In 2005, Mastro Auctions set an industry record with an auction nearing $14 million. Faced with the imposing prospect of following that historic sale, the auction giant rounded up game-used bats and jerseys from the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Roberto Clemente, Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams, among others, and its traditional vast array of pristine cards and sets for its April sale.
On April 3, bidding begins on more than 2,500 lots of high-end memorabilia from the worlds of sports, fine arts, historical milestones, Hollywood, music, political campaigns and more. Bidding concludes on April 19, 20, and 21.
In addition, the auction will represent an initial foray of Mastro auctioning material from the famed Larry Fritsch Collection, in this sale meaning a sampling of vending boxes that have been one of the signature offerings from the pioneering dealer over the years. More information about the Fritsch Collection is included in T.S. O'Connell's "Out of Left Field" column that appears on pages 32-34 in this issue of Sports Collectors Digest.
"This auction will include our inaugural fine arts effort," said Doug Allen, Mastro president. "In addition to offering the biggest and best sports memorabilia on the planet, we are also constantly seeking to increase diversity in terms of the material we bring to our collecting audience. This auction will be among our most diverse event to date."
Top sports memorabilia items include:
- The George "Shotgun" Shuba Collection.
- The Jim Turner Collection.
- An assortment of significant Joe DiMaggio, Roberto Clemente (shown at right) and Ted Williams jerseys.
- A selection of high-grade bats used by Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Ted Williams, and more;
- The largest collection of Super Bowl rings ever offered together.
- Mastro's customary vast assortment of high-grade cards and sets.
- Top Americana and fine arts items include:
- A large collection of oil paintings.
- A considerable selection of decorative glass and lamps.
- Interesting sculpture and furniture pieces.
- Historical and presidential items of significance.
- A variety of entertainment items.
The George Shuba Collection features items from the senior member of the surviving 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers and the man who shook Jackie Robinson's hand following Robinson's first home run as a member of the Montreal Royals in 1946.
The lineup of items from Shuba includes: Shuba's 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers World Series ring ($5,000 minimum bid); a 1953 Pee Wee Reese bat used by Shuba to hit the first NL pinch-hit home run in World Series history ($2,500), and the home run ball itself (separate lots); a 1958 Robinson-signed and inscribed photo; Shuba's 1949 Southern Association All-Star ring and team ball, with Ki Ki Cuyler; Dodgers team-signed balls from 1948, 1954 and 1955 (World Series champions); his 1955 Dodgers team Bombers jacket; and Shuba's game-used Dodgers jerseys from 1948 and 1952.
Suba's collection was featured in the "Out of Left Field" column in the March 17 issue of SCD.
Jim Turner, arguably the most famous pitching coach in baseball history, spent 51 consecutive seasons in professional baseball as a player and a coach. Some of the items in his collection include: his 1953 New York Yankees World Championship ring ($2,500); his 1939 Boston Bees complete game-used uniform with cap ($1,500); and his 1955 New York Yankees American League Championship ring ($1,500).
A sterling roster of game-used jerseys includes a 1958 Roberto Clemente road jersey and a 1959 Ted Williams home jersey. both of which open at $10,000, plus a 1933-35 Joe DiMaggio signed San Francisco Seals jersey that came from former major league infielder Dick Bartell and was sold for $51,750 in the historic Barry Halper Collection auction at Sotheby's in September of 1999.
A vault-marked 1918 Babe Ruth bat ($10,000) headlines a group of game-used Hillerich & Bradsby bats that includes a 1933 Lou Gehrig "Small Signature" bat ($10,000), and others (each opening at $5,000) from a prodiguous group of Hall of Famers, including 1921 Rogers Hornsby, 1926-31 Jimmie Foxx, 1939-43 Williams, 1945 Mel Ott and 1946 Joe DiMaggio.
A traditionally extenstive assortment of high-grade cards and sets includes: the legendary rarity 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie in PSA 9 ($25,000); a 1910 T210 Old Mill Cigarettes Joe Jackson rookie Card in PSA 5 ($10,000); a 1916 M101-5 Sporting News Ruth rookie in PSA 8 ($10,000); a 1915 M101-5 Sporting News complete Set and (16) 1916 M101-4 cards ($10,000); 1909-11 T206 White Border near-set of 519 $5,000; a 1911 T3 Turkey Red Ty Cobb in PSA 5 ($2,500); a 1914 T213 Coupon Cigarettes Type II near-set of 183/188 ($5,000); 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie in SGC 60 ($2,500); 1934 Goudey No. 61 Lou Gehrig in PSA 8 ($2,500); a massive collection of 1911-16 T216 "Kotton" Mino & Virginia Extras Cigarettes cards ($2,500); and a 1934 Goudey No. 61 Lou Gehrig in PSA 9 ($5,000).
Vintage Topps and Bowman: a 1952 Topps high-grade master set ($10,000); a 1955 Topps Clemente rookie in PSA 9 ($5,000); a 1951 Bowman Willie Mays rookie in GAI 9 ($5,000); a 1948 Bowman Yogi Berra in PSA 10 ($5,000); a 1954 Topps Unopened 5-Cent wax box with 36 packs ($5,000); a 1952 Topps complete master set with Red and Black backs and Sain and Page variations ($5,000); a 1962 Topps complete set, entirely PSA graded 8-9 ($5,000); a 1960 Topps complete set entirely PSA graded ($5,000); uncut sheet of the complete set of 1954 Wilson Franks cards ($5,000); 1951 Bowman high-grade low-number collection of 217, entirely PSA graded ($5,000); 1952 Topps near-set of 376 ($5,000); 1953 Topps high-grade complete set ($5,000); 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie in SGC 88 ($2,500); high-grade vintage Topps sets, some entirely graded PSA 8 and higher, including 1957 ($2,500); 1958 Topps ($2,500); and a 1948 Leaf Joe DiMaggio PSA 8 ($2,000).
Single-signed and team-signed balls: 1953 Ty Cobb single-signed ball ($5,000); 1949-53 run of New York Yankees World Champion team-signed balls ($2,500); and a Honus Wagner single-signed ball ($1,500).
The auction also features the largest number (nine) of Super Bowl rings ever auctioned at one time, including Jerry Kramer's ring from the very first Super Bowl ($5,000), Bruce Walton's 1975 Cowboys ring, Ronnie Lee's 1982 Dolphins, Todd Kelly's 1994 49ers Super Bowl ring and Bobby Ingram's 1990 Giants Super Bowl ring. The rings will be auctioned individually but are expected to bring up to $250,000 in bids collectively.
Memorabilia: 1876 Chicago White Stockings stock certificate signed by Spalding and Hulbert ($5,000); 1911 L-1 Ty Cobb Leather ($5,000); 1954 Hank Aaron rookie contract ($2,500); 1929 World Series autographed photograph ($2,500); 1938 Yankees individually signed George Burke photos with Gehrig and DiMaggio ($2,500); Ty Cobb's 1908 American League Champion Detroit Tigers pocket watch ($5,000); Bill Stafford's 1961 New York Yankees World Series ring ($2,500); Rocky Colavito Outstanding Batting Achievement Babe Ruth Crown ($2,500); and Ray Blades 1926 St. Louis Cardinals World Series ring ($2,500).
Basketball: 1961-62 Fleer Basketball complete set PSA 8 ($2,500); 1961-62 Fleer Basketball GAI-graded wax box (24 packs, $2,500); 1948 Bowman complete set PSA graded ($2,500); Jerry West circa 1973 Los Angeles Lakers game-worn and signed road jersey ($1,000); and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1984-85 Los Angeles Lakers game-worn and signed road jersey ($1,000).
Hockey: Wayne Gretzky 1981-82 Edmonton Oilers jersey ($5,000); Mark Messier 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers game-worn road jersey ($2,500); Ray Bourque 1987-88 Boston Bruins game-worn road jersey ($1,500)
Football: Early 1920s Jim Thorpe game-used helmet ($10,000); 1934 NFL World Champions figural trophy presented to Ken Strong of the New York Giants ($2,500); Chicago Bears Football programs 1930s to 2002, including Playoffs and rare NFL Championships ($2,500); and a 1957 Topps Bart Starr rookie PSA 9 ($1,000).
Non-sport cards: PSA-graded 1933-34 R136 National Chicle "Sky Birds" complete set of 108 ($5,000); 1967 Topps "Wacky Packages" Die-Cut Five-Cent wax box with 22 unopened packs, two wrappers and two PSA-graded cards ($5,000); 1938 Lone Ranger "Premium" original artwork ($5,000); and a 1974 Topps Six-Million Dollar Man Test wax box ($5,000).
The Mastro Auctions Fine Arts inaugural sale, featured in a separate catalog, will include hundreds of high-end items including oil paintings, decorative glass and lamps (Lalique, Tiffany, etc.), sculpture, furniture, folk art, and much more.
A few highlights include:
- Circa 1938 "Midtown 5th Avenue Looking South" oil on canvas by Guy Carelton Wiggins ($50,000)
- 1859 "Fishing in Summer" oil on canvas by George Henry Durrie ($15,000)
- 1924 R. Lalique "Daphne" statue ($10,000)
- 1925 R. Lalique Tourterelles Smoky Grey Vase ($5,000)
- 1925 R. Lalique Tourterelles Smoky Grey Vase ($25,000)
- Circa 1905 Dufner & Kimberley floor lamp ($20,000)
Historical items: 1823 Declaration of Independence from the W.J. Stone Plate ($10,000); 1846 Robert E. Lee letter ($5,000); 1932 Charles Lindbergh signed handwritten note ($2,500); 1863 Jeb Stuart letter ($2,500); collection of autographed White House cards ($2,500); 1840 William Henry Harrison presidential campaign bandana ($2,500); and an 18th-century John Adams Liverpool pitcher ($2,500).
Entertainment: "Seinfeld" script handwritten by Jerry Seinfeld ($2,500); Marilyn Monroe's final shooting script for 1962 "Something's Got to Give" ($2,500); and a 1962 Monroe lip print and large lock of hair ($2,500).
For more information or to pre-register for the April auction and to receive auction catalogs, call (630) 472-1200, or go to www.mastroauctions.com.