The only bat known to date from Joe Jackson’s playing days sold for $301,000 in a live auction conducted in New York Thursday. A recently-discovered 1915 Cracker Jack set–in the original album–also brought a six figure winning bid.
Shoeless Joe’s favorite bat has a new home.
Jackson’s 1917-21 Signature Model "Black Betsy" Game Bat — the only known career contemporary bat known–was sold by Sotheby’s/SCP Auctions Thursday afternoon.
Part of a 200-plus lot sale which brought in $2.5 million, the bat sold for $301,000 after the addition of a 25% buyer’s premium. It had been in the collection of Bill Nowlin, a well-known bat collector.
Over 100 people attended the three-hour live auction, primarily private collectors and other dealers.
A number of other vintage bats were also sold including a 1958 Mickey Mantle World Series game model which brought a final realized price of $91,000, a 1947 Joe DiMaggio World Series bat graded 10 by MEARS and PSA/DNA which sold for $73,000–the same figure attained by a Lou Gehrig side-written bat. A Ted Williams pro model gamer dating from the latter portion of his career, brought $31,000.
A 1915 Cracker Jack baseball card set which had been pieced together by a young boy in Canada and passed through generations before its consignment to the auction sold for $157,000. The set remained in the original album distributed by the candy confectioner 93 years ago. A group of over 600 tobacco cards from the T206 issue (1909-1911) brought $25,000 with the lot including 93 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Home run balls and vintage signed baseballs also drew heavy traffic from bidders who participated in person, via phone, fax or absentee bid on Thursday. Mel Ott’s 30th home run ball from the 1929 season was among the surprising stars of the sale, finally hammered down for $64,000. A single signed Babe Ruth autographed baseball sold for $40,000, a 1923 New York Yankees autographed ball brought $37,000 while single signed balls from Jimmie Foxx and Walter Johnson brought $29,800 and 28,000 respectively. The Johnson ball was dated March 12, 1931.
Game worn items included a 1962 St. Louis Cardinals road jersey worn by Hall of Famer Bob Gibson which sold for $41,800 and a 1927 Dutch Ruether Yankees’ road jersey ($37,000).
Other items of note included:
- Darryl Strawberry’s 1998 World Series ring ($67,000)
- "Thrilla in Manila" fight worn robe from Joe Frazier ($40,000)
- 1939 Baseball Hall of Fame first day cover signed by 11 members of first class in Cooperstown ($37,000)
- 1923 Yankee Stadium Opening Day program ($32,200)
- 1968 Topps 3-D Test issue set of 12 ($31,000)
- Orlando Cepeda’s 1967 NL MVP plaque ($23,125)
- Green Bay Packers Super Bowl II ring from writer/scout (21,250)
- Packers 1962 NFL Championship ring ($13,750)