HOF autographs are the stars of Clean Sweep's August Auction

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Clean Sweep's Aug. 2-3 auction contains nearly 2,000 items and features autographs, publications and memorabilia from all of the major sports. Company president Steve Verkman said this auction should be a favorite for the bargain hunters out there because the majority of pieces in the auction are valued at $500 or below and carry low minimum bids.

That's not to say some of the items in the auction won't be commanding top dollar. For instance, a single-signed Lefty Grove baseball commands a minimum bid of $400. Verkman said the game ball "shows consistent use and aging" and is signed on the side panel by Grove.

Collectors of rare Hall-of-Fame autographs will also be interested in a single-signed baseball from Travis "Stonewall" Jackson that Verkman said is clean signature that grades out as "a conservative 9 out of 10." Travis died in 1987 and did few autograph signings. This item has a minimum bid of $250.

Other single-signed baseballs of note: two Mickey Mantle balls - one of which includes an artist's portrait of Mantle - a ball from former Red Sox and Indians pitching star "Smokey" Joe Wood and a ball signed by longtime umpire Babe Pinelli, whose last game was Don Larsen's perfect game in 1956.

Also attracting early attention from bidders is a 3-by-5 index card featuring a blue-ink signature from Roger Maris. The item carries a minimum bid of $160.

Perez-Steele collectors will take notice of a 1985 Greatest Moments card autographed by Roy Campanella. The item has a minimum bid of $175. Meanwhile, signatures from 20 Hall of Famers can be found on a Louisville Slugger bat that carries a minimum bid of $225. Among the names on this item: Stan Musial, Gary Carter, Juan Marichal, Rod Carew, Al Kaline, Phil Rizzuto, Steve Carlton, Duke Snider and Orlando Cepeda. All of the signatures were obtained at shows, and several of the players added their induction years to their signatures.

A handful of original Hartland baseball statues are also available in this sale. Figures of Eddie Mathews and Willie Mays both come with their original boxes, and both boxes are in high-grade condition. Both lots carry a minimum bid of $200. Meanwhile, a Nellie Fox figure with tag is also available for a minimum bid of $200.

Among the various baseball publications available in the auction is a rare program from the 1971 NLCS in San Francisco. It has a great cover photo with two Giant outfielders trying to prevent a home run. The cover is clean with bright color. The binding is tight, with very light wear on the spine only. It's been scored neatly in ink, and the interior pages are nice. It carries a minimum bid of $240.

Collectors of All-Star Game programs will take note of the fact this auction features programs from the 1961 game at Candlestick Park, the 1974 game in Pittsburgh and the 1980 game in Los Angeles.

To participate in the upcoming auction, visit www.csauctions.com.

• RUTH BASEBALL LEADS THE WAY IN CLEAN SWEEP'S MAY AUCTION - A single-signed Babe Ruth ball - on a 1920s-era American League baseball - sold for $14,817 (with buyer's premium) in Clean Sweep's May auction. It was the top-selling item in the auction. Also breaking the $10,000 mark in the sale was a collection of 169 Obak PCL cards from 1910. This rare collection topped out at $12,805.

Ruth figured prominently in several other high-dollar lots in the sale. A ball featuring Ruth's signature on the sweet spot and eight other assorted signatures on a PCL ball went for $5,909. A single-signed Ruth ball with personalization sold for $5,566.

In addition, an autograph album page featuring signatures of Ruth and Tris Speaker sold for $4,485. A framed display featuring a Ruth cut signature went for $3,827, while a baseball featuring the signatures of Ruth and Lou Gehrig went for $3,220.

A number of high-grade tobacco cards were sold in the auction, led by Turkey Red cards of John McGraw (PSA 5; $6,418), Tris Speaker (PSA 5; $5,768), Matty McIntyre (PSA 7; $5,001) and Joe Tinker (PSA 5; $3,668).
From the modern era, a complete set of 1962 Topps Baseball (EX-MT) went for $4,035, while a complete set of 1954 Topps (VG-EX) sold for $2,694. A signed Mickey Mantle jersey lead the way among signatures of post-war stars. The item sold for $3,885.

On the non-sports side, a collection of 12 lithos of the Jerusalem Windows artwork by Marc Chagall, with each signed by the artist, went for $5,321. A document signed by Thomas Jefferson from 1804 sold for $4,174.

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