Those high school diplomas containing the signature of Cumberland Posey that were sold at auction last month were a bonanza for the school where they’d been sitting.
Times are tough in school districts across the country. That’s why a Pennsylvania middle school history teacher is being hailed as a hero. His find of several very old unclaimed diplomas in a storage area turned out to be an autograph collector’s dream.
Inside each was the signature of school board member Cumberland Posey, who had spent much of his life as a player, manager and owner of the Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues. Just this year, Posey was elected posthumously to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The 12 diplomas fetched over $20,000 in Hunt Auctions recent sale at the Louisville Slugger Museum because of the rarity of Posey’s autograph (he died in 1946) and interest in the Negro Leagues. They were sold individually with one reaching $3,000.
Former Negro Leaguer Ira McKnight is alive and well and he appeared at a recent card show in Northwest Indiana, raising money for a special cause.
Negro Leagues memorabilia for sale