Hunt Auctions’ newly launched fourth annual February Premier Auction will feature the personal collections of seven former Major League Baseball players.
Most notably among the player collections are select items from a trio of former Pittsburgh Pirates players: Bill Mazeroski, Kent Tekulve and Steve Blass. The group is highlighted by a 1969 Roberto Clemente home jersey, a team hand-me-down Tekulve wore briefly in the Pirates’ Fall Instructional League in the early 1970s, that is being offered publicly for the first time.
Tekulve, the bullpen ace on the Pirates’ 1979 World Series championship team, wore the same jersey size as Clemente as a young prospect in the organization during the fall of 1971. He selected the #21 shirt with Clemente’s name sewn in the tail, then realized the significance of the jersey and stuck it away for safe keeping. The jersey carries a pre-sale estimate of $100,000-$150,000 but as of late Wednesday, bidding had already topped $81,000 before the 15% buyer’s premium.
Last year, Tekulve received a heart transplant that saved his life.
“Next to my family, the game of professional baseball has been one of the most important parts of my life,” Tekulve said. “Now that I am getting up in years, I want to share my treasures with the fans of the Pirates and Major League Baseball. Hunt Auctions seemed like the best way to do that. “
Blass, who pitched for the Pirates in the 1960s and 70s and then became a popular broadcaster for the team, consigned numerous pieces including his game-worn glove from the 7th game of the 1971 World Series, his 1972 All-Star Game ring and a 1972 Pirates folio signed by 20 players including Clemente.
“We just moved out of our home of 42 years,” the jovial Blass recalled. “And I was up in the attic, like Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation, having so much fun, losing all track of time, lost in my memories and Pirate memorabilia.” Steve Blass stated. “I will have my memories forever; I am happy that I can share them with the great Pirate fans. Bid early and bid often!”
Mazeroski, a Hall of Famer whose home run in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series is forever implanted in the minds of fans, has his 1960 World Series trophy up for bid, with a $20,000-$30,000 estimate. Mazeroski consigned numerous items to an earlier auction, but several dozen more pieces are now on the block including awards, his Cracker Jack All-Stars uniforms from the 1980s, dozens of autographs and hand-written letters and other personal memorabilia.
“I have enjoyed these items for many years and felt the timing was ideal to share them with the public especially given the excitement surrounding the current Pirates team and their fans,” Mazeroski stated. “The memory of that home run will always stay with me. It’s something I’ve never been able to explain. I still get chills talking about it. That’s the dream every kid has.”
Other items in the auction, which closes February 25, include dozens of pieces consigned by former big league player and manager Jeff Torborg, including:
- Willie Mays 1967 All-Star Game professional model bat (Est. $10,000-$15,000)
- 1997 Jeff Torborg Cleveland Indians AL Championship ring (Est. $4,000-$6,000)
1993 and 2009 NL Championship rings from the collection of Phillies coach Ramon Henderson are up for grabs as well.
- Significant and Possibly Unique Baseball Card Proof Uncut Sheet c.1913 (Est. $10,000-$20,000)
- 1907-09 PC805 Novelty Cutlery Honus Wagner PSA 5.5 (Est. $15,000-$25,000)
- 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card (SGC 40) (Est. $10,000-$15,000)
- 1922 E122 American Caramel Babe Ruth (SGC 45) (Est. $20,000-$30,000)
- 1895 Mayo Cut Plug John Clarkson graded SGC 30 GD (Est. $1,000-$2,000)
Additional Highlight Items:
- “Shoeless” Joe Jackson professional model baseball bat c. 1919-20
- 1903 World Series Game #1 ticket stub (Est. $50,000-$100,000)
- 1934 Tour of Japan U.S. All-Star team autographed baseball (Est. $10,000-$20,000)
- 1903 World Series original photograph (Est. $10,000-$20,000)
- Ted Williams’ 1953 All-Star Game sterling silver pitcher (Est. $2,000-$4,000)
- Large of John F. Kennedy and Kennedy Family original photo negatives (Est. $5,000+)
“Our annual February Premier sale has become immensely popular with collectors and serves as a fine continuance to our original live auctions held in Pennsylvania over the last 23 years,” remarked David Hunt, President of Hunt Auctions. “The 2015 installment of this auction series easily rates as the finest to date, with some outstanding rarities and unique items for collectors at every level.”
Bids for the 2015 February Premier Auction event can be made via phone at 610.524.0822 or online at www.HuntAuctions.com. Additional information, photos and a complete listing of items available is online.