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Mathewson baseball tops next Coach's auction

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There will be some terrific potential holiday presents to satisfy the most selective of collectors in Coach's Corner's Sports and Celebrity Auction, which closes Dec. 15.

Among the great items will be a vintage signed Christy Mathewson baseball that boasts his signature, his "NY Giants" team and a score Bucknell (his alma mater) 4, Lehigh 0 inscribed on it; a John Dillinger signed bank document and a Babe Ruth signed Official American League baseball. This is the last of the company's 13 auctions in 2006. Online and fax bidding is currently going on at the auction house's website at

There are more than 3,200 items up for grabs. The black-ink, sweet-spot signed Mathewson ball is certified, has faded a little and grades at about a 4.5. Coach's Corner president Scott Malack estimates that the ball could be worth as much as $20,000 due to scarcity.

The Dillinger piece is on deep brown stock and signed in black ink. The Ruth ball is on a Reach Official AL ball, signed on the sweet spot and graded a VG (6) overall.

Other items sure to top someone's Christmas list are a Beatles signed "Abbey Road" album with all signatures in blue ink on the cover beneath their individual pictures, a Lou Gehrig signed Official National League baseball that brags of an impeccable letter of provenance tracing its origins all the way back to a ballpark groundskeeper, a Gil Hodges signed Official National League baseball, a Roberto Clemente signed ball and two Ted Williams items, a signed framed litho signed by him and a signed Ted Williams Creamy Root Beer sign.

An Old Gold Cigarette advertising piece from the 1950s is mounted on a 5-by-8 card and features a toy bat and ball and features a picture of Ruth giving testimony to the mildness and smoothness of the cigarette. (It's ironic, of course, since the Babe was dead when this campaign was launched - and he died of lung cancer. So much for the mildness and smoothness aspect of the promotion.) The auction also contains a number of other significant signed baseballs. Among those offered this time are a Maris-signed Official NL ball, a Mel Ott signed Spalding NL ball, a lot of three signed Joe DiMaggio Official AL baseballs, a 500 Home Run hitters signed ball and a Barry Bonds signed and hologramed All-Star Game baseball.

This auction features cuts, books, pictures and signed photos, including a Mickey Mantle display piece with two signatures and 20 other items, a Mantle-signed 16-by-20 lithograph of him in his early days, a signed Gehrig "School of Baseball" membership card, a Joe Kelley signed cut, a Payne Stewart framed display containing two autographed items, a Pele-signed 16-by-20 "bicycle kick" photo, a Dan Brouthers signed 4-by-5-inch cut and an Ed Delahanty 2-by-5 inch cut.

Signed bats, uniforms, memorabilia and other equipment pieces include a "Mickey Charles Mantle" signed Louisville Slugger, a Mantle-signed Mitchell & Ness replica Yankee jersey, a Barry Bonds signed Mitchell & Ness replica Pirates jersey, a Peyton Manning signed Colts jersey, an Alex Rodriguez signed Mitchell & Ness 1994 Mariners jersey, a catcher's mitt signed by Nolan Ryan and all seven men who caught his no-hitters, a Derek Jeter signed Yankees jersey, a Cardinals sluggers (Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols) signed Majestic jersey, two Tom Brady signed full-sized Super Bowl XL game helmets and a 1990 New York Giants team-signed Pro Line football helmet.

Card collectors will be bidding on a 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson rookie card graded Gem Mint 10, a 1981 Topps Joe Montana rookie card also graded Gem Mint 10, a 1958 Topps Mantle All-Star card graded Gem Mint 9.5, a Thurman Munson 1970 Topps rookie card graded Pristine 10, a 1971 Topps Terry Bradshaw rookie card also graded Pristine 10 and a 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card graded Pristine 10.

From the world of art and entertainment comes a postcard signed by all four Beatles and a hand-drawn and signed Walt Disney Mickey Mouse image. Bids will be accepted online, by phone at 215-721-9162 or by mail prior to the auction date. The complete auction is published in this issue of SCD.

By Ted Taylor

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