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Collectible Classics Providing a Little 'Sugar' for the Collection

Collectors checking out Collectible Classics’ CCA33 auction, which closes June 27, will find 426 sports and non-sport lots, including a collection of rare Pittsburgh Pirates memorabilia, the first installment of the Bert Randolph Sugar collection, 19th century items and Yankees and Reds collectibles.

Collectors checking out Collectible Classics’ CCA33 auction, which closes June 27, will find 426 sports and non-sport lots, including a collection of rare Pittsburgh Pirates memorabilia, the first installment of the Bert Randolph Sugar collection, 19th century items and Yankees and Reds collectibles.

Online now at (724-446-3079), the auction offers more than 120 lots of baseball cards and more than 75 lots of baseball autographs. A free, color catalog is available.

According to Judy Burk, who operates Collectible Classics with her husband, John, the Pirates collection contains memorabilia that might very well be one-of-a-kind.


“We sold some of these items to a serious Pittsburgh collector 10 years ago,” Burk said. “Since then, we have looked for duplicates, but have not found them.”

Among the rare or scarce Pirates collectibles are a circa 1913 “Pittsburgh Pirates” cigar box, a cabinet card of pitcher Pink Hawley, a tomahawk rattle and a composite team photo of the Pirates from Max Carey’s collection. The Pirates organization gave Carey the photo. The same image was used to produce a Pirates pin, one of scarcest and largest World Series pins. The tomahawk rattle is from the 1930s.

The Pirates collection also includes a run of 20 Pittsburgh yearbooks from 1951-68; a panoramic real-photo postcard from the dedication of Forbes Field in 1909; ticket stubs for each of the 1960 World Series games played in Pittsburgh; a baseball signed by Roberto Clemente and others; a copy of the 1910 yearbook “Line Drives,” which commemorates the Pirates’ 1909 world championship; and PSA’s highest-graded 1910 Tip Top Pirates card of Lefty Webb (EX-MT+ 6.5).

Collectible Classics has 17 lots from the estate of Bert Sugar up for bid, as well. The famous boxing writer, sports historian and editor passed away last year. Sugar was also the author of the ground-breaking collectors’ reference, The Sports Collectors Bible.

Four important autographs are from the Sugar collection: Francis Ouimet, the 1913 U.S. Open Champion, at the close of a 1949 letter to Sugar; Tommy Burns, the 1906-08 heavyweight boxing champion, on a photo; Benny Friedman, the Hall of Fame quarterback, in a 1950 letter to Sugar; and LeRoy Neiman, on a 2002 4-1/2-by-5-inch sketch of Sugar. Other lots from Sugar’s estate include a 19th century hand-colored engraving of the 1860 Sayers-Heenan fight; a lithograph of Thomas Hart Benton’s 1972 “Forward Pass” artwork; an original signed painting by Sports Illustrated artist Frank Mullins; and an Everlast banner signed by more than 50 boxers, including Joe Frazier, Marvin Hagler and Sly Stallone.

New York Yankees memorabilia comprises more than 25 lots, including jersey, caps, photos or lithographs and baseballs autographed by Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. The auction is also offering a 1927 World Series wire photo with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, along with Pittsburgh’s Waner brothers; a 1939 Yankees vs. Reds World Series pin; baseball cards of both Ruth and Gehrig; newspaper coverage of Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech; a Ron Stark giclee print of Gehrig; 1937 Gehrig promotional pamphlet for Huskies cereal; and a copy of Babe Ruth’s Baseball Book for 1932.

1927 W.S. Photo

A rare copy of the 1919 Cincinnati “Official Players Souvenir” Yearbook headlines a Reds collection. This 48-page, softcover publication provides colorized images and biographical information on 24 Reds who brought Cincinnati its controversial first world championship. Reds collectors will also find a near set of 1919-20 Cincinnati player postcards (22/24), 1937-39 Orcajo postcards, ticket stubs from the 1939 and 1940 World Series and a 1961 “Champions” banner.

The 19th century is well represented in the auction. One of the key lots is an 1888 A16 Allen & Ginter World Champions album, with each page double-matted and framed in a 32-3/4-by-40-1/2-inch display. Two pages are framed on both sides, and they are framed so that the reverse is visible at the back of the display.

Other 19th century lots include an 1883 National League Buffalo Bisons vs. Boston Beaneaters scorecard, an 1873 Boston at Yale baseball scorecard, “The Pennant Winners 1889 NY (Giants) Base Ball Club” commemorative plate and books from 1866 and 1889 that provide important baseball history.

Baseball cards are always an important part of Collectible Classics’ auctions. Entries in CCA33 include 1954 Bowman and 1957 and 1961 Topps sets; a group of 91 T206s, Old Judge and Scrapps cards; numerous prewar issues, including strip cards and a 1939 Play Ball starter set; a group of 55 Baseball Magazine player posters; and large groups of cards from the 1950s-60s.

More than 75 lots of baseball autographs are open for bidding, including Ron Lewis prints signed by 500 Home Run Hitters and members of the 3,000-Hit Club; Fred Clarke on an Artvue Hall of Fame black and white plaque postcard; “Statballs” signed by Ernie Banks, Mike Schmidt and Duke Snider; autographs of Ki Ki Cuyler, Hank Greenberg, Roger Maris, Billy Martin and Ted Williams on various media; and bulk lots with as many as 755 autographs.


Other highlights of the auction include a Jackie Robinson autograph and memorabilia; an Arnold Palmer vintage-signed high school yearbook; a 1948 Leaf football collection; a Clyde Singer print on canvas, “Cleveland Browns, Paul Brown, Jim Brown;” a complete run of 63 Football Senior Bowl programs from 1950-2012; Muhammad Ali autographs; a St. Louis Browns 1944 American League Champions 14k gold ring; Dean Martin signed check; 1940s Mutoscope card vendor with nine pin-up cards; a 1950s Big Play Card n’ Gum vendor; a set of four 1930 pie-eyed Mickey Mouse baseball bisques; a 1935 Dizzy and Daffy Dean child’s baseball uniform in the original box; a 1950 Topps “Freedom’s War” partial set of 106; George Armstrong Custer vintage silver print; and pair of souvenir pins from the 1999 Baseball Hall of Fame induction week exclusive dinner.