An official American League ball used in the final game of the 1918 World Series headlines an 1,100-lot auction to be conducted by Sportsworld Auctions. The auction goes live online on April 10, with half the lots concluding May 18 and the balance on May 19.
The baseball has never before been in the marketplace. It comes from the octogenarian son of Fred Thomas, third baseman for the Red Sox' world championship team. Thomas recorded the first out in the ninth inning of the deciding game against the Cubs before 15,238 fans on Sept. 11 in that memorable year at Fenway Park - far from a sellout, but a game that would take on a life of its own as the Sox last world championship for 86 years. Thomas kept the ball.
"Warren Thomas, the son, says the ball rested in the Thomas home comfortably placed in a wicker basket," said Phil Castinetti, president of Sportsworld Auctions. "It was free to be used to play catch, and the signatures, including Babe Ruth's, were later traced over and then shellacked for preservation. It is not the signatures then, that will bring value and attention to this item, but rather, the historic game from which it comes and the clear provenance," he continued.
"With this auction, Sportsworld moves into a higher tier of auction houses, setting its business plan to hold more frequent auctions, with more lots and more direct consignments from sports personalities."
The sale will include the 1967 American League Championship ring from beloved Bosox broadcaster Ken Coleman, a collection from Dave "Boo" Ferris (Red Sox star pitcher of the mid-1940s), and hockey collections from Wayne Cashman, Gary Doak, Wayne Carleton and Don Awrey. Included here are all three of Awrey's Stanley Cup rings, Cashman's 1972 Summit Series jersey (shown) when Canada shocked the USSR with an upset victory in the much heralded international series, and much more.
The auction also included an enormous, graded collection of hundreds of T206 tobacco cards, including multiple copies of Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson and many other Hall of Famers (although no Wagners). The cards will be auctioned individually, not as a single lot, giving collectors a rare opportunity to fill in missing players. This collection received much attention in the media when it was first uncovered several years ago.
In addition to the auction division, Sportsworld is New England's largest sports memorabilia shop, operated since 1986 by Castinetti, a diehard Yankees fan in the heart of Red Sox Nation. The phone number is (781) 233-7222.