It’s been 36 years since Jim Palmer won the last of his three Cy Young Awards. Now, someone else will have a chance to own them. They’re included in Hunt Auctions’ upcoming 2012 All-Star FanFest sale in Kansas City. Also up for bid will be Palmer’s 1976 and 1979 Gold Glove Awards.
It’s not a financial need issue for Palmer, but at age 66 he says his priorities have shifted toward helping his children and grandchildren.
Bidding on the three Cy Young trophies has already vaulted past $116,000 with the auction not set to close until the live portion of the event next Tuesday. They’re expected to sell for between $60,000 and $80,000 each. His three Gold Glove Awards have pre-sale estimates of $10,000-15,000.
Palmer’s ’75 Cy Young represents what is generally considered his best season and one of the best of the era. He won 23 games, with a League leading 2.09 ERA and 193 strikeouts.
He’s not the first former pitcher to sell his hardware as former players note the high prices achieved in major hobby auctions. In 2009, Bob Gibson’s 1968 Cy Young Award sold for $84,000 and the year before that, Steve Carlton’s 1982 trophy sold to a bidder at another auction for $48,875.
Palmer will use part of the proceeds to pay for the care of his 14-year-old stepson, Spencer, who has autism and will need care for the remainder of his life. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Autism Project of Palm Beach County, which is a parent founded & sponsored, non-profit organization incorporated since 1996 to generate funding for services, resources, and education to improve the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families.
He says he’ll also use some of the money to help pay for the college expenses of his grandchildren.
Palmer says he kept the three Cy Young Awards on a wall in his home but the Gold Gloves were in storage because gold didn’t go with his wife’s ideas on design.
He’s now a broadcaster for the Orioles.