Items from the estate of Hall of Famer Mel Ott will be among a huge array of baseball memorabilia offered in the annual MLB All-Star FanFest Auction set for next month.
Spread over two days, the 2018 auction will take place at the Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. leading up to the All-Star Game at Nationals Park on July 17.
The Ott collection is being presented for the first time publicly directly by members of his family. Over 125 lots will be offered, ranging from the inception of his career in the 1920s through his selection to the Hall of Fame in 1951. Highlight items include:
-Inscribed baseball attributed to his 400th Home Run (Est. $25,000-$50,000)
– Hall of Fame Induction presentational plaque (Est. $10,000-$20,000)
-1933 World Series autographed home run baseball (Est. $25,000-$50,000)
-Babe Ruth autographed War Bond Declaration to Mel Ott (Est. $5,000-$10,000)
-(25) Mel Ott autographed personal checks (Est. $500-$1,000 each)
A portion of the auction proceeds will benefit The Boys and Girls Club of South Louisiana as well as the Mel Ott Park and Recreation Center.
“Hunt Auctions is very proud to have been selected to represent the legendary name of Mel Ott. This special offering continues our long-standing stature of presenting the very finest personal collections to the collecting public from iconic baseball players and their families.” said David Hunt, President of Hunt Auctions. “There could be no better platform to offer the collection than the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in which Mel Ott himself participated in an amazing 12 times.”
Ott broke into Major League Baseball at the young age of 17 as a phenom right out of high school. His impact was immediate as he developed into one of the most prolific power hitters of the 1920s and 30s. His career with the New York Giants lasted 21 seasons ending with a total of 511 home runs which at the time of his retirement was the highest total for any National League player. Ott lead the National League in home runs six different seasons. He is one of only six NL players to spend a 20+ year career with one team and his uniform number 4 was retired by the Giants franchise. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1951.
“We are humbled to be able to bring to light some of our family items at such a prestigious Major League Baseball venue that meant so much to my grandfather,” said Diane Loria Rose, grandaughter of Mel Ott. “The memories we have of him are priceless and we only hope that this special offering and display of items exposes his legacy to a new generation of baseball fans alike.”
Historic Photos from Photo File Archive
Another featured collection within the auction will be the Photo File Archive of Historic baseball photography. The vast collection is being unveiled publicly for the first time and are largely comprised of original baseball images from the period of 1910-1940 originating from the archives of The Ring Magazine. Founded in 1922 by Nat Fleischer, The Ring Magazine chronicled the golden age of boxing and in addition to other sports as the pre-eminent entertainment in the country during that time period. Since its inception in 1987, Photo File has developed into the premier representative agency for sports related photography in the country.
This initial offering from the collection will feature over 600 original images with heavy focus on the 1910-30 period including works by master photographers Charles Conlon, Paul Thompson, Louis Van Oeyen, and George Grantham Bain to name a few. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Lou Gehrig, Honus Wagner, Bob Feller, and Lefty Grove will be among the subjects offered for auction. In addition to Hall of Fame players the collection includes a number of original images as used for classic baseball cards and publications such as 1911 T-205 baseball tobacco card set, Baseball Magazine, T3 baseball cabinet card set, and Police Gazette publications. Pricing for images within the collection will range from $250 to $50,000 each with some expected to fetch record prices for baseball photography.
Other FanFest Auction Highlights
The auction will also include the third part of the Roberto Clemente personal collection which includes awards and presentational items.
Other items already consigned to the auction include:
-Babe Ruth professional model baseball bat c.1918-20 (PSA/DNA GU 8.5) (Est. $100,000-$150,000)
-Large format Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig autographed photo (PSA/DNA MINT 9) (Est. $50,000-$100,000)
-Mickey Mantle New York Yankees auto. Professional model hat (Est. $50,000-$100,000)
-1952 Mel Allen New York Yankees World Series ring (Est. $25,000-$50,000)
Bidding will be conducted live and online.
Hunt Auctions Appraisal Fair and Silent Auctions
As they’ve done for many years, Hunt Auctions will also hold an appraisal fair from Friday, July 13th through Tuesday, July 17th for visitors of Geico All-Star FanFest. Select items from the appraisal fair may be consigned to the live auction. Attendees can call ahead to schedule a private consultation at 610.524.0822 or email at [email protected]. There will also be daily auctions held exclusively for visitors on Friday, July 13th – Monday, July 16th featuring vintage and modern era items for less than $1,000.
FanFest offers over 400,000 square feet of baseball-related attractions for fans including autograph sessions, clinics and various exhibits from the Hall of Fame. Attractions are included with the price of admission, and the only additional costs are for concessions and memorabilia. Tickets are $35 for adults and $30 for children ages 12 and under (children two and under are admitted free), senior citizens and military personnel. Tickets are sold on a timed-entry basis, so fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early to obtain preferred entry times.