Hunt Auctions, Inc.'s annual late summer auction of important sports memorabilia and cards was held on August 22nd and 23rd, 2003 in Exton, PA. The event was anticipated for months due to the quality of items offered -- most notably the collection of Roy Campanella -- and the results were nothing short of astonishing. Over 1100 total lots were offered to bidders who participated live, by phone, by mail, and via the Internet. The overall strength of the sale may have contributed to a record number of bidders for the firm and overall performance that exceeded the high estimate ranges.
Session #1 began with the first 500 lots on Friday evening starting with the collection of HOF pitcher Bob Lemon. Over 75 lots of Lemon related materials were offered with strong results throughout, led by: 1978 NY Yankees World Series ring - $16,500.00 (Est. $7,500.00-$10,000.00), 1948 Clev. Indians W. Series ring - $9,900.00 (Est. $5,000.00-$7,500.00), 1976 NY Yankees AL Champions ring - $8,800.00 (Est. $3,000.00-$5,000.00), Pair of 1954 Clev. Indians stick pins - $2,420.00, Bob Lemon's HOF display plaque - $1,870.00, 1979 Bob Lemon NY Yankees uniform - $3,080.00 (Est. $750.00-$1,000.00), and Bob Lemon 1954 World Series game used bat - $6,050.00 (Est. $3,500.00-$4,500.00).
A large quantity of vintage sports cards followed with several highlights including: 1957 Topps baseball card partial set - $2,530.00, 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle #253-$3,740.00, 1951 Bowman baseball card set - $6,875.00, and a group of (141) 1950 Topps felt back football cards sold for $3,850.00 against a $1,000.00-$1,500.00 estimate after heavy bidding. A small but select group of vintage hockey jerseys all of which excelled to impressive final numbers including: 1930 Boston Bruins sweater - $6,325.00, Pelle Lindbergh Phila. Flyers jersey - $2,310.00, and Bill Barber Phila. Flyers jersey - $8,250.00.
Vintage publications, boxing items, and football related pieces rounded out the evening session with numerous strong results: Dempsey vs. Tunney "Long Count" fight program and ticket - $1,760.00, James Corbett related lot incl. signed contract - $1,760.00, Notre Dame "Four Horseman" autographed photograph brought $4,180.00, John Mackey Balt. Colts jersey - $3,080.00, and 1926 Chicago vs. Tampa football program sold at $1,320.00.
The Saturday session #2 was to be one of the finest offerings of quality sports materials for the year and the prices reflected that fact throughout the day. Figural pieces and tobacco related items began the day including "E-z Gum Ball" machine with orig. marquee - $8,250.00 (Est. $6,000.00-$8,000.00), P. Lorrillard & Co. tobacco cabinet on base - $6,325.00, 1915 Cracker Jack baseball card set - $12,100.00, Group of (9) 1911 T5 Pinkerton baseball cabinet cards - $2,090.00, 1909-11 T-206 baseball tobacco card set - $23,100.00, and Frank Baker celluloid mirror c.1911 sold at $2,090.00.
Vintage autographed materials remain among the strongest areas of the marketplace with emphasis of fresh examples with provenance. Several highlights include: Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig autographed photo - $18,700.00, Babe Ruth single signed non-official ball - $13,750.00, Paul and Lloyd Waner autographed photo - $4,950.00 (Est. $2,000.00-$3,000.00), Babe Ruth autographed bat - $6,160.00, Ted Williams autographed baseball card set - $8,250.00, 1934 Tour of Japan autographed baseball - $13,200.00, 1916 and 1917 C. Comiskey autographed season pass booklets brought $3,300.00 and $5,500.00 doubling and tripling their estimates respectively, Mel Ott single signed baseball sold for $25,300.00 (Est. $12,500.00-$17,500.00), and Babe Ruth autographed photo brought in $1,760.00.
While the overall content of the auction was impressive there was no question as to the marquee grouping of the day. The personal collection of Roy Campanella was consigned to the auction directly by the Campanella family, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Roy and Roxie Campanella Foundation for Physical Therapy. The interest from the media and bidders was spread both nationally and internationally with an enormous volume of bidding and phone line activity. The results across the board for the Campanella collection were almost all above high estimate with the following notables: Roy Campanella illustration by W. Mullin - $3,090.00, Roy Campanella 1950 NL All-Star award plaque - $5,750.00 (Est. $500.00-$700.00), Roy Campanella bronzed catcher's mitt award - $9,900.00 (Est. $750.00-$950.00), 1941 Roy Campanella East/West All-Star game trophy - $29,700.00 (Est. $2,000.00-$3,000.00), Roy Campanella HOF display plaque - $12,100.00 (Est. $2,500.00-$3,500.00), Roy Campanella Brooklyn Dodgers warm up jacket - $34,100.00 (Est. $15,000.00-$20,000.00), Roy Campanella game worn catcher's mitt - $41,800.00 (Est. $5,000.00-$7,500.00), Pair of bronzed baseball spikes from Roy Campanella's final game - $24,200.00 (Est. $7,500.00-$10,000.00).
In addition to the aforementioned items, Roy Campanella's National league Most Valuable Player awards from 1951, 1953, and 1955 were sold with heated and emotional bidding. The results were staggering with respective selling prices of $99,000.00 for the 1955, $104,500.00 for the 1953, and $170,500.00 for the 1951 destroying the previous record price of $27,077.90 paid for Orlando Cepeda's 1967 NL MVP award sold in the April 2003 Mastronet, Inc. auction.
Quality materials from various categories were also sold during the Saturday session with highlights including: Pristine 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers team autographed baseball - $29,700.00, Children's baseball doll c.1915-$3,850.00, Unusual Zimmer's Base Ball game variation - $3,080.00, Jim Palmer 1977 Orioles home jersey - $4,400.00, Eddie Collins game used bat - $8,250.00, 1911 Phila. Athletics panoramic photograph - $9,350.00, 1910 and 1911 Phila. A's pennants - $5,500.00 and $6,050.00, 1956 Johnny Unitas Balt. Colts jersey - $40,700.00, Steve Van Buren Phila. Eagles jersey - $22,000.00, 1875 Hartford Blue Stockings - $3,575.00, 1955 World Series Umpire's ring - $6,875.00, and 1903 American League composite photograph by Carl Horner - $23,100.00.
Hunt Auctions, Inc. is currently accepting consignments for its February 2003 Live auction.