With all the recent focus on the Chicago Cubs' last world championship, Lelands.com has been fortunate to come up with several precious Cub items from that era, and they will be among the featured items in the company's December 4-5 online auction. (The fully illustrated catalog is available now at Lelands.com).
Headlining the lots is a Steiff teddy bear given to Cubs wives, manufactured by Margarete Steiff, who named her stuffed bears for President Teddy Roosevelt a century ago. Teddy bears remain precious to children today; this item combines teddy bear lore with baseball lore. This bear would be worth tens of thousands of dollars, just for being an early Steiff. Del Howard's wife Nel took this with her to Cub games during the Tinker-Evers-Chance years. The reserve is $5,000.
"Baseball collectors may not be familiar with the Steiff bears, but they are incredibly valuable, and one with this sort of provenance and connection to the Cubs championship, could become one of the most valuable of them all," said Josh Evans, founder and chairman of Lelands. "The history of the bear, the connection to Teddy Roosevelt, and the fact that it sat in the lap of a player's wife during a Cubs World Series make this a remarkable piece of baseball history and Americana, combined."
The bear comes to Lelands from the collection of Del and Ivon Howard, who both played in the Majors, and whose collection also includes a 1907 World Series medallion (a forerunner of a World Series ring), which was presented to Del, an outfielder who played for the Cubs championship teams of 1907-08. The reserve is $15,000 for this very rare treasure: a Cubs world championship artifact!
Among the other mementos that were saved are the best known condition (EX-MT to NRMT) examples of 1907 ($2,000) and 1908 World Series programs and tickets, along with a signed 1908 Cubs banquet program with autographs of Tinker, Evers, and Chance. This is the only known, authentic item with all three of them together. To add to the significance of this piece, Evers signed his name Johnny "Merkle" Evers. (Evers was the "heady" player on Chicago who tagged the Giants' Fred Merkle out, in the famous "Merkle Boner" that eventually led to the Cubs flag).
In addition to these items, there are countless rare and never before seen photos including one of the 1908 Cubs squad posed with a realistic looking, life size, bear mascot and a photo of the 1916 Cleveland Indians wearing numbers on their sleeves. This was the first team in Major League history to experiment with the use of uniform numbers. Ivon Howard was a member of the team along with Ray Chapman, the Tribe shortstop who was killed by a pitched ball in 1920, baseball's only fatality.
NEWLY-FOUND 'ATLANTIC CITY' WAGNER CARD, AMONG FIRST TO BE TREASURED, WILL BE FEATURED ON THE TODAY SHOW. BILL GOFF/GOOD SPORTS ART INVENTORY BEING AUCTIONED.
The auction includes a newly revealed "Atlantic City" Honus Wagner T206 card, believed to be one of the first to be hoarded and protected as a "rare" find ($10,000). Josh Evans, founder of Lelands, will appear on NBC's The Today Show prior to the auction with the south Jersey couple who have had it in their family since the 1920s.
Other Vintage Card highlights include a collection of 477 T206's consigned by the owners of the Wagner T206 card in the auction ($5,000), nine different T206's all graded PSA 9 Mint (all are offered individually-assorted reserves), 1911 Sporting Life Addie Joss PSA 9 ($500), 1887 Old Judge King Kelly PSA 7 ($1,000), a T3 Turkey Red Near Complete Master Set ($5,000), a T206 Complete Set less the big three ($5,000), T205 Complete Set ($1,000), 1933 Goudey Complete Set ($5,000), 1949 Bowman Satchell Paige PSA 8 ($1,000), a Fresh Hoard of 1964 Topps Giants (2,046) ($1,000), 1963 Post Cereal Baseball Card Original Art Work ($10,000), 1963 Jell-O Gelatin Baseball Card Original Art Work ($10,000), over a dozen 1950s & '60s Bowman & Topps baseball sets (assorted reserves), 1969 Topps Full Uncut Sheet with Mantle ($1,000), 1971 Topps Baseball Greatest Moments Test Set on Uncut Sheets ($1,000), Assorted Uncut Sheets from the original Topps Archives Auction, C55 Hockey Set ($750), C56 Hockey Set ($750), 1948 Bowman George Mikan PSA 8 ($4,000), 1961 Topps Cello Pack with Musial on Top GAI 9 ($300), 1960-1973 Topps Unopened Baseball Pack Collection of 11 ($2,000), 1960-1978 Topps Unopened Baseball Cello Pack Collection of 10 ($2,000), 1972 Topps High-Number Baseball Wax Box ($2,000), 1961 Fleer Football Series 1 & 2 Wax Boxes ($2,000 each), 1974-1980 Topps Baseball Wax Trays ($400), 1948 Leaf Boxing Uncut Sheet ($500), 1962 Leaf The Untouchables Wax Box ($500).
Also in the auction will be the Bill Goff/Good Sports Art inventory of (mostly) ballpark lithographs ($500,000), a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity for an entrepreneur to acquire one of the finest inventories of coveted and acclaimed sports art in the nation.
JOHNNY PODRES '55 BROOKLYN WS RING AMONG FEATURES, ALONG WITH GAME USED BATS FROM RUTH, GEHRIG, MANTLE, AND MUSIAL.
The auction also features Johnny Podres's 1955 Brooklyn Dodger World Series ring. It is of course, the only world championship ever won by Brooklyn, and Podres was the pitching hero, winning game seven. The reserve on this important Brooklyn baseball artifact is $25,000.
Also in the auction: a Babe Ruth game used bat, circa 1919 from when he played for the Red Sox ($25,000); Wilt Chamberlain's Overbrook High School game worn jersey, directly from his estate ($5,000); a rare Bill Klem single signed baseball ($1,000); a Roberto Clemente game worn San Juan Senadores winter league jersey ($5,000); a Near-mint Ruth single signed ball ($5,000); a 1968 Detroit Tigers World Series trophy (Gates Brown), the first year the trophy was issued, ($1,500); game used bats from: Stan Musial ($1,000); Mickey Mantle ($5,000); Lou Gehrig from his final season ($12,000); Ruth himself -- autographed, from 1932 ($20,000); and a near-mint 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers signed ball from their only world championship ($2,500).
MAYS'S ONLY SILVER BAT, LETTER FROM CASSIUS CLAY TO HIS MOTHER, LISTON'S RING MAGAZINE BELT THAT HE LOST TO CLAY, RAYMOND BERRY TD BALL FROM '58 NFL CHAMPIONSHIP INCLUDED.
Also, a John L. Sullivan championship belt ($5,000); the robe worn by Luis Angel Firpo in his fight with Jack Dempsey ($5,000); Sonny Liston's Ring Magazine belt which he lost to Cassius Clay ($10,000); a fabulous Brad Park hockey collection; a great Raymond Berry collection including his touchdown ball from the "greatest game ever played" ($10,000); a 1964 handwritten letter from Cassius Clay to his mother, telling her that he would be careful ($1,000); a game used football from the very first Super Bowl ($10,000); Willie Mays's 1954 Silver Bat for winning his only batting title ($25,000); a Mario Lemieux game worn jersey ($2,000); a 1936 Yankees team signed baseball from DiMaggio's rookie season ($5,000); a New York Jets Super Bowl championship ring ($3,000); a 1986 New York Mets World Series trophy ($3,000); and a Barry Bonds World Series home run ball from 2002 ($5,000).
Also, circa 1928 Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb signed photo ($5,000), 1996-97 Kobe Bryant game worn rookie uniform ($3,500), 1920s Shoeless Joe Jackson game used barnstorming bat ($5,000), 1952 Archie Moore Ring Magazine Championship Belt ($12,500), 1920 Harry Greb fight worn gloves vs. Mickey Shannon ($5,000), 1955 Cleveland Browns NFL Championship ring ($2,000), Circa 1906 uncataloged Ty Cobb pin-back button ($2,000), Nellie Fox game used glove ($1,000), Ron Darling's 1986 Mets World Series Trophy ($3,000), and game used baseball and Champagne bottle from Roger Clemens's 300th Win ($2,000).
Also, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig Signed photo to teammate Herb Pennock ($5,000), Mike Tyson's Prison Sneakers ($500), 1996 Yankees World Series ring ($5,000), Bob Gibson's Hall of Fame plaque ($1,000), Muhammad Ali's daily planner books from 1969-70 ($2,500), 1950-51 Ted Kennedy game worn Maple Leafs jersey ($10,000), 1949 Sid Abel game worn All Star jersey ($7,500), Peter Pocklington's 1984 Oilers Stanley Cup ring ($5,000), 1995 New Jersey Devils championship ring ($3,000), 1977-78 Rod Gilbert game worn jersey ($2,500), 1974-75 Stanley Cup game winning goal puck ($1,500), 1932 USA Olympic hockey jersey ($2,000), home plate From Sammy Sosa's 500th home run ($1,500), home plate From Barry Bonds's 70th home run ($1,500), and game worn jerseys from George Brett and Carlton Fisk (White Sox), ($5,000 each)
Lelands Auctions was founded in 1987. Joshua Leland Evans is Founder and Chairman; Michael Heffner is President. Simeon Lipman supervises the Americana, entertainment and pop culture division for the company.