Ty Pennington, host of of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and other reality shows, will host a made-for-TV auction event, on April 16, aboard The Queen Mary. The auction is being produced for an ABC-TV pilot by Cineflix Productions. Heritage Auctions will conduct the sale. The Great Big American Auction will feature a special variety of items – including one of Ty Cobb’s old ledgers containing 132 signed personal checks from the Baseball Hall of Famer. It will air December 8.
The auction company listing indicates the checkbook was rescued by the father of the consignor as it sat in a pile of trash built outside Cobb’s Georgia home following a major fire. Three checks near the front of the book have water damage “from the efforts to douse the flames”, according to Heritage.
There are 129 fully executed checks filled out by Cobb, each concluding with his formal “Tyrus R. Cobb” authorizing signature. 23 are also signed on the reverse by Cobb, typically for checks made out to “Cash“. More than 20 checks are made payable to various members of the Cobb family.
Minimum bid is $30,000.
“Like every pursuit in his life, Cobb undertook the maintenance of his personal checkbook with an unyielding discipline, matching every returned canceled check to the corresponding stub in his ledger, then gluing each into its proper place,” Heritage writes. “On each page of three, the edges are lined up with military precision.”
The ledger’s signatures carry authentication from PSA/DNA and James Spence Authentication.
Cobb autographs are among the most sought after in the sports memorabilia hobby. Even though he was a prolific letter-writer and generally accommodated autograph requests, demand remains high.
Other items in the TV pilot include a Les Paul-owned 9/11-themed Les Paul guitar, being sold to benefit Cystic Fibrosis research, a singular copy The Warren Commission Report, signed by all 47 people who worked on it, a personalized Elvis Presley owned silver and diamond ring owned by a former girlfriend, a First Edition Book of Mormon, unpublished Marilyn Monroe photographs, a near mint copy of Spider-Man #1 from The Gary Dahlberg Collection, and more – “all chosen for their rarity, value and the uniqueness of the consignor’s story”, according to Heritage.
“We at Heritage are thrilled to be part of broadcast history, and to work with ABC and a star the magnitude and class of Ty Pennington,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “We have gone to great lengths to find auction lots that not only have a great story behind them.”