The first major catalog auction of 2017 opened Wednesday morning as SCP Auctions opened the curtain on its Winter Premier event. Over 1,000 lots are on the block including never-before-offered items from Babe Ruth, Vince Lombardi, George Blanda and other well-known names. The auction is set to run through January 21.
Other top lots include 1992 “Dream Team” memorabilia from Christian Laettner; James J. Braddock’s 1935 heavyweight championship belt; a pair of Rocky Marciano’s bout-worn boxing gloves from his 1953 heavyweight title defense versus Jersey Joe Walcott; a Joe DiMaggio game-used bat from the 1947 World Series; and a 1967 Roger Maris St. Louis Cardinals game-worn jersey from the Redbirds’ World Series championship season that’s been graded A9 by MEARS.
Hundreds of sports card lots including a near set of T206, a complete 1951 Bowman baseball set, 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards and other Hall of Famers and rare cards are also in the mix.
Babe Ruth Family Heirlooms
Four items directly from the family of Babe Ruth have been consigned to the auction. The first piece is a one-of-a-kind, custom-made “NEW YORK” flannel uniform manufactured by A.G. Spalding & Bros. that Ruth wore in 1938 at several stops to help promote the 1939-40 New York City World’s Fair.
The second item, a hand-crafted baseball-themed wooden chest, was awarded to Ruth in 1930 following the New York Yankees 1929 exhibition visit to Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York.
The third item is a hand-carved wooden folk art statue of Ruth from 1933 that stands 22” tall on a base that measures 7.5” wide by 7.5” deep. The final item is a personal scrapbook that was created for Ruth by noted sports agent Christy Walsh in the early 1920’s. Collection Estimate: $350,000+.
The Vince Lombardi Collection
Collectors will now have a chance to own a piece of Vince Lombardi’s legacy by bidding on some of the man’s most coveted pieces including his 1956 New York Giants World Champions 10K gold ring. Each of the items were consigned directly to SCP Auctions by Vince Lombardi Jr., the coach’s only son.
Six additional lots from Lombardi’s prolific career will go up for bid including a Patek Philippe wristwatch that was presented to Lombardi on “George Halas Night” (Sept. 25, 1968) by the Chicago Athletic Association; a specially designed Bishop’s Charities Game (Packers vs. Giants, Aug. 10, 1968) Bulova wristwatch; a 1960’S Green Bay Packers World Champions 14K gold & diamond cuff link; and a 1961 congratulatory telegram from United States President John F. Kennedy.
The George Blanda Collection
The Blanda Collection is headlined by three AFL Championship rings from the late Hall of Famer’s career (1960 and ’61 with the Houston Oilers, and 1967 with the Oakland Raiders), along with dozens of major awards including 1970 and ’74 NFL Man of the Year honors, and several milestone game balls going back to his college football days at the University of Kentucky.
All items offered were consigned by the late Hall of Famer’s family.
The Christian Laettner Collection
More than two dozen lots chronicling Laettner’s prolific college basketball career at Duke and run with the 1992 U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball “Dream Team” are up for bid including his 1992 Naismith College Player of the Year Trophy; a pair of NCAA Final Four rings he earned during his freshman (1989) and sophomore (’90) seasons, respectively; his signed and inscribed 1989-92 Duke Blue Devils game worn shooting shirt; his signed and inscribed 1992 USA Olympic “Dream Team” game-worn warm-up suit; and a ’92 Dream Team multi-signed Official Molten Barcelona Olympic Basketball sporting 18 signatures including all players and coaches.
1947 Joe DiMaggio H&B Professional Model Bat Used in 1947 World Series (MEARS A10, PSA/DNA GU 10)
In 1947 the New York Yankees road to the World Championship went through Brooklyn. The subway series pitted New York led by A.L. MVP Joe DiMaggio against Brooklyn and a rookie named Jackie Robinson. The Yankees prevailed in seven games with DiMaggio hitting home runs in games 3 and 5. DiMaggio’s Hillerich & Bradsby model D29L professional model bat from that historic series is up for bid. Estimate: $150,000+.
James J. Braddock’s 1935 Ring Magazine Heavyweight Championship Belt
On June 13, 1935, James J. Braddock (the “Cinderella Man”) defeated heavily-favored Max Baer at Madison Square Garden to win the World Heavyweight title. At the time, it was called “the greatest fistic upset since the defeat of John L. Sullivan by Jim Corbett.” It is still considered by many the biggest upset in boxing history. The Ring Magazine presented Braddock with the Heavyweight Championship belt to honor the epic victory, one that completed a miraculous career comeback for the local working class fighter from Hell’s Kitchen dubbed the “Cinderella Man” by New York newspaper columnist Damon Runyon. Estimate: $60,000+.
Rocky Marciano Fight Worn & Signed Gloves from ‘Jersey Joe’ Walcott II Bout (5/15/53)
On May 15, 1953, Rocky Marciano and Joe Walcott squared off for a second time, this time at Chicago Stadium. The 185-pound Marciano, a 16-to-5 betting favorite, was looking to improve to 43-0 with his first title defense, while Walcott, weighing in at 198, sought to even the record and win his crown back. With less than a minute to go in Round 1, Walcott threw a jab and Marciano countered with a quick left hook and right uppercut combo that sent Walcott sprawling on his back. Once the referee reached 10, Walcott hoisted himself to his feet but the fight was over. Though he complained that he had received a fast count, Walcott’s night was done. It was the last time Walcott ever fought.
The Benlee red leather boxing gloves that Marciano wore on that night carry an estimate of $40,000+.