More than 1,450 lots of sports and historical memorabilia from such legendary figures as John D. Rockefeller, Babe Ruth, Walt Disney, Mickey Mantle, The Beatles, Ted Williams, and even Michael Jackson hit the auction block Sunday at Goldin Auctions.
Five key baseball items being offered include a ball authenticated as having been signed by both Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb dating from early in Ruth’s career; a 1941 game-used ball from the historic game when Ted Williams became the last player to bat .400; Mickey Mantle’s 1965 player contract; and a newly discovered collection of 1910-11 M116 Sporting Life cards.
The auction dips into historic and entertainment memorabilia with several potentially valuable pieces including one of the earliest known photographs of oil magnate/philanthropist John D. Rockefeller; a signed military document from Napoleon Bonaparte; a signed CDV of General Robert E. Lee; a Naval appointment document signed by Thomas Jefferson, a contract signed by Michael Jackson for the album Thriller; the 1940 contract naming Walt Disney the President of Disney Productions; a 1963-64 Beatle Fan Club card signed by all four Beatles on the front; and numerous other pieces.
“Whether you collect historic baseballs, game-used items, championship rings, rare trading cards, Disney memorabilia, Presidential and historical artifacts or even the Beatles, this auction has something for everyone,” said Ken Goldin, Founder of Goldin Auctions. “We encourage collectors to check out the wide array items, as many are newly discovered, and offered for the first time.”
Here’s a closer look at some of the marquee items.
Lot #16 – 1854-56 John D. Rockefeller Daguerreotype – During his youth in the mid-1850’s, the boy that would become legendary oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller only had his photograph taken a few times.
More than 160 years later, one of the earliest known photographs of Rockefeller has been uncovered. Goldin Auctions says an analysis of the daguerreotype image with both 2-D and 3-D modeling identified it as John D. Rockefeller by comparing it to several later Rockefeller images. The computer analysis takes into account a normalizing of the face, the size and location of the facial features, lines and marks in the face itself, hairlines and changes that might come with age. The video analysis and written detail of the facial recognition analysis is available on the Goldin Auctions website. Minimum bid is $100,000.
Lot #4 – 1940 Walt Disney Signed Contract Naming Him President of Walt Disney Productions – By 1940 Walt Disney and his gang of cartoonists had single handedly ushered in the “Golden Age” of animation. The contract from March 29, 1940 names Walter E. Disney president of Walt Disney Productions. The 8 ½” x 13″ document is typewritten on onion skin and is signed “Walter E. Disney”.
Lot #5 – 1965 Mickey Mantle Signed Player Contract – Signed in black ballpoint pen, Mantle’s contract for 1965 gave him the same $100,000 salary he received the previous year. This standard 4-page Uniform Player’s Contract is the document Mantle signed for the upcoming 1965 season. Signatures from Yankees’ General Manager Ralph Houk and A.L. President Joe Cronin are also on the document, all authenticated by PSA. Minimum bid for the contract is $15,000.
Lot #11 – Game-Used Ball from 1941 Game when Ted Williams Batted .406 – On September 28, 1941 Williams went 6 for 8 in a double-header to finish the season batting .406. That game was also the last game pitched by the great Lefty Grove. Unknown to most, it was also the greatest moment in the short career of A’s pitcher Fred Caligiuri. And thanks to Caligiuri, a baseball from that day has survived.
Despite giving up two hits to Williams in three at bats, Caligiuri, pitched a 6-hit complete game for his second and final career win.
To commemorate his greatest moment, he saved this baseball and in blue pen he later inscribed is “GAME BALL 9-28-1941 I BEAT LEFTY GROVE IN HIS FINAL GAME. GAME 2 OF DOUBLEHEADER WILLIAMS HIT 406.” Caligiuri then added his signature to the ball’s sweet spot. The ball comes with full LOA from JSA which confirms the signature of Fred Caligiuri, and the inscription was written by him.
Lot # 529 – 1914-15 Babe Ruth/Ty Cobb Signed Baseball – Goldin Auctions says the ball is “among the earliest Ruth signed balls ever offered at auction and a rare ball from his early Red Sox career”. Also signed by Cobb’s Tigers teammates, Hall of Famer Harry Heilman, Oscar Vitt, Donie Bush , Howard Ehmke , Jean Duboc, and Hooks Dauss, it is a Ban Johnson Reach Official A.L. ball from 1913-1917.
Goldin Auctions believes the ball is clearly dated “Oct 6, 1915”. JSA feels the date is written as “Oct 6, 1914” and PSA was non-committal on whether the last digit of the year is a ‘4’ or a ‘5’. If the ball is from 1915, it would be from the day when the Red Sox clinched the A.L. pennant with Ruth pitching a complete game and driving home the winning run for the Red Sox against the Yankees. Since the second-place Tigers’ season had ended three days earlier, auction officials say it would have been logical for them to be in attendance at the game to see if they would make it to the World Series.
Lot #7 & Lot #8 – 1968 Denny McLain Last Out Balls from Wins #28 and #31 — Both balls are personally signed and inscribed by McLain as the final out baseballs from wins #28 and #31. The ball from his 31st victory on September 18th is signed McLain and inscribed “31-6, 1968” in black ink while the other ball is signed McLain and inscribed #28 9-6-68 8-3 v Twins.
Both baseballs show minor fire damage, but McLain’s signature and inscription are still intact and the ball is still in good condition, according to auction officials. The baseballs come with a full LOA from Mears, a COA from JSA (M01997 & M01999), and a notarized certificate of authenticity signed by Denny McLain attesting to the specific game use of the baseballs
Lot # 1 – 2014 Clayton Kershaw Game-Used Jersey from Opening Day – Worn by Kershaw for his first win of his Cy Young Award season versus Arizona in Australia, the game-used Kershaw jersey shows light evidence of game use, with a faded dirt stain on the rear left hip, and is verified under the MLB Authentication program, number “HZ022550.”
Lot #6 – 2004 Albert Pujols World Series Game-Used Glove — Pujols used this Rawlings professional model PROCMHCTLSO first baseman’s glove during the 2004 and 2005 seasons in which he won the first of his the three league MVP awards and appeared in the World Series. The glove was given by Pujols to teammate Einar Diaz, who has signed an LOA that accompanies this glove. It has been photo-matched to being worn by Pujols for the 2004 season and World Series, and the beginning of 2005. It comes with a full LOA from PSA/DNA authenticating its game use.
Lot #10 -Hakeem Olajuwon’s NBA 50 Greatest Players Autographed Lithograph – In 1996 the NBA honored the 50 greatest players in league history and awarded each of them one of these lithographs signed by 49 of the 50 players (except Maravich) plus NBA Commissioner David Stern. Only a small number have ever come on the market. Minimum bid is $25,000.
Lot#799-823 – 1910-11 M116 Sporting Life Trading Cards – A recent find of 244 of the 100+ year-old cards is being offered in 25 different lots. The top player like Cobb, Wagner, Speaker and Johnson are being sold as single lots while many of the lesser-know players are being offered in lots of as many as 52 cards.
Lots 27-28 – 2007 & 2011 NY Giants Super Bowl Rings – A pair of Super Bowl rings from NY Giants running back Danny DJ Ware are being offered for sale in two different lots. The rings are presented in the original display boxes. Numerous other championship rings are also in the auction.
Lot #952 – Babe Ruth’s Humidor Presented by the City of Boston in 1919 – In addition to being legendary for his mammoth home runs, Ruth was one of the most famous cigar smokers. This sterling silver humidor measures 7 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 1″ and is lined with wood.
The top of the hinged lid has The Babe’s initials “BR” in raised letters flanked by two bats. The inside of the lid is engraved “To The Babe Happy 24th Birthday Best Wishes The City of Boston.” Auction officials say the surface “shows a lifetime of use with scratched and tarnishing”. The humidor is ccompanied by a photograph print of a young Ruth hand rolling cigars. Minimum bid is $10,000.
Lot #14 – 1982 Thriller Contract Signed by Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 — Signed on September 29, 1982, this 5-page document hammers out deal for the biggest selling album of all-time – “Thriller”. Referred to as “The Michael Jackson Album” in lieu of a name, the contract comes with the original cover page signed by famed entertainment lawyer John Branca – brother of MLB pitcher Ralph Branca and a noted collector. On the signature page, Michael and his brothers Randy, Marlon, Tito and Jackie, have signed in a stacked row on the right of the page. Then, perhaps as a declaration of his independence from the family group, Michael signs a second time in huge script letters taking up the entire width of the page.
For more detailed descriptions or to receive a free catalog, visit www.GoldinAuctions.com. The auction concludes May 9.