Roberto Clemente signed items have been particularly hot in the past couple years, and that trend continued in the Mike Gutierrez Auctions online event that concluded Jan. 26 at www.mgauction.net.
A Clemente signed baseball that Gutierrez called "the best Clemente single I have handled and by far the best one I have seen offered in years" set what Gutierrez believes is a record for a Clemente signed ball. "We handled several large collections and estates in this auction and the results were very positive," Gutierrez said. "Interest in autograph collecting is at an all-time high. For example, a record was set with a Roberto Clemente single signed ball going for $15,478."
More than 1,300 lots sold for a total of $701,000 in the auction. MGA deals primarily in vintage baseball items like the Clemente ball, so it wasn't surprising that vintage baseball lots dominated the auction's high-priced list. Second in price was $14,070 (all prices including buyer's premium) for a ball signed by Babe Ruth on the sweet spot and Lou Gehrig on the side panel. That ball was consigned by a man who had the ball at his home since getting it signed himself in 1928 or 1929.
Third was another signed baseball, this one from President Dwight Eisenhower ($8,508). Other items that fetched $5,000 or more: Jackie Robinson baseball signed "Best Wishes" ($7,942); Babe Ruth signed studio portrait photo ($7,220); Babe Ruth signed ball with inscription to Babe Herman's son Jack ($6,958); Honus Wagner signed baseball ($6,780); Yankees signed photo with Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio ($6,164); Walter Johnson full-page written and signed letter ($5,811); Chick Hafey's 1932 Reds game-used cap with homemade flip-down glasses ($5,811); and John J. Evers full-page written and signed note on Johnny Evers Company letterhead ($5,122).
For complete results, visit www.mgauction.net and click on "Past Auctions" in the upper right of the site. The next MGA event will be a smaller auction of about 300 items in March.