Tuesday night’s All-Star game owes its celebrity to the first one. A surviving relic from that inaugural contest has just been sold in Huggins & Scott’s summer auction.
Like most players who were elected to play in the first Major League Baseball All-Star game, Dick Bartell was proud of his place in history.
The Philadelphia Phillies’ shortstop would spent a few more years in the big leagues before ending his 18 year-career, but playing against the likes of Ruth and Gehrig in his hometown was a special thrill.
After his passing some 62 baseball seasons later, the complete uniform spent its later life in a private collection. This year, however, the uniform was consigned to an auction conducted by Maryland-based Huggins and Scott and was sold over the weekend for $28,750 which included a 15% company-assessed buyer’s premium. Players on both the 1933 National and American League All-Star rosters were allowed to keep their jerseys but It’s believed no more than six surviving uniforms still exist.
Bartell’s name was stitched into the jersey and pants and the entire uniform was in remarkably good shape thanks to careful preservation. Later in life, Bartell autographed all three pieces for the man to whom it was presented.
The jersey was one of number of vintage Philadelphia pieces available in the auction, most emanating from noted Phillies collector Dade Theriot. A 193-37 Gene Corbett game-used jersey sold for $16,100 while Jim Bunning’s 1970 game-worn jersey and pants required a final price of $14,950 and Benny Bengough’s 1950 World Series uniform brought $10,350.
Ryne Sandberg became a star with the Chicago Cubs but began his career in the Phils’ organization. His 1981 autographed game-worn rookie road jersey sold for $13,800.
Another featured lot in the Huggins and Scott sale was a complete run of Topps baseball card sets from 1951 through 2008. The mixed grade goup of 58 sets sold for $37,375. With the buyer’s premium, the realized price was $42,981.
Vintage sports cards included a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle (PSA 7 off center), which sold for $17,250 and a huge hoard of 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack cards which were consigned as a family heirloom earlier this year.
Highlights from the auction also included:
- 1915 Phillies championship pocket watch (Fred Luderhus) $14,950
- Jimmie Foxx single-signed baseball $16,100
- High grade Roger Maris single-signed baseball $11,500
- 1915 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson (SGC 50) $12,650