Rush frontman Geddy Lee has long been a collector of baseball memorabilia but now some of them are expected to grab The Big Money when part of the Canadian rocker’s impressive collection goes up for sale.
It’s no Fly By Night auction.
Hundreds of historic and valuable items will be sold through a collaboration between Christie’s and Hunt Auctions.
The December 6 live event includes numerous items from major private collections that haven’t been on the market for a long time.
Lee, the lead singer, bassist and keyboardist for Rush, began collecting baseball artifacts while touring the US in the 1970s and never stopped acquiring items. An avid fan of the game, he’s long been a benefactor of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
Among the items he’s consigned are a 1917 Chicago White Sox autographed baseball with Joe Jackson, a baseball signed by deadball era pitching legend Rube Waddell, a 1942 Negro Leagues autographed baseball with Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige, a ball signed by The Beatles during their appearance at Shea Stadium in 1965 and a collection of U.S. presidential autographed balls with examples from John F. Kennedy, Harry Truman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson, some of which are actual ceremonial first-pitch baseballs.
There’s also a 1960 Mickey Mantle World Series bat expected to bring a six-figure price.
Lee isn’t selling the entirety of his large collection, but it serves as the foundation for the catalog, with more items to be offered at a later date.
Joe Jackson and Private Collection Consignments
The auction also includes a small, but significant group of items from the career of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. The group includes two trophies presented in 1914 and 1917 documented within several period images showing Jackson holding the awards. The 1917 trophy dates to the Tim Murnane Benefit Game in September 1917 when Jackson threw a baseball 396 feet as part of the event held to raise funds for the widow and children of Murnane, a highly popular former player turned sportswriter.
This sale includes a wide range of important objects from private collections, many of which are being offered for the first time. Among the highlights are a 1938 Babe Ruth Brooklyn Dodgers coach’s uniform, a Lou Gehrig bat dating to 1927, a Gehrig cap from the 1930s, Stachel Paige’s 1952 All-Star Game bat, a 1917 World Series program and a 1968 Hank Aaron jersey, photo matched to the game in which he hit his 500th career home run.
Over many decades, Bill and Millie Gladstone travelled the country collecting baseball-related artwork and memorabilia. Bill Gladstone was the Chairman and Principal Owner of the minor league baseball team, the Tri-City ValleyCats, and in 1991 was elected to the board of directors of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
The Gladstone Collection of Baseball Art has long been held as first in its class with works that were featured in Ken Burns’ landmark documentary Baseball. Notably, the collection once contained the monumental “Baseball Player” folk art cigar store figure by Samuel Robb, which the Gladstones donated to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
In addition to several valuable pieces of baseball art dating back decades, there is a framed display piece of silver season passes issued by the New York Giants from 1898-1931.
Items from the auction will be on display at Christie’s from December 1-6. Online bidding will be available.