He left school at age 16 to support his family and wound up winning two World Series titles on his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Now, 85 items from the life and times of Depression-era slugger Jim Bottomley are coming to auction.
Mile High Card Company will offer one of Bottomley’s 1926 World Series bats (graded PSA/DNA GU 10), his 1931 World Series ring (he lost his ’26 ring while pheasant hunting), his personal Hall of Fame plaque (presented posthumously after his 1974 election), a professional model glove, his lifetime MLB silver pass and other items in its next auction, set to open Monday, June 4.
“Sunny Jim” had a tough beginning to his life but maintained a positive disposition, leading to the nickname he carried with him St. Louis and Cincinnati. Raised in small town Nokomis, IL, Bottomley drove in 100 or more runs from 1924-1929 and helped the Cardinals win the World Series over Babe Ruth’s 1926 Yankees and Connie Mack’s powerhouse Athletics in 1931. The Cards also reached the series in Bottomley’s 1928 MVP season and in 1930.
The items in the auction were passed to family members after Bottomley’s death in December of 1959 and are coming to auction for the first time.
Singles and Sets
Hundreds of single cards will be up for grabs as well including a PSA 8 1933 Goudey #49 Babe Ruth, an 1888-89 Old Judge N173 Cap Anson Cabinet SGC 60 EX 5, a 1911 Sporting Life Cabinets M110 Christy Mathewson SGC 60 EX 5, a 1948 Bowman #36 Stan Musial PSA 8 NM/MT, a 1948 Leaf #4 Stan Musial PSA 8 NM/MT, a 1952 Bowman #101 Mickey Mantle PSA 8 NM/MT, a 1955 Topps #123 Sandy Koufax SGC 88 NM/MT 8, a 1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente PSA 7 NM, a 1965 Topps #122 Joe Namath SGC 86 NM+ 7.5, a 1981 Topps #216 Joe Montana PSA 10 Gem Mint and a 1951 Topps Ringside #1 Gus Lesnevitch PSA 9 MINT.
The auction will also feature the third best 1959 Topps baseball set on the PSA Set Registry (Set Rating 9.48 with four PSA 10 cards and #515 Bob Gibson RC PSA 9), the second best 1966 Topps football set and the third best 1951 Topps Ringside set A 1952 Topps baseball set missing only the Mickey Mantle card, a rare 1952 Num Num Potato Chips Cleveland Indians graded set will also be offered.
Other high-profile lots include a 1960 Topps baseball unopened cello pack with Mantle on the front, a 1969-70 Topps Basketball Uncut Proof (Blank Back) Sheet with 44 cards including the Alcindor and Hayes rookie cards and a 2000 Upper Deck SP football unopened case.
Bats, Balls and a Peach
Other memorabilia in the sale include signed baseballs from Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson and Ty Cobb, professional model bats from Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, a 1939 Inaugural Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony signed American League baseball with 15 signatures including Ruth, Honus Wagner, Cy Young, Walter Johnson and other notables, a 1939 first day cover from the opening of the Hall with autographs from Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, Johnson, Cy Young, Tris Speaker and other Hall of Famers that is considered the finest known to exist.
Another item expected to draw a lot of interest from bidders is one of the finest sports advertising pieces known: a circa 1910 Peach Baseball Gloves display. The 9-½” x 29-¾” ad is a promotional advertisement for their baseball glove line that depicts a stadium scene with various players, coaches and fans. Thirteen of the 19 players featured on the restored display are members of the Hall of Fame with Cobb, Wagner, Mathewson and Johnson leading a group that includes Speaker, Baker, Lajoie, Bender, Walsh, Bresnahan, Chance, McGraw and Mack.
Bidding in the auction will run through June 21 at MileHighCardCo.com.