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Ruth-, Franklin-signed items top Coach's Corner Oc

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Imagine using the names Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Benjamin Franklin, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Pablo Picasso in one sentence and having it all make sense.

Coach's Corner did, as the aforementioned people are connected to the top five items in the October Coach's Corner Sports & Celebrity Auction. The auction will end Oct. 13 with online and fax bidding currently available at the auction house's website. In all, there will be more than 3,800 items up for grabs.

The lead item is a Babe Ruth sweet-spot signed Official Reach American League William Harridge baseball. The signature is in blue ink and shows a slight smudge on Ruth. Estimated value puts it in the $12,000 range. A Ruth-signed baseball with the inscription, "To the boys of the Mexican Club," is also available in this auction.

The second item is a historic relic, a signed 41/2-by-6-inch cut signature of Benjamin Franklin. The item is signed in quill pen on vintage rag paper. From that same era also comes a 11/2-by-4-inch cut signature of second president John Adams on heavy duty vintage stock.

The third item is a Lou Gehrig sweet-spot signed vintage baseball. Though the ball shows considerable use, the novelty of Gehrig on the sweet spot makes this ball special. Gehrig usually deferred to Babe Ruth and signed on the side panel of most baseballs. Estimated value approaches $20,000. Two other Gehrig items are also listed, one a signed dark brown bat and the other a 13-by-16 inch photo display with a cut signature.

The fourth item is a copy of the "Meet the Beatles" LP signed by all four singers. The record itself, is rare and comes on the Veejay label. It shows wear, but the signatures are bold and Paul McCartney has added "lots of love" above his signature. Also in the auction is the Beatles' second LP, also signed by all four and a three-cent postcard also bearing all four Beatles signatures.

The fifth item is a hand-drawn and signed Pablo Picasso original. This piece is a rare and measures 71/2-by-8-inches on a yellow notepad page. It is one of his typical doodles and is signed in the lower right-hand corner.

Back to the more traditional, the auction contains the usual supply of important signed baseballs. Those offered this time include a Mel Ott signed red-stitched vintage baseball with a sharp signature but heavy shellac, a Christy Mathewson signed vintage ball, a Dizzy Dean signed Official NL Giles ball, a Roger Maris "61 in 61" signed Official AL ball, a Rogers Hornsby signed Wilson ball, a MacGregor ball with signatures of 13 baseball legends including Maris, Mantle, Grove, Ted Williams, Musial, Jackie Robinson and others, a 1969 Pirates team-signed ball with Clemente and 20 others, a 1970 Official AL Yankees team signed baseball including Thurman Munson, a Mickey Mantle signed Official AL ball, three Derek Jeter signed Rawlings MLB baseballs, three Mark McGwire single-signed MLB balls and a lot of one-dozen Joe DiMaggio signed AL ScoreBoard originated baseballs.

This auction also features cuts, books, pictures and signed photos including a 16-by-20 signed Mickey Mantle EAC Gallery photo, a Bill Foster signed 1-by-2-inch cut and a Cap Anson 2-by-3 inch cut, a Muhammad Ali signed movie contract.

Other signed bats, uniforms, memorabilia and other equipment pieces include an Alex Rodriguez signed pinstriped Majestic Yankees jersey; an A-Rod signed Pro-Model bat; a bat signed by a host of living and deceased Hall of Famers; a signed University of Southern California 2003-04 football helmet, including Reggie Bush's signature; a Texas Longhorns signed 2005-06 helmet with star Vince Young; a 2004 Carolina Panthers team-signed helmet with 45 players on it; and a 2005 Indianapolis Colts helmet with 28 players on it.

Also available are a Ruth and Ted Williams signed Pro Model baseball glove, a Ben Hawkins signed and game-used Eagles helmet, a Walter Payton signed Bears mini helmet, two Tom Brady signed NFL game-model footballs, and a 1996-97 Chicago Bulls team-signed jersey. a Sandy Koufax signed Mitchell & Ness Dodgers jersey, a Jim Thorpe signed mini bat and a Bush-signed USC jersey.

Card collectors will find interest in a Pristine 10 1993 SP Derek Jeter rookie card and a 1933 Goudey Canadien Babe Ruth No. 80 card graded NM/MT+ 8.5.

From the art and entertainment world comes a Rolling Stones signed leather jacket, a U2-signed "Elevation Tour 2001" jacket and a Pink Floyd band signed "The Wall" drum head.

Also from the pages of history comes an 8-by-10 color photo signed by Presidents Ford, Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Carter, a 2-by-4-inch cut of Karl Marx, the renowned author of "The Communist Manifesto", an 8-by-10 of George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush boldly signed by each Chief Executive, a straw hat signed by inventor Thomas A. Edison and a U. S. Grant signed 2-by-51/2-inch cut.

Bids will be accepted on line at, by phone at 215-721-9162 or by mail prior to the auction date. The complete auction is published in this issue of Sports Collectors Digest.
- Ted Taylor

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