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Eclectic signatures fuel next Coach's sale

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There is an eclectic assortment of autographs highlighting the February Coach's Corner Sports and Celebrity auction. Signatures ranging from Babe Ruth to Al Capone to The Beatles to Abraham Lincoln and Lou Gehrig are featured, with many others available.

This is the second of 13 auctions in 2007 (there will be two with March deadlines). Online and fax bidding is going on at the auction house's website now through Feb. 2. There will be more than 3,500 items up for grabs in the auction.

The featured piece is a ball signed "To the boys of the Mexican Club" on a side panel - and then again, on the sweet spot - by the immortal Babe Ruth. Who were the boys of the Mexican club? No one knows for sure, but it is possible that Ruth was the guest of the outlaw Mexican League (1930-53) Czar Jorge Pasquel in the early-to-mid 1940s and signed this for one of the teams. The ball is unique in that the brand is "America Official Super Extra Innings."

Speaking of outlaws, the second item is a 2-by-3-foot custom wall hanging that includes a large picture of gangster Al Capone and a signed Capone check.

The third item is a Beatles hand-signed "Songs and Pictures" album with all four signatures in blue ink. A Beatles signed White album and a signed 1965 Beatles signed magazine photo are also offered among the top items in this auction.

Abraham Lincoln's signature on a small piece (1.5-by-5-inch) piece of paper is the fourth item in this interesting array. Other historic signatures include a Thomas Jefferson signed cut, a Ulysses S. Grant signed document, John Hancock's signature on a cut and a Gen. George Custer cut. There's also a land grant signed in 1861 by President Lincoln.

A Lou Gehrig signed baseball on a red-laced vintage ball is one of the headliners of the autographed ball portion of the auction. Others are a Mel Ott signed Big League Autograph baseball, a ball signed by both Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb, a single-signed Wagner vintage ball, a MacGregor Little League ball signed by Jimmie Foxx, a shellacked and dark Gehrig ball, a 1915 Boston Red Sox team-signed ball with Tris Speaker and Duffy Lewis, a 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers 25-player signed ball and a 1951 New York Yankees team-signed ball including Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.

This auction also features other cuts, books, pictures and signed photos, including a dual-signed Chris Paluso/Roy Campanella 18-by-24 print, a Ty Cobb signed 1953 Baseball's Great Players book, a Mickey Mantle signed litho as he appeared on his '52 Topps card, a 16-by-20 signed photo of Jack Nicklaus, a Charles Comiskey signed book and a 1934 Tour of Japan page with 17 signatures, including Ruth, Moe Berg, Connie Mack and Foxx.
Signed bats, uniforms, memorabilia and other equipment pieces include a Ruth-Lou Gehrig signed vintage bat, a Roy Campanella signed Adirondack bat and a DiMaggio-Mantle signed Louisville Slugger bat.

Among items that card collectors will be bidding on are a 1960 Topps Hank Aaron card (graded Gem Mint 10), a 24-count vending case of 1981 Fleer Baseball cards and a 1959 Topps Duke Snider card (also graded Gem Mint 10).

From the world of art and entertainment comes a Walt Disney lot with a signed sketch and a Mickey Mouse Disney sketch, a numbered piece of Peter Max artwork (257/300), a Three Stooges signed album page, a Marilyn Monroe artists proof of a 14-by-18 Steven Kauffman piece, a Laurel and Hardy signed 8-by-10 photo and a "Wizard of Oz" cast cut, which includes Judy Garland and six others.

From the old west comes the autograph of sheriff Pat Garrett, the man who is known by cowboy historians everywhere as the man who killed Billy the Kid.

Bids will be accepted online at, by phone at 215-721-9162 or by mail prior to the auction date. The complete auction is published on pages 39-55 of this issue of SCD.

- Ted Taylor

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