It remains the benchmark for sluggers.
Hit 500 home runs and you belong to an exclusive club — 27, to be exact. Fittingly, Babe Ruth was the first to hit No. 500, on August 11, 1929. Most recently, David Ortiz smashed his 500th homer on September 12, 2015, becoming the newest member of the power elite.
One of the marquee items for sale in Goldin Auctions’ Spring Online sale that ends this weekend is a collection of PSA encapsulated tickets and/or press passes from the games that all 27 members of the 500 Club hit their milestone home run. The tickets/press passes are enclosed in framed displays, with one measuring 32 inches by 38 inches and the other 30 by 32.
The first frame contains a combination of 14 ticket stubs and passes issued by the Baseball Writers Association of America for the 500th-homer games of, in order, Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Harmon Killebrew, Frank Robinson, Willie McCovey, Reggie Jackson and Mike Schmidt. Each are laid out chronologically, with dated name plates. The ticket stub for Schmidt’s homer, hit April 18, 1987 at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium, is autographed by the Phillies’ slugging third baseman in a blue Sharpie and also has a “5o0” inscription.
The second set contains 11 full, unripped tickets of the 500th homer games of Eddie Murray, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmiero, Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas, Alex Rodriguez, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez and Gary Sheffield. Not framed but also included are encapsulated game tickets to the 500th home run of Albert Pujols from April 22, 2014; and Ortiz’s shot, achieved against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
That’s quite a compilation. As of late Wednesday, seven bidders had taken the price up to $31,000.
The ticket display is one of 1,100 items that are being offered in the auction. Some of the other high ticket items that will fetch five figures include a 2012 Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl championship player’s ring, a 2009 New York Yankees World Series championship ring and a 1998 Yankees World Series championship ring.
For vintage card collectors, there is a complete set of low numbers (1-310) from the 1952 Topps baseball card set. In fact, there are 23 different auctions involving cards from the ’52 set, including some high-number lots. It also includes an auction for a 1952 Mantle, graded PSA-5. Current high bid is approaching $50,000.
Among the autographed items is a ball signed in 1946 by Hall of Famers Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner when they managed opposing teams in the All-American Boys Baseball Game.
Some of the vintage cards date to the 1887 Buchner Gold cards, which are relatively cheap right now — in the $150 range — 1888 N162 Goodwin Champions, 1888 N43 Allen & Ginter Champions and 1933 Goudey.
Various vintage card lots from all sports are also among the items in the auction, which closes Saturday night.