Two remarkable collections of baseballs, commemorating some of the greatest postwar moments in the game, anchor one of the largest sports collectibles auctions ever presented by Heritage Auctions: The Charlie McCabe Collection of LeRoy Neiman Original Baseball Art and The Ernie Schworck Collection of Milestone Baseballs.
The auction runs through May 15-16, 2014, presented online only at HA.com.
These two unique assemblies are making their hobby debut within a three-day extended bidding auction, sharing the podium with the usual assortment of rare and important trading cards, autographs, game-used gear and general ephemera for which Heritage is known.
“In the two years since his passing at age 91, LeRoy Neiman has seen a significant surge in his already red-hot collecting market,” said Chris Ivy, director of Sports Auctions at Heritage, “with Heritage posting no fewer than four six-figure sales during the period. We expect interest in The Charlie McCabe Collection to be very high.”
The McCabe Collection of Neiman Baseball Art was assembled over the course of a four-decade friendship between McCabe, one of the most influential New York bank marketing executives ever, and the legendary artist. It features more than 100 original artworks celebrating many of the greatest names in the sporting world and beyond on the unlikely spherical media of baseballs. Highlights, among the many, include a 1992 Joe DiMaggio signed baseball with Marilyn Monroe artwork and a 1995 Babe Ruth original baseball artwork, issued to commemorate the Babe’s 100th birthday.
“While Ernie Schworck’s name may not be as famous as Neiman’s,” said Ivy, “his photography is instantly recognizable to anybody who was reading the sports pages in the 1960s. With his proximity to great players and great moments, Ernie had the chance to acquire some very important game-used baseballs and to, unknowingly perhaps, build a world-class collection. These momentous balls were kept in his desk drawer for years.”
From his headquarters in Los Angeles, Schworck – an award-winning lensman for UPI – documented many of the greatest moments in the career of Sandy Koufax, and his personal collection of game balls from the superstar southpaw’s no-hitters and World Series victories form the anchor of his remarkable personal collection. Notable are a ball from Sandy Koufax’s 1959 18-strikeout game against the San Francisco Giants and a ball used by Koufax in 1963 in his second no-hitter.
Most collectors will consider the home white 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers flannel jersey worn during Koufax’ final World Championship and Cy Young season to be the most significant offering from the great Jewish superstar, and Heritage specialists are hard put to disagree. The garment bears top uniform authentication service MEARS’ highest assessment of A10.
Among the other notable offerings in the auction are the 1980 U.S. Hockey Gold Medal presented to “Miracle on Ice” hero Mark Pavelich, a remarkable 1926 Yankees broadside picturing the iconic Babe Ruth and the document that officially banished Hit King Pete Rose from organized baseball.
The engaging assembly of vintage baseball card offerings cuts across all eras, formats, sports and value ranges, with low-population commons, high-grade condition rarities and top-ranked registry sets. Notable lots include a T206 Ty Cobb Red Hindu, a rare 1903 E107 Breisch-Williams Honus Wagner and another offering of the world-famous Black Swamp Find of E98 candy cards.
The auction, currently open for bidding, is divided into three separate sessions, with trading cards the first session to close, in an extended bidding format, beginning at 10 p.m. Central time on Thursday, May 15. Session Two, also closing in extended bidding format, ends on Friday, May 16, and begins with the aforementioned LeRoy Neiman Collection and continues on to include the balance of the event’s high-end sports memorabilia offerings. The Final Session, another extended bidding format auction, closes on Saturday, May 17, and is comprised of more modestly-priced collectibles of all types, from trading cards to autographs and general ephemera.
Other highlights of this auction include:
- 1887 N175 Type 2 Gypsy Queen King Kelly (Bat At Ready...) SGC 50 VG/EX 4 – The finest known example.
- 1933 Goudey Baseball Progressive Proof Sheets Set (8) with 24 different cards
- 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax #123 PSA Mint 9.
- The only known 1961 Mickey Mantle regular season game-used bat, PSA/DNA GU 9.
- 1934 Tour of Japan Album with team-signed page from Eric McNair Estate, PSA Mint 9
- 1944 Josh Gibson & Satchel Paige signed album page, PSA/DNA Mint 9
- 1946 Roy Campanella double-signed Nashua Dodgers uniform player's contract
- Mid-1960s Gordie Howe game-worn, signed NHL All-Star Game jersey.
- 1973-74 Ernie DiGregorio NBA Rookie of the Year Trophy.