One of the most rare of all vintage fielders gloves sold on eBay earlier this month. A 1924 Spalding “Fielder’s Choice”, known in collecting circles as the “Tornado Palm”, brought 26 bids and a final price of $7699.
Glove collector Jerry “Mr. Mitt” Ficchi said it was first Tornado Palm that has come available to the market. He knows of two others; one resides in Gary Cypres’ LA Sports Museum and the other is in a private collection and was recently featured in the Smithsonian book on baseball memorabilia.
“There has been heavy interest in vintage gloves recently, especially tough to find, high value models,” Ficchi told Sports Collectors Daily. ” I can’t remember the last time we’ve seen 10 separate bidders all over $1999 on a glove. That’s a testament to the growing interest in vintage gloves as well as the rarity and uniqueness of this particular model. ”
The glove appears in a Spalding catalog from the period, priced at $10, quite a sum for a piece of baseball equipment back then. It was considered the top of the line model during its day.
The “Tornado” glove sold on eBay was rare in that it shows a good portion of its factory stampings and the “Fielders’ Choice” name is legible in the palm, making it more desirable.
Ficchi said the sellers, an antiquing husband and wife team from Caribou, ME, found it in an attic at a garage sale when they asked the homeowner if they could take a look around. They had no idea of its rarity or value and managed to avoid the temptation of ending the auction early for a low ball offer from collectors who tried to snare a bargain.