A large, single-owner collection of sports photographs, mostly centered in the early 1960s, is on the auction block for the first time.
Pennsylvania-based Birmingham Auctioneers is offering the photos in individual lots. There are over 350 images in the online catalog, including original wire photos from the Associated Press and United Press International, Type 1 press photos, team issues and publicity photos, among others.
The subjects range from unique images of Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Roberto Clemente, Stan Musial, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Jim Brown, Bart Starr, Arnold Palmer and a young Jack Nicklaus. The collection also features early images from the AFL as well as dozens of everyday on-field action photos from the 1960s.
While wire photos aren’t the most sought after by high-end collectors, they are starting to earn favor with budget-minded hobbyists who appreciate the history of their use in newspapers across the country. All of the photos in the auction carry a $5 or $10 minimum bid.
Many of the photos retain their original captions as issued and are stamped with the originating organization on the back.
Among the moments captured on film:
- Photos of the contentious 1962 NBA playoff series between Boston and Philadelphia including one that shows Sam Jones picking up a stool to defend himself as a melee broke out and another showing Bill Russell with his arms around Wilt Chamberlain.
- A rarely seen image of Roger Maris meeting with Sal Durante and his girlfriend after the latter man snared Maris’ 61st home run ball
- A 1963 photo of Muhammad Ali holding up five fingers after correctly predicting his five-round victory over Henry Cooper in London.
- One of the most iconic sports photographs of the 60’s is Chuck Bednarik standing over the injured Frank Gifford. The auction includes two different photos related to this event. One is a different angle of Bednarik and Gifford after the hit, the second is Gifford being carried off on a stretcher.
- 1962 New York Mets photos with Coach Rogers Hornsby and Manager Casey Stengel as well as numerous photos of the cast of lovable losers that made up that infamous 1962 team.
- Photos of President John F. Kennedy playing golf and other images from a variety of sports including horse racing and boxing.
The auction is currently running at www.birminghamauctioneers.com and will remain open through August 25. Initial bids on a given item must be in by 9 PM on the 25th to be eligible for extended bidding on that item. Each bid after 9 PM extends the auction of that item to a 15 minute countdown. Birmingham Auctioneers can be reached by email at [email protected] or by calling (717) 327-8915.