Hunt Auctions Inc. is on a roll. After all, this is the third consecutive year the company will host the 2007 MLB Live Auction in conjunction with Major League Baseball's All-Star Week.
Scheduled for Tuesday, July 10, the auction will feature a variety of historical baseball memorabilia, all of which will be on public display during DHL All-Star FanFest, July 6-10, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
As the official auctioneer, Hunt is offering a number of auction-related activities during the five-day event, including daily silent auctions and a free appraisal fair. Select items from the appraisal fair will be eligible for consignment to the Live Auction on Tuesday.
In a nod to All-Star Game history, Hunt will be offering the official lineup cards from the very first All-Star classic in 1933. Originating from the archives of National League coach Bill McKechnie, both the American and National League lineups list some of the most fearsome batters in baseball history, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Frankie Frisch, Chuck Klein, Paul Waner and Gabby Hartnett. Expected to sell for upwards of $50,000, the batting orders are exceptionally rare and possibly the most significant to be offered at auction.
The All-Star Game is not the only contest to be highlighted in the sale. Also scheduled to go across the block are two important pieces representing inaugural World Series events.
The first to sell will be the bat attributed to Babe Ruth's home run in Game 6 of the 1923 World Series. The game would prove to be the series clincher, as Giants pitcher Art Nehf collapsed in the eighth inning, allowing the Yankees to claim the World Series title for the first time in franchise history.
Ruth signed and inscribed the bat, "To My Friend Art Nehf From 'Babe' Ruth Oct. 15th, 1923." The bat is estimated to fetch upwards of $150,000.
Shortly following the bat in the auction is an original panoramic photograph of the very first World Championship game in 1903, which took place 20 years prior to the Yankees' first victory in the series. The photograph pictures the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Red Sox, who ultimately prevailed to win the first championship in World Series history. Believed to be the only surviving original exemplar, the panoramic is anticipated to bring $30,000-$40,000.
In addition to these headliners, more than 675 pieces of baseball memorabilia from a variety of categories will be offered, including several items with relation to this year's host city.
Bay Area-related items: Representing this year's home team are several game-used items from San Francisco's greatest players, including Willie Mays' 1958 home jersey worn during the inaugural season after the Giants moved west from New York (estimate $30,000-$40,000) and the bat Mays used in the 1961 All-Star Game held in San Francisco ($10,000-$15,000).
Willie McCovey's 1972 Giants road jersey ($10,000-$15,000) and the home jersey Reggie Jackson wore in 1969 during one of his most accomplished seasons ($7,500-$10,000) are also up for bid. Completing the San Francisco offering are two Barry Bonds uniforms, one from the 1994 All-Star Game ($4,000-$5,000) and the other from the 1993 regular season ($4,000-$6,000).
Player collections: Fans and collectors will have the opportunity to bid on items from three player collections. The first originates from the estate of the late Charlie Wagner, a former Red Sox player, coach and executive who was involved with the team for more than 70 years.
Available are four of Wagner's AL Championship rings ($2,500-$7,500) and several signed items from his friend and roommate Ted Williams. The collection of pitcher "Smoky" Joe Wood, another Red Sox alum from the early 1900s, immediately follows. The 20 lots of Wood material include early equipment and photographs, a pocket watch presented to Wood for his performance in the 1912 World Series ($5,000-$7,500), a diamond solitaire ring ($4,000-$6,000) and an imperial cabinet photograph of Wood by Boston photographer Carl Horner ($5,000-$7,500).
The final player collection up for sale comes from the family of the late Max Patkin, who entertained fans across the nation for more than 50 years as the "Clown Prince of Baseball." In addition to numerous original photographs, three uniforms Patkin used for on-field performances will be auctioned off with values estimated to range between $750 and $1,500.
Vintage baseball cards: Featured is an estate collection of 1914 Cracker Jacks with 11 Ty Cobb cards ($2,500-$7,000 each); three scarce 1913 Boston Garter cards, including Cobb ($40,000-$60,000); a rare 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie ($20,000-$30,000) and multiple groupings of tobacco and candy cards, including T-206, T-205, Goudey, Geo. C. Miller and T-207 cards.
General interest items: Rounding out the sale are several powerful game-used pieces and autographed items, including Williams' 1955 Boston Red Sox road jersey ($50,000-$75,000), professional model bats used by famous sluggers Cobb circa 1923-26 ($40,000-$60,000), Williams circa 1960 ($25,000-$35,000), Joe DiMaggio circa 1937 ($20,000-$30,000) and Mickey Mantle circa 1961-63 ($15,000-$20,000), a Babe Ruth autographed baseball and related signed letter from Ruth circa 1935 ($15,000-$20,000), a stunning Lou Gehrig single-signed baseball ($25,000-$35,000) and a nearly complete run of World Series team-signed baseballs from 1930-2005.
The entire auction catalog may be viewed online at www.huntauctions.com. Bids and catalog orders may be placed through the website or by calling 610-524-0822.
Hunt Auctions Inc. is currently accepting consignments for several future auctions, including the fourth annual Louisville Slugger Museum Auction scheduled for the fall of 2007.