Invaluable reached out to me to help announce a pretty amazing auction during this All-Star week. Invaluable and Hunts Auctions are teaming up for this special event that has some truly extraordinary lots that any baseball fan would love. Here are their words below describing it:
This auction, 2015 Live Auction at T-Mobile All-Star FanFest, will be on tomorrow July 14, 2015, at 10:30am EST, and will feature a selection of noteworthy auction lots. The sale will feature more than 450 lots of rare baseball memorabilia, including a select grouping of items from the Johnny Bench Collection, which will headline the auction. Items being offered as part of the sale include:
Lot 286: Significant Roy Campanella 1953 National League Most Valuable Player award
Estimated Price: $175,000 – $200,000
Significant Roy Campanella 1953 National League Most Valuable Player award. A star player in both the Negro and Mexican Leagues, Campanella transitioned into the Brooklyn Dodgers Minor League system in 1946 and would ultimately join Jackie Robinson in the Major Leagues in 1948. A fixture in every All-Star Game played from 1949 to 1956, Campy was the National League’s Most Valuable Player (3) times in that same span of seasons. In 1953 he set then records for home runs (41) and RBIs by a catcher (142) hitting .312 in the Dodgers effort for a second consecutive National League Pennant. Important original award measuring 16″ across has octagonal Sterling Silver placard affixed at front. A gold colored bust of K.M. Landis sits below the second base position of a baseball diamond which also holds “Roy Campanella” engraved nameplate below “Most Valuable Player National League” titling, “Brooklyn Dodgers” team name, and a crossed bats/baseball applique which notes year, “1953.” Front is marked, “Sterling Dieges & Clust” and their tacked on metal tag remains on back below an eyelet for hanging. Very clean overall with a few minor scattered imperfections. One of the most high profile pieces of its’ type to have entered the marketplace. Includes letter of provenance from the Campanella Family: EX/MT
Lot 254: Important Ted Williams 1960 All-Star Game autographed professional model bat used for his final All-Star game appearance and base hit (Ted Williams Collection Provenance)
Estimated Price: $100,000 – $150,000
We were honored to conduct the Ted Williams Collection live auction event on behalf of the Williams family in 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston. Within that sale was included Ted’s other 1960 All-Star Game bat which also exhibited fine overall use indicative of regular season use after the All-Star Game similar to the offered specimen. The offered bat was only recently discovered within Ted Williams’s former personal residence in Florida along with an incredible handwritten note by William’s own hand. The note is written in pencil by Ted Williams on the back of a local safe company note paper and reads, “1960 Last Bat used single NY Kansas City”. Williams went 0-1 in a pinch hit appearance in the first 1960 All-Star Game played in Kansas City. In the second game played in New York, Ted collected a single in a pinch hit appearance which was also his final base hit in his All-Star Game career (14 total in his career).
Lot 253: 1953 Mickey Mantle All-Star Game professional model bat
Estimated Price: $75,000 – $100,000
1953 Mickey Mantle All-Star Game professional model bat (Direct Team Employee Provenance, PSA/DNA “GU 9”). Significant bat as issued to Mickey Mantle for use in his second All-Star Game appearance is one of the earliest dated examples, which can be definitively dated, to have surfaced. Louisville Slugger 125 model bat has Mantle facsimile signature burned into the barrel along with “All Star Game Cincinnati 1953” in block letter. Model “K55″ is factory stamped in the knob and the bat measures 35” long and weighs 33.2oz. An expected level of mild but well defined use is evident throughout with ball and stitch marks visible on the hitting surface along with some rack streaks. The offered bat was obtained directly from Mickey Mantle by the former equipment manager of the Washington Senators continuing with the Minnesota Twins. The young man had worked to earn Mantle’s trust by assisting the player while in town for visiting games. In return, the young man asked Mantle for his bat after he was done with it at the 1953 All-Star Game. Mantle obliged and the bat has remained in his personal collection until its current offering. Hitting for both average and power through all of his (18) seasons in baseball Mickey Mantle is firmly established as one of the games’ greatest sluggers. Named Most Valuable Player of the American League (3) times, he won the Triple Crown in 1956, and played on (7) Championship teams. In total Mantle enjoyed (20) All-Star Game appearances, a feat topped only by Aaron, Musial, and Mays. Statistics aside, there is a lore which surrounds his name that few others can conjure up. Mantle simply had intangibles, which cannot be charted in box scores or accounted for in comparison to the standard measure of pure athletic ability. Includes full LOA from PSA/DNA (graded “GU 9”),LOA from Hunt Auctions, and letter of provenance with related photo (see catalogue image) from the equipment manager: EX
Lot 156: Pete Rose “Babe Ruth Crown” for Outstanding Batting Achievement
Estimated Price: $50,000 – $75,000
Pete Rose “Babe Ruth Crown” for “Outstanding Batting Achievement.” Highly visual award piece done in the fashion of the “Sultan of Swat Award” which was an honor bestowed each year, starting in 1956, to the player with the highest slugging percentage. The roster of recipients read like a who’s who of great hitters to include Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Harmon Killebrew, and even Joe DiMaggio whom was honored in 1956 for his 1939 season statistics. This later period piece, awarded by the same organization, offers similar display value with some subtle differences in text/design. Done in brass with affixed placard at front that reads, in both applied block letter and engraved text, “Babe Ruth Crown Presented to Pete Rose, For Outstanding Batting Achievement, Maryland Professional Baseball Players Association.” The (6) points are each done to resemble a baseball diamond with colored jewel fitted at center. Ringing the body are applied crossed bat/ball decor pieces alternating with engraved career related statistics/notations. In fine overall condition with hint of light tarnish/wear mentioned for accuracy. Includes signed letter of provenance from Pete Rose: EX/MT
Baseball is the greatest sport in the world with the richest history and is often called America’s pastime. Why is baseball referred to as our national pastime. Well…….
Baseball was HUGE in America from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. It ruled in the sports world. Everyone knew about baseball and what was going on. You could have conversation with anyone about it. It brought the people together. Players consisted of both “regular” guys as well as “larger than life” characters. People could turn on their radio daily, listen to the game, and have a beer. How American is that? Baseball is what children did in their free time. There was no technology that kids stared aimlessly at for hours, so they turned to the sport. It brought parents and kids together in playing/teaching moments.
Baseball, was something the country looked up to in a way. There was nothing else like it. It was a source of great entertainment. The 1919 Black Sox scandal was devastating to its reputation. This in a way put a black mark on something everyone loved. The country was upset. Baseball was saved when Babe Ruth took the league by storm when he was sold to the Yankees in 1919, making the most intense rivalry in sports, the Red Sox vs. Yankees. Lou Gehrig was adored by the country. When he was diagnosed with ALS, the country surrounded him and loved him. No sport brought us together like baseball. Douglas Walop wrote, ”America was the land of opportunity where even a poor boy could grow up to be Babe Ruth.” This shows that people could aspire to become a ball player no matter the circumstances. It was a reachable goal. The game inspired and gave people hope.
When any player now days is caught using performance enhancing drugs, there is huge uproar of disgust and disappointment. Everyone talks about baseball being ruined and what it means for the future of the sport. This is just not the same about other sports. There is a certain uniqueness and pride about this sport that holds itself to a higher standard.
Baseball stood as a pillar of strength through wars and the Great Depression. It is something that is always there for you, past, present, and future. It is a sport that cannot be won by one single person, it revolves immensely around teamwork. Baseball brings our country together, whether it’s cheering for an underdog or a superstar. Back in the day, baseball was pretty much only an American sport. I believe this gave us a source of patriotic American pride. Newsflash: Patriotic American Pride is a Good thing!!!
Life is comparable to baseball: “the highs, the lows, the balls, the strikes.” There is always tomorrow and a second chance. Times may be going tough for someone, like a player in baseball, a slump. Then, things could start looking upward, like a hit or start of a hot streak.
There is no other sport that compares to baseball. I feel like it was the first and is the last great family form of sports entertainment. Even though it may not have the highest TV ratings anymore, it’s rich history keeps it our national pastime.
On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron, of the Atlanta Braves, reached the impossible record of breaking “the Babe’s” all-time home run record. Hank is a great man and a class act.
These videos capture the excitement of number 714 and famous number 715!
People say Barry Bonds is the Home Run King, but Hank stands alone. Remember this: 715 home runs, no PED’s needed….
Hank you’re the true KING!
In baseball there is the designated hitter (DH). I personally don’t like the DH and I think it should be abolished.
The DH is a bad rule . The pitcher plays the field and he should have the right to hit. If you play the field you should bat. Nine positions on the field and nine spots in the batting order. It makes sense, right? I don’t understand why the DH was ever established. Another thing I don’t get is that why is almost every pitcher a horrid hitter? I understand they almost solely focus on pitching, but they gotta have some time to hit. Furthermore, you would think they would have an “edge” in hitting the ball, like some “secret” info….. Back in the day pitchers could slug the ball, especially Babe Ruth. Ruth could hit and pitch extremely well.
I hope the American League abolishes this, but I don’t think it’ll happen anytime soon.