A Detroit Tigers uniform worn by Ty Cobb in 1922 will be on the auction block next month. Heritage Auctions says the grey flannel it’s offering in its Nov. 10-11 auction was worn by Cobb in 1922. Consigned by a private collector, the Cobb road set was worn during a year in which he surpassed the .400 mark.
“Only two Ty Cobb Detroit uniforms are known to have survived to this day,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Heritage Sports Collectibles. “This one is the earlier of the two.”
The pre-sale estimate on the uniform is $300,000+.
In all, just four Cobb uniforms are known to exist.
Like the bulk of twentieth century Major League flannels, Cobb’s uniform was reassigned to secondary minor league usage at the close of the 1922 season, and it is from the family of that minor leaguer that the uniform made its initial entrance into the collecting hobby. The heavy grey flannel garment underwent a pair of surgical procedures to accommodate its new owner in 1923. First, the classic Old English letter “D” was carefully excised from the chest. Next, the jersey’s tail was trimmed but, fortuitously, retained by the ballplayer due to the embroidered “Cobb” attribution located there.
The advanced collector who tracked down this Cobb representation immediately took steps to restore the jersey to its original state. The reattachment of the rear tail was a relatively simple matter, but a replacement logo “D” would prove more challenging, as would the matter of finding material to replace the missing front tail, which was not saved by the minor leaguer. Heritage took the black felt “D” and front tail and transplanted them to the presented Cobb. The jersey otherwise remains complete and original according to Heritage with the “Spalding” label inside the collar and the secondary tag below heavily worn but essentially complete.
The matching pants were spared the knife and are presented in 100% original and unrestored condition. There is an identical black thread embroidered “Cobb” attribution, located at the buttoned fly path. Some rust staining appears nearby, and one half of the clasp has been lost, but the original belt survives, and the “Spalding” tag at interior waistband is undamaged. Each garment exhibits considerable wear according to Heritage officials with scattered small holes. The reaffixed tail presents a noticeably darker shade than the body of the jersey, but Heritage says it’s “due to the considerable secondary wear and multitude of washings that the tail portion was spared after excision.”
Included with uniform is a detailed letter of examination from MEARS which gave it a grade of A7*, with the three points lost for the noted restoration.
Heritage will also sell a Boston Braves cap worn by Babe Ruth during his final playing season. The auction company says it’s possible it was the one worn as he slugged his 714th and final home run over the roof of Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field.
Jerseys from Hall of Fame legends as Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Duke Snider, Warren Spahn, Chuck Klein, Joe “Ducky” Medwick, Steve Carlton and others are also being offered in the sale.
One of the auction’s key highlights, in the form of an incredibly rare 1950s era “Shoeless Joe” Jackson signed baseball, is also one of the great autograph finds of the last year. It was obtained by the son of a former manager in the Tri-State League, likely after an early 1950s game in Greenville, SC, home of the reclusive Chicago Black Sox player.
“Our consignor recounted his father’s story of how slowly the functionally illiterate Jackson signed his baseball,” said Ivy. “Jackson’s aversion to signing and long absence from the public eye has served to make his one of the rarest autographs in baseball, and this newly-found orb provides a stunning Near Mint example, the finest known.”
Several consignments of elite golf memorabilia establish will also be auctioned at the company’s Dallas headquarters. The earliest Bobby Jones Championship medals in private hands will be offered, as will PGA Championship medals from golfing legends Walter Hagen and Paul Runyan. Heritage will also present several golfing artifacts from the Duke of Windsor Collection, trophies awarded to former King Edward VIII who famously abdicated his throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson in 1936.
The first session of the auction will close on Nov. 10 with an Internet-only auction of high-value trading cards, closing in an Extended Bidding format.
In this session, Heritage will present an ultra rare 1887 N690 Kalamazoo Bats Ed Cushman card, and a full set of the famed 1933 Goudey Baseball issue compiled by a Depression-era collector.
Taking a rare step into the modern card market, Heritage will also offer the 2010 Leaf Sports Icons “Shoeless Joe” Jackson Signed Cut Signature Trading Card, providing one of just a handful of known autographs from the banished legend.
Further highlights in the auction include:
1959 Mickey Mantle All-Star Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 8.5.
1933 Goudey Napoleon Lajoie #106 SGC 84 NM 7.
1939 Hall of Fame Induction Program Pages Signed by Most Honorees
1901 Boston Red Sox Stock Certificate Number One – The Birth of a Franchise
2011 Hideki Matsui 500th Home Run Baseball
1961 Ernie Davis Game Worn Syracuse Orangemen Jersey, Heisman Trophy Season – Worn Versus Pittsburgh 11/4/61
1953 Carl “Bobo” Olson World Middleweight Championship “Ring Magazine” Belt
1924 World’s Colored Championship Official Program, 1st Negro League World Series
1941 Nile Kinnick Handwritten Signed Letter