Roger Peckinpaugh’s highest single-season salary during his baseball career was $12,000. His documented career earnings are $112,000, according to Baseball-Reference, although three seasons from the early part of his career have not been documented.
The memorabilia items from Peckinpaugh’s career fetched a combined total of $167,548 in a sale held by RR Auction that ended March 25.
Peckinpaugh’s major league career spanned the dead ball and lively ball eras, and some of his teammates included Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Napoleon Lajoie, Walter Johnson and Bucky Harris. He was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 1925 and played in three World Series, including back-to-back Fall Classics with the Washington Senators in 1924-25.
The Peckinpaugh item that brought in the most money was a 1924 watch fob commemorating the Washington Senators’ only World Series title. That piece of memorabilia was sold for $67,514.40, including the buyer’s premium.
Another top draw was Peckinpaugh’s 1918 road jersey, worn in the middle of his tenure as captain of the New York Yankees.
The button-down gray flannel jersey, which featured a blue silk World War I armband, sold for $44,569.20.
“That this comes from one of baseball’s early stars, and arguably its most legendary franchise, makes this example truly remarkable,” said Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of the Boston-based auction house.
One of the most intriguing items in the Peckinpaugh collection was a $1,000 check the shortstop wrote to his teammate, Babe Ruth. The check, dated Aug. 4, 1921, and written to “Geo. H. Ruth,” is endorsed on the back by Ruth, using his given name. It sold for $15,499.20.
The RR Auction also featured some iconic cards and memorabilia. A 1952 Topps card of Mickey Mantle that is graded SGC 5 went for $106.920. A gold medal from the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles was sold for $74,574.
A 1954 Topps rookie card of Gordie Howe graded PSA 8.5 sold rocketed to a record-setting $38,588. A 1955 Bowman card of Mantle that graded out at PSA 8 went for $14,497, while a W600 Sporting Life cabinet card of Honus Wagner fetched $12,544.80. A 1968 Topps rookie card of Nolan Ryan and Jerry Koosman, which had a PSA 8 grade, sold for $11,964.
“Baseball card prices continue to rise to record prices,” Livingston said. “We believe the Mickey Mantle, Gordie Howe, and Nolan Ryan rookie cards all broke records for their particular third-party grade.”
One odd item — “race-worn” hair from Secretariat after Big Red won the 1973 Belmont Stakes to complete the first Triple Crown in thoroughbred racing in 25 years — sold for $18,001.