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Williams Contract, Ruth Bat Push Lelands to $2.3 Million Sale

Among the highlights in Lelands November auction was the original document that sent Ted Williams from the PCL's San Diego Padres to the Boston Red Sox ($37,504) and a Babe Ruth bat that tipped the scales at more than $71,000.

The original document that sent Ted Williams from the San Diego Padres (Pacific Coast League) to the Boston Red Sox in 1937 (lot 750), has sold for $37,504 at the November catalog auction, which concluded early Saturday morning.

The document, which in the hearts of Red Sox Nation is the counter-balance to the famous “sale-to-New York" Babe Ruth document, spelled out the trade and cash details that made Williams a major leaguer. (Al Niemiec and Dom Dallasandro went to the Padres in the deal). Williams later autographed the document, a document which had never before been auctioned. Hall of Famer Eddie Collins, the Red Sox general manager, signed the paper.

Meanwhile, a game-used Babe Ruth bat, one of 12 the Bambino ordered from Hillerich & Bradsby for the 1932 season, sold for $71,211 (including buyer’s commission).

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The Louisville Slugger hickory bat, from the season of the fabled “Called Shot Home Run” in the World Series, (lot 612) attracted 26 bids before coming to rest at its winning price. It was the highest price in the auction of more than 1,550 lots, which including many historic wire service photos, a specialty of Lelands.

The total auction grossed $2.3 million.

“There is no recession at” said Joshua Leland Evans, the company's founder and chairman. “We are ecstatic with the numbers both individually and collectively. These are challenging economic times for our nation.”

A Boston-Pittsburgh program from Game One of the first modern World Series, 1903, (lot 684) realized $64,737. George Foster’s Mets championship ring from 1986 (lot 816) sold for $48,638. A 2004 Red Sox world championship ring in its original box (lot 751) went for $44,216. A Silver Presentation Bat gifted to Cap Anson (lot 840) sold for $43,740.

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A collection of more than 21,000 photos from the archives of the San Francisco Chronicle (lot 1400) resulted in a sale of $17,656.

Full descriptions and photographs of the items (available for reproduction by media in conjunction with a story on the auction), may be found at

Other highlights:

  • Lot 154 – a complete set of 1933 Goudey Baseball cards - $43,197
  • 160 – 1968 Topps 3D Roberto Clemente (PSA GEM MT 10) - $40, 197
  • 752 – 2007 Red Sox World Series ring in original box - $33,220
  • 431 – 1969-70 Bobby Hull Black Hawks photo-matched game worn jersey - $30,200
  • 9 - Mint Roberto Clemente single-signed baseball - $22,690
  • 874 - 1938 original Prince Valiant artwork by Hal Foster (2) - $21,926
  • 294 - 1950s Otto Graham Browns game worn jacket - $21,170
  • 2 - 1960s Clemente San Juan Senadores game worn uniform - $17,496
  • 5 - Mid-1960s Clemente game-used batting helmet - $17,047
  • 6 - Clemente All-Star Game used bat from 1972 - $17,047
  • 1 - Clemente signed Pirates contract from 1972 - $15,498
  • 695 - Complete set of 12 New York Giants sterling silver season passes - $15,498
  • 13 - Clemente single signed ball from hit number 2,819 - $13,288
  • 3 - 1904 Pirates Exposition Park panoramic photograph - $12,808.

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