Hunt Auctions is selling nearly 200 items from the life and times of one of boxing's greatest heavyweights, Joe Frazier, in its Third Annual Premier Sportscard and Memorabilia Auction, which is now underway. Among the lots are a replacement W.B.C. Championship belt that Hunt estimates will fetch $5,000-$10,000, the 1971 Edward J. Memorial Award for Fighter of the Year and 1964 Olympic Heavyweight Champion from the Tokyo Games.
Frazier went 32-4-1 during his professional career, with 27 wins coming by way of knockout. His three matches against against Muhammad Ali, including the final bout that was billed as the "Thrilla in Manilla" are known as three of the greatest fights ever. Frazier died in 2011 and these items are being put up for auction by the family.
One piece that crosses from sports into history is a hand-written letter to Frazier by Nelson Mandela that is dated a short time after his lengthy prison term ended.
There are over 1,500 total items in the auction. Not far into the catalog are several 1930's baseball items, including a ball signed by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, as well as a ball signed by the 1933 American League All-Star team. Hunt expects the dual signed Ruth-Gehrig ball to go for $10,000-$15,000, while the '33 All-Star ball with 12 Hall of Famers is estimated between $5,000-$7,500.
Hunt is also offering the personal collection of former Pirates pitcher Bob Friend, as well as a collection from former big league shortstop and coach Bobby Wine. Key items from Friend in the auction include two uniforms worn during the 1960 World Series (the Pirates defeated the Yankees on Bill Mazeroski's Game 7 walk-off home run). The home uniform is currently at $6,050, while the road uniform's high bid is at $4,070.
The Bobby Wine Collection consists of several lots of signed balls or game-word items, mostly from his career as a coach, although a little from his playing career.
A large collection of more than 200 graded tobacco cards including an Allen & Ginter Cap Anson, dozens of Mayo's Cut Plug baseball and football from the late 19th century and numerous T205s including two Christy Mathewson cards (one graded SGC 84), an SGC 50 Ty Cobb and a rare Irvin Wilhelm variation graded SGC 80.
Like most auctions, the top-billed or most-talked about items aren't the only things to see. Yankees fans will find many Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio items.
The auction ends on February 26. You can find out more by visiting huntauctions.com.