football. Of all the University’s accolades, the 1930 championship has special significance because it would be the last game coached by the legendary Rockne before his untimely death in a 1931 plane crash. The Spalding J5 official leather game ball contains fifteen signatures including that of Rockne and future Irish coach Frank Leahy. All signatures are penned in black ink, and Rockne stands out as the focal point of the signed panel.   Considering the age of the ball, it is still a terrific presentation piece.

Sports cards are once again a focal point of the auction and this sale will include several rare baseball and football card lots, highlighted by a T207 Buck Weaver containing the rare Broadleaf tobacco ad on its reverse. The card has been graded 50 by Sportscard Guaranty Corporation. A T3 Turkey Red Cy Young graded SGC 60 should attract attention from followers of this incredibly popular pre-War ‘cabinet card’ set.

The ever-popular 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card can be found in the sale, with a PSA 4 version offered.

One of the finest 1972 Topps football sets in existence should find a new home with little trouble. The complete set is ranked #3 on the PSA Set Registry. A remarkable 220 PSA 9 (MINT) graded cards are included and the set has an overall rating of 8.63.   Â

Last fall’s auction saw Huggins and Scott sell some exceptionally rare regional cards with a 1953-54 Briggs Meats Jensen/Masterson rare panel selling for $20,700 and a 1953 Hunters Weiners box featuring Red Schoendienst, which brought $17,250. This spring’s sale follows up with another wonderful selection of tough regional meat issues of Esskay and Briggs cards among the lots.Â

Several early unopened wax boxes are included including a 1972 Topps football high number box.  Â

Huggins and Scott will have an unusually large number of autographed lots with balls, bats, lithographs, photographs and others consigned by collectors from all across the country.

Huggins and Scott’s rapid growth has caused the company to increase the frequency of its catalog auctions beginning in 2008. “We have now decided to go from two auctions per year to four,” Wulkan explained. “We are thrilled our auctions have become popular enough to support this type of frequency. We’ve had a lot of fun bringing some great items to the market.”  Â

“We should be the talk of the industry this summer. We just uncovered an incredible 275-card high grade 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack baseball card collection. It will be offered later this year. We are also honored to have an unbelievable group of items from a preeminent collector of Philadelphia Phillies memorabilia that includes some important player awards and other pieces which will be featured in our July and October auctions.”     Â

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