More than a dozen items from the personal collection of baseball great Jimmie Foxx, including the Hall of Famer’s game-used bat and his 500th home-run ball, are now on the auction block as Heritage Auctions kicks off its final catalog auction of 2020.
The items from Foxx’s personal collection are being offered for the first time. They include everything from a 1934 Tour of Japan Team-Signed Menu – featuring the signatures of Foxx, Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Connie Mack, Charlie Gehringer, Lefty Gomez and even the founder of famed bat-makers Hillerich & Bradsby – to his 1930s charm bracelet.
More traditional items include a bat from the 1936-37 era – a piece of lumber the Hall of Famer used during an era of prodigious power that saw Foxx launch 77 home runsand Foxx’s 500th home-run ball, signed and dated by the Red Sox star after the Sept. 24, 1940 dinger at Shibe Park in Philadelphia – against his former club, the Athletics. Foxx was only the second ballplayer to reach the 500-homer mark. Ruth got there first, 11 years earlier.
The items derive from the estate of Foxx’ business partner in his namesake restaurant in Galesburg, Illinois, where they were on public display during the eatery’s brief existence in the late 1950’s.
The fall event also features 16 items from The Robert Scarpetti Collection, named for the Chicago Police Department detective who served as the personal security guard for Jordan. Scarpetti is making available material he kept from throughout Jordan’s career, including Game-Worn & Signed Air Jordan VIII Playoffs Sneakers from the 1993 NBA Finals and a photo-matched uniform from the last game ever played at Chicago stadium, when, in 1995, Jordan suited up for the Scottie Pippen All-Star Classic charity game.
From a former Boston Garden employee comes another championship-season jersey from one of hockey’s Greatest of All Time: a sweater worn by Bobby Orr during the Boston Bruins’ 1971-72 Stanley Cup season.
It comes from the same worker who collected several items during his tenure at the Garden. Another Orr jersey, from the previous season, sold for $150,000 in Heritage Auctions’ most recent sports collectibles event.
The auction includes numerous pieces expected to bring six-figure prices when bidding wraps up next month. Babe Ruth’s 1933 New York Yankees contract is expected to command much attention with a pre-auction estimate is $400,000-plus.
Hundreds of rare, high-grade and high-end modern cards are up for grabs, including a 1997 Michael Jordan Precious Metal Gems Emerald version—one of only ten made. There is also a 1/1 Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie card and 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth rookie card, which spent many years in a humble plastic bag before the owner recently decided to investigate its potential value. It was part of a huge group of cards from the set that belonged to a Miami artist. Bidding for the Ruth card alone exceeds $150,000 with almost three weeks left before extended bidding begins.
Also up for grabs: a scarce 1958 Alifabolaget Pele rookie card (PSA NM-MT+ 8.5), a 2003 Bowman Chrome Rookies & Stars LeBron James (Chrome Gold Refractor, PSA Gem Mint 10, 50/50), with bidding already well beyond its $60,000 pre-auction estimate.
The trading card section also includes the 365-lot Midwest Masterpiece Collection, which represents one of the hobby’s finest personal assemblies of high-grade rookies and other notable trading cards, with a distinct focus on the greatest figures of 20th century sports including the 1961 Fleer Wilt Chamberlain No. 8 PSA Mint 9; an autographed 2003 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Lebron James (PSA Gem Mint 10, 208/250); and dozens more best-of-the-bests. The collection also contains a 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Wax Box with 48 unopened packs. All of it was the labor of love of collector Chris Ladd, who entered the hobby four decades ago, when fellow Wisconsinite and hobby pioneer Larry Fritsch ruled the trading card universe. The Midwest Masterpiece Collection is so significant it garners its own session in the four-day event, on Dec. 11.
The auction also includes PSA 10 copies of the 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee and Topps Wayne Gretzky rookie card. Only two copies of each exist that have been graded at the Gem Mint level.
In all, the online catalog has over 3,700 items, making it the largest in the company’s history. The auction is divided into four sessions set to close from December 10-13.