Rare vintage cards, sets, autographs and signed baseballs will be on the block during Huggins & Scott’s fourth Masterpiece Auction of 2015, with bidding for the more than 1,000 items beginning on Monday and running through August 6.
The Maryland-based auction house will bring some of the higher ticket items to its booths at the 36th National Sports Collectors Convention that begins July 29 in suburban Chicago.
One of the more intriguing pieces is item No. 1 — a 1911T-205 gold borders near master set of SGC graded cards, containing 221 of the 222 cards. The only card missing in the set, which has an average card grade of 55.6, is the hard-to-obtain Dick Hoblitzell variation (with no stats on the back). The opening bid is $10,000 and there is a reserve.
For those collectors who prefer something more offbeat than cards, there is a complete Cracker Jack Pins set from 1930, with all 25 of them PSA graded. Stars include Lou Gehrig, Lefty Grove, Kiki Cuyler, Rabbit Maranville and Gabby Hartnett. The opening bid is $1,500.
The auction items also venture beyond World War II, with a 1951 Mickey Mantle Bowman rookie card (graded SGC 60) certain to be among the top draws. Also up for grabs will be two different complete runs of Topps baseball sets from 1958 to 1973. These will be sold on a set-by-set basis.
Those are known quantities. Here’s one for gamblers: an unopened pack of 1957 Topps from the second series — Mickey Mantle’s card (No. 95) was in that grouping; is it worth taking the chance on this PSA-7 pack? Opening bid is $900.
The game-used portion of the auction is headlined by an item that will conjure up some bittersweet memories. St. Louis manager Billy Southworth’s game-used Cardinals hat from the 1942 World Series was given to his son, Billy Jr., and accompanied the young bomber pilot during 25 World War II missions between 1942 and ’43. Tragically, Southworth Jr. was killed after returning stateside when his B29 Superfortress crashed into Flushing Bay during a training mission in February 1945. Not long ago, the story of the cap was made into a documentary which you can buy.
The opening bid for “Billy’s Cap” is $10,000.
A 1912 Red Sox American League champions felt pennant is called “exceedingly rare” and “undocumented,” with only one other example known to the auction house. The 29-inch felt pennant has all four tassels and while there is minor soiling, seems to have held up well after more than a century. Opening bid is $1,000.
Some other items of note:
• A 1937 Babe Ruth Lindt & Sprungli stamp card;
• Championship rings including the 1972 and ’73 Oakland A’s, the 1983 Orioles, and American League pennant rings of the 1944 St. Louis Browns and Red Sox of 1967 and ’75;
• A turn of the 20th century engraved ashtray honoring the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings;
• A baseball signed by the 1922 New York Giants, with Christy Mathewson’s signature also on the ball;
• Vintage cards, graded and raw, will include Hall of Famers like Gehrig, Mathewson, Cobb, Cy Young, Babe Ruth, Cap Anson and others;4
• A 1937 team photo of the New York Yankees, signed by Lou Gehrig.
Bidding is done online at the company’s website, or by telephone at (301) 608-0355. Bidders must pre-register. The buyer’s premium will be 19.5 percent of the hammer price.