Bill Riddell passed away on Aug. 26, 2014, at the age of 58 following a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Bill was both an avid sports memorabilia collector and also one of the industry’s earliest authorities on vintage and game used baseball bats. A physical education teacher and baseball coach for 32 years at Tewinkle Middle School in Costa Mesa, California, he co-authored the book BATS that was released in 1995. It remains a go-to source in the hobby for key information on Hillerich & Bradsby and Adirondack professional model bats from 1950 to 1994.
“He went after the best. He really liked the old-school players. Somebody who stayed with a team, kept their head down and did their job. Players with integrity. And that’s the way Bill was. He was very modest and never bragged about the things he had.”
– Diane Riddell (Bill’s widow)
Over the course of 30 years, Riddell quietly cultivated an impressive and impeccable personal collection of vintage and modern-era bats and other significant baseball memorabilia. SCP Auctions is honored to feature “The Bill Riddell Collection” in our upcoming 2014 Fall Premier Auction.
A total of 32 lots are showcased and include some extraordinary bats that are largely unknown to the hobby, including: George Kelly’s 1916-20 H&B game-used bat, 1930s Charlie Gehringer H&B game-used bat, 1931 Mickey Cochrane double-vault marked H&B game-used bat and Yogi Berra’s 1958 All-Star autographed game-used bat.
From the late ‘60s and 1970s, Riddell’s collection includes some more showstoppers like Johnny Bench’s autographed game-used rookie era (1967-72) H&B gamer as well as a stunning Roberto Clemente’s 1971 (World Championship Season) autographed and game-used H&B bat with direct bat boy provenance. Bill’s collecting interests also included team-signed baseballs and game-worn jerseys as well, including his crown jewel: a magnificent, completely original Ernie Banks’ 1969 autographed and game-worn Chicago Cubs jersey from his last full season in the bigs.
Other collection highlights include:
– Collection of (16) game-used bats from members of the 1984 World Champion Detroit Tigers
– Babe Ruth double-signed 1937 bank check
– 1959 Ted Williams Pinch Hitter Baseball Themed Pinball Machine
– 1960s Hillerich & Bradsby metal revolving baseball bat rack
– Collection of (5) game-used bats from members of the 1968 World Champion Detroit Tigers including Northrup, Horton, Brown, Wert and Price
– Lot of (5) 1970s-80s All-Stars professional model game-used bats, including Simmons, B.Bonds, Madlock, Grich and Foster
– Lot of (8) HOF legends single-signed baseballs including Mantle and DiMaggio
– 1968 Dave Campbell Detroit Tigers (World Championship season) game-worn home jersey
– 1958 Rocky Colavito H&B professional model game-used bat with exceptional MLB batboy provenance
– 1958 Harvey Kuenn H&B professional model game-used bat with exceptional MLB batboy provenance.
For more information, visit www.scpauctions.com.