On June 9, Cal Ripken's Ironclad Authentics will team up with antiques and collectibles specialists Morphy Auctions to present a select 200-lot offering of sports memorabilia in an absentee/Internet-only auction.
Among the more historically significant items is the original 1981 Baltimore Orioles lineup card from Ripken Jr.'s first complete Major League Baseball game. Signed by then-manager Earl Weaver, the card was obtained from Dallas Parks, who umpired in that particular game. It is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.
An official Cincinnati Reds, Warren Giles baseball single signed on the sweet spot by Babe Ruth is another top lot. While Ruth was generous about autographing balls for fans, Morphy officials noted that very few single-signed examples are known to exist in the very fine 9-to-9.5 condition exhibited by this ball. Another noteworthy auction entry is a 1942 New York Yankees team-signed ball.
Although the sale will not have a live component, bids may be lodged through all absentee methods, including live via the Internet through eBay Live Auctions. Items may be physically previewed at Morphy Auctions' gallery in Denver (Adamstown), Pa., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., any day of the week except Wednesday during the two weeks prior to auction day.
All lots in the sale will be accompanied by letters of authenticity, with signatures verified by James Spence Authentication (JSA) and game-used bats and jerseys certified by MEARS/Bushing.
A top ephemera lot is the 1887 Allen & Ginter "Worlds Champions" poster believed to be one of only six known. The poster features outstanding athletes from many sports and endeavors, and even includes Buffalo Bill and sharpshooter Annie Oakley. "The images on this poster are the same ones that appeared on Allen & Ginter cigarette cards," said Morphy Auctions General Manager Tom Sage Jr. "It's an early, very desirable item and is estimated at $40,000-$60,000."
It is only fitting that the auction should feature material associated with Ironclad's founder and Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr., who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July. Among the Ripken items to be auctioned are multiple pairs of game-used shoes, an original jersey and two signed bats - one game-used example signed by Ripken as both 1982 Rookie of the Year and 2007 Hall of Fame member. Sage pointed out that since the HOF nod is official, Ripken can now sign items with the Hall of Fame designation.
The auction also includes many signed jerseys from current and former MLB superstars, including Nolan Ryan, Ryan Howard and Don Mattingly, the latter player having an exclusive arrangement to provide signed material to Ironclad. A Texas Rangers manager's jersey signed by one of the all-time greats, Ted Williams, is a highlight of the auction's baseball apparel section.
A grouping that stands on its own is the selection of shirts, hats and bats autographed at a recent reunion of the 1983 World Champion Baltimore Orioles. Ripken Jr. added the finishing touch by producing a highly important item from his own personal collection: one of the balls from his 3,000th-hit game.
A portion of the auction proceeds will be donated to the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.
For additional information on any item in the sale or to leave a bid, call (717) 335-3435, fax (717) 336-7115 or e-mail morphy@morphyauctions. View highlights online at www.morphyauctions.com/ironcladauthentics.html.
The entire electronic catalog also may be accessed at www.liveauctioneers.com.