Waite Hoyt was a long time teammate of Babe Ruth so you had to be a pretty good slugger to impress him.
Willie Mays was one of those guys.
On the last day of April 1961, Mays came to Milwaukee and belted four homers off Braves pitchers in a single game. At the time, he was just the seventh player to do it in the 20th century.
Hoyt was radio broadcaster for the Reds and a month later, when Cincinnati visited the Giants in San Francisco, Mays gave his cap from the four homer game to Hoyt, signing and dating it May 30 and personalizing the autograph.
Hoyt died in 1984, but the cap—bearing a handwritten notation—later entered the hobby and is now one of the items in Gotta Have Rock & Roll’s Summer Sports Auction. It’s expected to sell for $40,000 or more.
The cap comes with a copy of a letter from Hoyt detailing that the cap was his and was worn during Mays’ four home run game on April 30.
There’s also an item that dates to the days when Ruth and Hoyt were teammates—a home run ball belted by Ruth off Walter Johnson on August 29, 1922. The faded details of the moment were added to the well worn sphere in fountain pen—presumably by the fan who went home with it that day.
The homer was the 189th of Ruth’s career. According to Gotta Have It, the ball was a family heirloom that’s being offered at auction for the first time.
Those two pieces are part of a larger auction that includes other memorabilia as well as vintage and modern cards.
Also among the 500 lots is Bill Belichick’s signed and personally owned 1976 Detroit Lions Playbook. Little did anyone know that the young assistant coach would go on to win six Super Bowls. The exterior reads “1977 Work Playbook” on the front cover and spine. Meanwhile, the “title page” is inscribed “1976 Revised Playbook, Belichick” in the coach’s own hand.
The lot comes with 1977 Lions media guide, picturing a boyish looking Belichick, and a letter of provenance from the son of one of Belichick’s fellow assistant coaches with the Lions.
The cards range from a selection of T205s and T206s to complete post-War sets to a 2019 Mike Trout Relic-Auto (#1/1).
Other highlights include:
- 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers Team-Signed ONL Baseball (Championship Season) JSA
- 1955 Pittsburgh Pirates Team Signed Baseball (27 Signatures) with Roberto Clemente (Rookie) JSA
- Jackie Robinson Signed Program Page JSA
- 1967 Willie McCovey SF Giants Game-Used Road Flannel Jersey (Outstanding Use) MEARS A10
- Circa 1970 Hank Aaron Atlanta Braves Cap
- 1949 Bowman #224 Satchel Paige Rookie SGC 2.5
- T205 Gold Border Ty Cobb PSA 2
- 1911 T3 Turkey Red #27 Christy Mathewson Cabinets — Checklist Back
- 1954 Bowman Baseball Complete Set (224) (With Mantle & Mays)
- 2004 Derek Jeter NY Yankees Game-Used & Signed Bat PSA & JSA
- 1998-99 Kobe Bryant LA Lakers Game-Used Home Jersey
- 2003 Michael Jordan NBA All-Star Game Autographed Pro-Cut Jersey (Sourced From NBA Player) JSA & Beckett
- 1990-91 Chicago Bulls Team-Signed Basketball JSA
- Circa 2000 Shaquille O’Neal LA Lakers Game-Used & Signed Shoes (Shaq LOA)
- 1984-85 Star #101 Michael Jordan BGS 6
- Diego Maradona Napoli 1988/1989 Jersey
- Cristiano Ronaldo Nike 2008/2009 Manchester United Jersey, Shorts & Socks
- Hugo Morales Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics Silver Medal for Soccer
- 2021 Exquisite Collection Naomi Osaka Rookie Patch Auto with Laundry Tag (#09/10)
The auction is set to run through Friday, July 15.