Heritage Auctions will count on a trio of never-before-offered game worn jerseys, from Mickey Mantle, Bobby Orr and Paul Hornung to anchor the deep variety of vintage sports memorabilia and trading cards the company is offering in its upcoming April 22-23 Signature Auction, online at HA.com and live in Dallas.
“Not only are the Mantle, Orr and Hornung among the most important jerseys to reach the auction block in recent memory,” noted Chris Ivy, Director of Heritage Auction Galleries’ Sports Collectibles division, “but each is making its auction debut in the April Signature sale.”
The Mantle jersey was consigned by a man who received the shirt as payment for a small debt decades ago.
“The consignor thought it was simply a shirt worn by Mantle in a youth baseball clinic,” Ivy said. “Our research determined that it was actually a genuine Yankees gamer, worn in the famous photograph of Mantle utilized for all promotional materials distributed at Yankee Stadium on Mickey Mantle Day in 1969, when the Mick’s number 7 was retired forever.”
Expected to deliver the one of the auction’s highest prices realized, the Bobby Orr jersey is one of two surviving rookie specimens, and the only example which remains 100% original and unaltered.
“The jersey was rescued from minor league secondary usage by a Bruins scout,” said Ivy. “It was given to the scout’s nephew as a present, and is consigned by that lucky hockey fan.”
After decades of display in a smoky bar in the shadow of the Churchill Downs racetrack, a Notre Dame jersey worn by Heisman Trophy winner and Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Hornung is expected to bring some intense bidding from a variety of gridiron fans and memorabilia collectors.
“Like the other two elite jerseys in this auction, the Hornung has been extensively matched to period photography,” Ivy said. “It’s one of the greatest college football jerseys ever uncovered.”
While the locker rooms of American sports history have likewise provided this auction with artifacts from the likes of “Wee Willie” Keeler, Ernie Davis, Wayne Gretzky and Whitey Ford, the auction's highlights extend well beyond the game used variety.
“Some of the rarest Negro League autographs on earth are now up for bidding,” said Ivy, referencing a signed check from Oscar Charleston and Alex Pompez, and an historic “Cuban Baseball Constitution” bearing the signature of Martin Dihigo to back his claim.
The Mark Emerson Collection of Rare Golf Autographs, presented as its own extended bidding event on Friday, April 23, stands as the most significant offering of signed material from the legends of the links ever to arise at auction. Among the highlights are an exceedingly rare “Old Tom” Morris signed check and the only known signature of Andrew Strath, who won the 1865 British Open (then called “The Open Championship”) before passing away in 1868.
The trading card portion of the auction, presented in an Extended Bidding format on Thursday, April 22, is highlighted by the Simon Bourque Collection of Rare Hockey Cards, featuring exceedingly rare single cards and sets from the early days of the twentieth century, most ranking near the top of the SGC and PSA population reports and set registries.
“Many collectors will go their entire lives without seeing some of these cards in any condition,” Ivy said. “Bourque was years ahead of his time, seeking out the finest examples he could locate at a time when hockey card collecting was in its true infancy.”
Those collectors who prefer America’s national sport over Canada’s are certainly not forgotten, however, with the cover piece of the April Signature Auction catalog: a previously unseen 1887 G20 Allen & Ginter “The World’s Champions” advertising banner sure to spark serious bidding fireworks.
Other noteworthy finds within Session One of this Signature Auction include a healthy selection of top-10 set registry entries from 1950s and 1960s Topps Baseball, an E90-1 American Caramel Joe Jackson, a T206 Eddie Plank and an exceptionally rare 1928 Exhibit Pacific Coast League near set.
The trading card portion of the auction will end on Thursday, April 22 in an Extended Bidding format, each lot closing individually after 30 minutes of bidding inactivity following the 10 PM CT cut-off. The memorabilia will be sold April 23 in a live auction format beginning at 11 a.m. CT, with bidders able to participate in person, by telephone, or online at HA.com/Live. The Mark Emerson Collection of Rare Golf Autographs will close on Friday, April 23 in an Extended Bidding format, each lot closing individually after 30 minutes of bidding inactivity following the 10 PM CT cut-off.