You’ll find Don Miller on team photos of the 1927 Yankees.
You just won’t find him in a box score.
Miller was a college star at Michigan who wound up as a batting practice pitcher for maybe the greatest big league team ever assembled. Now, a team signed photo of that legendary ballclub, one that includes autographs of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, as well as the elusive signature of Miller himself, will reach the auction block for the first time.
SCP Auctions says the previously unknown 8×10 photo has been consigned by Miller’s granddaughter after having been quietly held by the family for over 90 years. It’s expected to bring $300,000-$500,000 in the company’s upcoming auction.
Only a few signed 1927 Yankees photos have ever surfaced. They’re believed to have been given only by team members.
“We are honored to discover this very important relic that is sure to bring intense bidding from advanced collectors of NY Yankees and World Series memorabilia,” stated SCP Auctions President David Kohler.
Miller was said to have tossed batting practice and spent time on train trips playing cards with Ruth. He was released by the Yankees in 1928 and spent three seasons pitching in the minor leagues before retiring from baseball. Miller died of a heart attack at age 54 in 1959. Family members say he was awarded a 1927 World Series ring but lost it while working on a farm.
The ’27 Yankees are a favorite of advanced baseball memorabilia collectors and fans, who are known to chase autographs of anyone who wore a uniform during the season. Miller’s is one of the more elusive and the auction will actually give collectors two chances to snare one. His granddaughter has also consigned a signed photo of nine members of the team’s pitching staff including George Pipgras, Waite Hoyt, Urban Shocker, Dutch Ruether and Miller, who posed with them despite never pitching in a game. Shocker’s autograph is also quite rare.
The signatures on the Type 1 photos have been authenticated by both PSA/DNA and Beckett and have been encapsulated by PSA.
The auction is scheduled to open March 17 and run through April 3.