Warren Harding, Dwight Eisenhower, Babe Ruth, Lucy and Schroeder were among the highlights of the Mike Gutierrez Auction 762-lot online event that ended in September at www.mgauction.net and grossed $484,000.
As usual, this MGA auction was full of hundreds of the typical items for an MGA offering — vintage baseball primarily, led by some outstanding early 20th-century items. But sneaking into the top five was an original Peanuts comic strip.
The top five:
Warren Harding single-signed baseball ($27,119); Babe Ruth single-signed unofficial baseball ($21,693); Jack Chesbro and 12 other signatures on a 1901 Pittsburgh Pirates baseball ($18,520); Dwight Eisenhower single-signed baseball ($13,216); and a Charles Schulz signed 1964 Peanuts original comic strip ($8,507) featuring Lucy and Schroeder.
“That comic strip was a great piece; it was actually a real sleeper,” Gutierrez said. “A buddy of mine that I knew from the early days of collecting, the late 1970s, moved from Boston to Seattle and I found out several months ago he moved to the Phoenix area. He got in touch with me and had some stuff like Ted Williams items.
“He told me he had this Peanuts piece, and I didn’t think twice about it. I didn’t realize that these particular pieces are very scarce and extremely collectible. This was an original and it was signed by him, last name only. It soared; I would have never guessed it.”
Gutierrez said the Eisenhower ball “was in beautiful shape, maybe the best one I’ve ever seen.”
Another unique item was a signed Jack Johnson 3-by-5 postcard photo that was signed while the boxer was in exile from the United States, having been convicted in 1912 on trumped-up Mann Act charges for transporting his fiance across state lines (most assume it was paramount in the scenario that he was black and his future wife was white).
That piece sold for $5,959.
“It was signed on the front, and it had a hand-written note on the reverse, and his initials were on the back,” Gutierrez said. “The neat thing about the postmark is that was dated during the time he left the United States because he was wanted for ... whatever they were going to try to legitimize the crime as. He was somewhere in England. I loved the provenance; it was a great little piece.”