Auction Features 1911 Indy Racing Suit, Yankee Stadium First Program, Autographs

A massive three-day sale that will feature as many as 2,000 quality, fresh-to-the-market lots in a host of categories will be held the weekend of March 1-3 by Philip Weiss Auctions, in the firm’s gallery located at #1 Neil Court in Oceanside, N.Y.  While the company sells in a variety of categories, sports memorabilia will be at the forefront.

1923 Program first game Yankee Stadium A few of the expected top lots include a 19th century William Demuth Punch cigar store advertising figure; a racing suit worn by a driver at the first Indianapolis 500 car race, in 1911; a program from the first game played at Yankee Stadium, in 1923; a rare Montauk, N.Y., poster; and a goalie stick signed by players from the 1953-54 Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.

“This is shaping up to be one of the best three-day sales we’ve ever had – maybe the best of all,” said Philip Weiss of Philip Weiss Auctions. “The caliber of merchandise, combined with the fact that almost all of it is new to the market, is adding up to a blockbuster event.”   Weiss expects a healthy crowd, to go with Internet bidding (via Proxibid) and phone and absentee bids.

The auction will kick off Friday, March 1, at 2 p.m. (EST), with over 400 lots of sports-related items, non-sports cards, comics and comic art. Saturday, March 2, will feature more than 600 lots of transportation, militaria, historical, circus, posters and advertising, starting at 2 p.m. The Sunday session, March 3, at 10 a.m., will include 600+ lots of toys, trains and toy soldiers.

The Demuth Punch cigar store figure will be offered on Saturday, March 2. The William Demuth & Co., Mfgrs. (N.Y.) was already a well-known distributor of carved pipes and cigar store trade figures when it formed a partnership in 1883 with Moritz Seelig, a Brooklyn foundry operator, to make the renowned Punch figures. An example sold at auction in 2008 for $207,000.

The Indianapolis 500 driver’s suit is part of an archive of vintage race car memorabilia from the Henry Austin Clark Museum. It was worn by Indy racer Lewis Strang and is believed to be the only suit that exists today from that race. It will also be sold in the Saturday session, along with a pennant attributed to that same inaugural race and Sawchuk signed stick Red Wings 1954which was flown at the track that day.

The Yankee program and signed goalie stick will be headliners in the Friday, March 1, session. The Opening Day program from the Yankees’ first game played in the House That Ruth Built is dated April 18, 1923. The hockey stick was consigned by the estate of Terry Sawchuck, goalie on the championship 1953-54 Red Wings team. It is signed by all the players and coach.

Honus Wagner autographed baseballAlso sold March 1 will be a cut signature of Nile Kinnick, the Heisman Trophy winner who was killed in 1943 while training to be a fighter pilot shortly after college, making anything signed by him rare and desirable; two Babe Ruth cut signatures; a single-signed Honus Wagner baseball; a single-signed Babe Ruth baseball; a single-signed Hank Greenberg baseball; and a group of T206 baseball cards.

The Friday session will also feature a bat signed by members of the 1957 National League All-Star team (including Musial, Mays, Spahn, Aaron, Hodges, Banks); two circa-1870s original Warsaw early baseball broadsides; and a collection of non-sports cards.