Highlights of this auction are:
On the evening of August 15, 1966, The Beatles were to play the fourth city of their North American Tour. The venue was DC Stadium (today RFK Stadium) in Washington DC. This was an idle day for the Senators who used DC Stadium for their home games. For this particular day the ballplayers were asked to remove all their personal belongings so The Beatles might use the locker room in preparing for their performance. The only member of the Senators' organization authorized to occupy the area was the team's equipment manager, Fred Baster. As the story goes, Mr. Baster asked The Beatles to sign three baseballs for him before the concert. His recollection of the evening is that they graciously consented. Two of the baseballs signed that night were for the Baster family. The third ball was signed for Mike McCormick, a Senators pitcher (who, incidentally, would later claim a Cy Young award). Prior to the The Beatles arrival, Mike asked Mr. Baster to have them sign a baseball for him.
The ball that The Beatles signed is a Joe Cronin Official American League baseball. Recently, Steve Grad, Zach Rullo, and Roger Eperson of PSA/DNA, the nation's leading autograph authenticators, examined this baseball, and unanimously agreed that the signings are positively authentic. The provenance of the baseball is iron-clad as well. The consignor is former major league pitcher, Mike McCormick, and the ball is contemporaneous to the period. Aside from the Letter of Authenticity issued by PSA/DNA, the ball is attended by a signed letter directly from Mike McCormick.
Beatles autographs solicited during the 1966 tour were prohibitively difficult to obtain, and this tour marked the last time they traveled collectively in America. The tour was grueling for them. They were under such tight security in Japan, they were ushered like prisoners in a foreign land. In the Philippines, they snubbed the president and his wife, whereupon they were spurned from the country. On August 11, 1966, the eve of the North American Tour, The Beatles hosted a press conference at the Astor Towers Hotel in Chicago. The result of unrelenting attacks from the press forced John Lennon to make a public apology for his previous comment that "We're more popular than Jesus." This five word statement appeared in Datebook Magazine (July 29, 1966). Though quoted out of context by interviewer Maureen Cleave, John accepted full responsibility for the statement. This comment had a ripple effect that was especially seen throughout America's Bible-belt. Clergymen, public officials and disc jockeys throughout the South urged their listeners to gather at select locations for public burnings of Beatle albums and commercial mementos. The Ku Klux Klan, in full force, rallied in protest outside their concerts. The Beatles also received anonymous threats. Security was at its greatest wherever they performed or lodged. But since they were committed to complete the tour, they continued on through America. The final stop was San Francisco's Candlestick Park, on August 29, 1966. That night, after they finished playing, they took one last bow, and were whisked away to a waiting vehicle. Little did anyone suspect they had just witnessed the end of an era.
We detail this closer look at the 1966 Beatles American tour to underscore the absolutely unyielding security barrier that separated the group from the public. The four autographs, in unison, simply weren't attainable. Here, however, is the sharp exception. Not only were the pennings captured against impossible odds, but the medium is the consummate symbol of America. And, as if to a blueprinted request, the baseball's four panels ideally provided one surface for each of the adulated megastars -- all of them graciously and conscientiously penning their identities to this baseball.A minimal top coating has been applied to preserve the strength and quality of each signature.
Conceived as merely a side-dish to the Chicago World's Fair of 1933, an All-Star baseball game was orchestrated featuring the game's premier stars. There was no grand plan to launch an annually-scheduled event such as this - but the tumultuous success enjoyed by the extravaganza immediately took root to become an institution in our American experience. From its inception, the All-Star Game has always intended to showcase the finest talent, pitting superstars of the American and National Leagues against each other in a standard nine-inning affair. Through its history, the All-Star Game has been a festive rejoicing of the game. With their superlative skills displayed before an adoring public, players strive to win, but the final score is really an ancillary by-product - it is instead the honor of invitation and a renewal of faith in the glorious game, exchanged by players and fans. For all who participated, and for all who witnessed, the 1933 All-Star Game was, indeed, a special occasion. It was clearly sensed that history was being recorded, but yet it was celebrated as a singular event, isolated in time - fleeting. This gathering of baseball stars in Comiskey Park, it was assumed, would soon be forgotten. But for posterity, there was an inclination to leave behind mementos that may be appreciated by later generations. And such was the spirit urging that year's American League squad to ink their autographs to this baseball.
The lineage of this particular ball traces to Sam West who was selected as one of the Junior Circuit's outfielders for that '33 All-Star Game. (It's attended by a letter from West's nephew, in fact, who has long enjoyed second-generation custody of the ball.) The medium, as it should be, is an Official American League baseball with deliciously perfect stampings (to include the side-panel simulated autograph of Will Harridge). It is mildly, but uniformly toned (thus limiting PSA's aggregate evaluation to NM 7). But we're quick to report that it bears absolutely no stains or surface blemishes. The magnificence of this autographed baseball, however, is fully realized when we compare its individual signings against the selected entirety of that American League team. As if to prescription, Babe Ruth occupies the sweet spot. (By 1933, he was an aging legend. However, his exclusive position on this ball is abundantly substantiated - after all, he smacked history's first home run in All-Star competition.) Then, proceeding about the panels, we identify Bill Dickey, Tony Lazzeri, Joe Cronin, Alvin [General] Crowder, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Dykes, Jimmie Foxx, Oral Hildebrand, Eddie Rommel, Lefty Gomez, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Grove, Wes Ferrell, Art Fletcher, Ben Chapman, Connie Mack, Al Simmons and, on the stamped sweet spot, Earl Averill.
And so, it's incumbent upon us to report the variances between this ball's signatures and those American Leaguers who suited up that July 6, 1933. A little research discloses that our benefactor, Sam West, didn't sign the ball. Further, we note that Rick Ferrell's name doesn't appear either. And finally, most accounts claim that Eddie Collins coached for the '33 American League All-Star team. However, we believe that fellow retired Athletic, Eddie Rommel, served in his stead. Rommel, along with Art Fletcher, were actually the coaches on this team, thus explaining their signatures on the ball (and the absence of Eddie Collins').
It can't be overestimated that all of these players and coaches, as well as Manager Connie Mack, were immensely honored in their selection for this gala event. Their responsible signings on this ball serve as mute testimony to that pride - these signatures weren't penned for the inadvertant service of an anonymous fan; but rather, for each, a conscious statement that "I was there." COA: PSA/DNA Letter MB. $5000
We'd like to advance this 1975 All-Star MVP trophy as unique. But it's not - there's a second one (though we're not sure where it is). Ya see, the MVP honor for that Mid-Summer Classic was shared by Bill Madlock and Jon Matlack. And because this one has only Madlock's name on it, there must be another one, and we gotta assume that Bowie Kuhn's office had to foot the bill for both. In any event, this one is the real deal - complete with a letter from Madlock. The award projects an austere yet dynamic beauty. The principal component is a well-machined, solid hardwood which, in turn, is plated on several triangular surfaces (on the face, and alternately around the base) with 1/16" stainless steel. From base to summit it stands about 17". And, as is evident in our photo for this treasure, the recessed caption proclaims its purpose. In our experience with awards such as this, there's commonly extensive qualification to condition. This one, however, is admirably EX+ to EX/MT. There's no evidence of mishandling; no bruises or chipping to the vulnerable dimensions, and we note only that mild tarnish appears sporadically to the metallic finish, but no flagrant blemishes or scratches. The 1975 All-Star Game was hosted by the Brewers, and the course of this contest reached a score knotted at 3 runs. Then, with two on in the top of the ninth, Bill Madlock singled, driving in both runners and handing the American League yet another All-Star defeat. Though the opportunity may have been fortuitous, Mad Dog stroked this hit off Goose Gossage, at the time one of baseball's meanest fireballin' hombres. But credit where it's due - Bill Madlock at that point was orchestrating one of his finest seasons. Anchoring third base for the Cubs, he finished the campaign with a league-leading .354 average. As for this trophy...? It was presented to Bill Madlock by Bowie (of course) and Henry Kissinger. COA: 100% Authentic/Bill Madlock. MB. $900
Major league baseball's participants have long held man's best friend in high esteem. Affectionately, such stars as Fred McGriff, Don Drysdale, Hank Arft and Hershiser have benefited by identities to dogs. Not lost in the menagerie of canines was Bill Madlock, a key element in Pittsburgh's triumphant 1979 season. Having arrived from the Giants in the early season, he provided the deciding ingredient to the Pirate World Championship as fans chorused "We-are-Fam-i-ly" to the cadence of the Lumber Company. Following the October victory, this enduring memento was presented to Bill Madlock - his World Series ring, fitted to size 10 1/2. It's a Jostens production crafted with ten full-cut diamonds set in black onyx. The gold (10 Karat) scales in at 36 grams, and the approximate weight of the diamonds is .25 Carat. The shanks provide impressive embellishments of Three Rivers Stadium and "1979" on the right side; on the left appear "Madlock," the Pirate logo and "5" (his uniform number). A beautiful piece it is - NM/MT condition - with virtually no evidence of wear. Accompanying this exclusive memento is a letter from Madlock. COA: 100% Authentic/Bill Madlock MB. $2000
Pete Rose game-used memorabilia has been plentiful in the marketplace for decades, as his club sold collectibles, and Pete himself was one of the first players to market his own game-used accessories. Those Rose items of solid and rising value always have a unique differentiator inherent in them, and this representation certainly fits that parameter. A beautiful burgundy knit, zippered-front warm-up jacket, it sports a striped zip full collar. The sleeve ends and waist cuffs are similarly styled with dual white striping embedded into stretch ribbed knit. A Wilson [size] "44" (1979-85 era) label graces the inner collar. The club's "P" logo in burgundy-on-white tackle twill adorns the left chest, and the "ROSE" nameplate is sewn onto the back, as appropriate, but the real prize is the "World Champions" logo sewn onto the right chest. It is custom applied using white 1" chain link styling on a tackle twill base. The unique hand crest Championship designator worn by all the Phillies during the ensuing 1981 season can be photomatched exactly. The puckering between, and within, the letters "O-R-L-D," and the "A," "M," "O" and "S" on "Champions" is an exact match. The same can be said of the inexact composition of the letters "A," "M," "S" and "W." It doesn't get better in the photo match front and the 8" x 10" photo match with picture of Rose is eminently displayable. Additionally, an 8" x 10" black and white team picture shows all players, including Rose, wearing the jacket, and the picture also offers an exact photomatch of the jacket, most noticeably on the rippling of the "P" logo. The photo is also included in color from the two-page center of the Phillies' 1981 yearbook. Absolutely outstanding and truly a unique and valuable Rose game used piece. Rose has autographed the jacket in the collar. In the 124-year history of the Phillies franchise, there has been only one World Championship, and this jacket regally commemorates the feat. Our consignor purchased the jacket ten years ago directly from Mike Schmidt's agent, who, as a close friend of Pete Rose, was given the jacket at the end of the 1981 season. One of the great game-used gems in Phillies history. COA: PSA/DNA Letter, Team Letter, 100% Authentic/Lou Lampson, Ed Dolan, photo Match MB. $3000
Mike Schmidt was the consummate athlete - graceful, powerful, and productive. He may not have been the best third baseman of any generation, but those who know him say he could have played several different sports professionally. This Schmidt home gamer is from his final National League season in 1989 when he played only 42 games. It sports all the requisite authenticity determinants (including sleeve patch, collar label with flag tag, NOB, newly created font, etc.). The jersey shows light wear but does have patch and collar label puckering. However, the real star of this offering is the provenance dating the jersey to his last home series. Schmidt's long-time close friend, Bruce Wendell Sr. (V.P. of Capitol Records), spent 12 seasons traveling with Schmidt and the Phillies. During his final West Coast visit, Schmidt brought this home jersey along with him and gave it to Bruce. Three days later, with a bad rotator cuff looming over his carrer, Schmidt announced his retirement in San Diego. Wendell's accompanying letter attests to all. This offering scores high for provenance and sentimentality. COA: 100% Authentic/Lou Lampson, Bruce Wendell Letter. MB. $900
The "Bus" has roared home for the final time, and how fitting was his send-off at home in Detroit during Super Bowl XL. This home jersey is from the 1997 season when Jerome Bettis battered defenses for 1,665 yards on a league-leading 375 carries. Four distinct materials comprise this jersey - dazzle cloth shoulder yokes, durene sleeves with embedded striping, medium weight mesh main body, and stretch ribbed nylon/cotton sleeve cuffs and v-neck. The uniquely rounded numeral font style is present and the oversized shoulder numerals jump off the jersey top. Bettis' NOB has only six letters and utilizes the extra thick font variation. The left shoulder sports the Steelers team patch with a small T.M. logo beneath. Unusual, but definitely worn by "the Bus," and others, during this season. The Nike tail tagging remains intact sporting a [size] "50" flag tag. A '97 year swatch rounds out the tail designators. The wear is light to medium with numeral puckering and scuffing, and Bettis has boldly autographed the jersey back. " COA: PSA/DNA Letter, 100% Authentic/Denny Esken, 100% Authentic/Lou Lampson MB. $900
Peyton Manning was a quarterback like no other in 2004. The young gunslinger kept throwing touchdown passes at an alarming rate in '04. By November, rumblings began that the Colt QB was on pace to catch Dan Marino for the single-season all-time touchdown record of 48. Manning was doing something comparable to Maris in '61 or DiMaggio in '41. As the season reached its conclusion, Manning was at his best throwing a touchdown in the third quarter of the final regular season contest to unseat the Hall of Fame Dolphin signal-caller with 49 TDs. This [size] "50" home blue Reebok jersey was worn Oct. 24 when the Colts dropped a gut-wrenching 27-24 decision to the Jacksonville Jaguars at the RCA Dome. But the day was still vintage Manning as he threw three touchdowns for 368 yards. While most quarterbacks would be excited to throw for 368 yards, it was tied for his sixth-highest yardage output of the season. Although the Colts lost that day, Manning still shined. The offered jersey has a number of marks on the front "1" and two separate marks on the front "8" as well. Good wear is shown with mild puckering. All of the identifiers are applied in single-color white and the sleeves are open, which is standard for Manning. Of particular note is the nameplate which is a bit off center. The left side of the nameplate is raised a bit, compared to the middle, which can be confirmed on Getty photos taken from the game. Blue spandex stretch panels have been installed to the sides and are reinforced on the inside seam. Collar tagging includes a strip tag which reads "04-50." A wavered Reebok tag appears in the tail, as do two flag tags: "4" L.B." and "50." Manning's own hologram is placed on the inside seam flag tag. He also signed the verso, adding "2004 MVP 49 TD's" in black felt tip. PSA/DNA gave the autograph and inscription a GEM MINT 10 assessment. A letter from Manning's company, Image Sports & Entertainment Inc., states "This document certifies that the signature of Peyton Manning is true and authentic on this Official Game Used 'On Field NFL' Jersey." This is the first game-worn jersey with Manning's own paperwork ever offered from the MVP's breakout season of 2004, when he made nationwide headlines with his stellar play. COA: PSA/DNA Letter, 100% Authentic/Lou Lampson, Image Sports & Entertainment. MB. $1500
In music and Entertainment American Memorabilia offers the following:
In music and Entertainment American Memorabilia offers the following:
Of all the words written about Bob Dylan, the only ones that really matter are the words he penned. When Bob Dylan came to New York City in 1960 he didn't have a home, he was hungry, broke, and he came during one of the worst blizzards in years. What separated him from the other street musicians and poets was his unique ability of using words and phrases. These were especially profound in delivering his message in song. He was soon discovered by John Hammond while he was playing Greenwich Village clubs such as "The Café Wha," and "Gerde's Folk City." The owners of these clubs gave their favorite "vagabond minstrel," a hot meal and a place to stay. It didn't take too long for the name 'Bob Dylan' to get around. His first album was highlighted by a tribute to his hero, Woody Guthrie. Shortly after he released "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan," this album took the world by storm and featured his ageless hit "Blowin' In The Wind." After a succession of weighty, hit-filled albums, tragedy struck. Dylan miraculously survived a near fatal motorcycle accident. During his recuperation he wrote songs and recorded at his home in Woodstock with "The Band." Dylan made a triumphant comeback that was celebrated with his appearance at George Harrison's 1971 Concert for Bangladesh. His second coming commenced with a string of albums and tours that remain a never-ending journey for Bob Dylan.
Offered is a wonderfully candid, black and white 8" x 10" photo of Bob, an image likely dating to the early 1980s. After close examination and using other exemplars of Dylan's signature, we estimate that the photo was signed a short time after. The mystique of Bob Dylan is larger then the man himself. As the years roll by, he's become less approachable and a very resistant signer. His signature has become one of the most difficult to obtain, and one desired by most. We're pleased to offer a signed photograph from a man whose accomplishments and words will live on forever. PSA graded the signature MINT 9. COA: PSA/DNA Letter MB. $900
The excitement generated by Lynyrd Skynyrd's records carried over to their live concerts. They were at one time "America's touring band," playing an endless number of one-night stands throughout the South. It wasn't until 1973 when they received their first big break by opening for The Who. In the years that followed they played to sold-out venues throughout the country. The deafening excitement all came to an abrupt end on the afternoon of October 20, 1977. The pilot of Lynyrd Skynyrd's chartered airplane radioed that the craft was desperately low on fuel. Less than ten minutes later, the plane crashed into the middle of a swamp. The crash, which killed Ronnie VanZant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines and road manager Dean Kilpatrick and critically injured the rest of the band and crew, crushed Skynyrd's fast rising star as it cut a 500-foot corridor through the swamp. Offered is a significant 8" x 10" b&w, promotional photo that was signed by the entire band. The hard-touring Lynyrd Skynyrd weren't known to be gracious signers, making this a remarkable opportunity. PSA graded the signature MINT 9. COA: PSA/DNA Letter MB. $900
In 1995, Pearl Jam backed up their long-time idol, Neil Young, on his album "Mirror Ball." Contractual limitations prohibited the use of the band's name anywhere on the album. Young then returned the favor by playing with Pearl Jam on their two-song EP, "Merkin Ball." The artwork of the packaging was identical except the word "mirror" was replaced with "merkin." The lead song on the Merkin Ball was a track titled "I Got Shit." Here offered is the ultimate Pearl Jam display that includes Eddie Vedder's original handwritten lyrics for "I Got Shit." In offering this collection, there exists a background story that further enhances the appreciation for Eddie Vedder. Eddie Vedder has proven himself time and time again to be a talented musician, singer and accomplished songwriter. In the eyes of the public he is a true rock star. What few people know is that Eddie Vedder is a caring human being and a real gentleman. In preparing the sale of this collection, PSA/DNA was unable to authenticate Eddie's handwritten lyrics, making the sale of this item moot. In learning the importance of this sale for our consignor, we sought out to Mr. Vedder for authentication. He graciously took the time from his busy schedule to examine the handwritten leaf, and then contacted us with the good news that the lyrics were indeed removed from one of his notebooks and he verified that it was his handwriting. Mr. Vedder then accommodated our request for a letter authenticating the lyrics. And again, he took the time to write a letter for us on his own personal stationery and forwarded to us. In addition he also included a signed cd cover of Pearl Jam's "Rearviewmirror." The letter he submitted reads "Yes I did write the actual lyrics to "I Got Id-." Later, "I Got Shit"-. Thought it may get played on the radio, so initial title was kept as "Id"-. They came from my notebook - don't know how they got ripped from the book. Don't think they were stolen, but it's a halfway decent song. So I approve. All the best, war is over, if you want it." He then signed the letter "Eddie" in black felt tip. The display also includes the CD cover and CD for "The Merkin Ball." The lyrics are fully authenticated by Mr. Vedder's letter. This LOA can also be considered memorabilia and all come directly from Eddie Vedder. COA: Letter From Eddie Vedder MB. $300
There is no such thing as a typical John Lennon signature. Certain characteristics of Lennon's handwriting can determine a broad period in time as to when it was penned. However, we are excited in offering an exceptional signature cut that was signed by John Lennon a year before The Beatles achieved fame and fortune. The signature offered was placed on the reverse of what was cut down from a larger picture of The Beatles taken at the Cavern Club in Liverpool sometime in 1961. This photograph was verified by referring to the book written by Alan Williams titled "The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away." The photograph was trimmed to measure 2 3/16" x 3 5/8". The cut is inscribed "To Jenny Love From John Lennon X." The bottom of the card was penned by an anonymous hand with "(John Lennon) At Cavern, 1962." To fully appreciate this rare John Lennon signature, the timeline of The Beatles career must be taken into account. The signature predates their first number-one record "Please, Please Me" that was released in England on January 11, 1963. In 1962, The Beatles had achieved local popularity, but they were far from superstardom. When The Beatles traveled to London for their Decca and EMI auditions, they realized what "unknowns" they really were. Back in Liverpool, they did have a local fan following and they'd often play by request on stage, but they rarely autographed. In reviewing examples of John Lennon's signature signed in 1964, during the height of "Beatlemania," his penmanship had matured significantly. John's signature during the 1970s, up to the time of his untimely death in 1980, varied greatly. We take great pleasure in offering this stunning, pre-fame John Lennon signature. Penned in black ballpoint, the rich quality of this signature is truly outstanding. COA: PSA/DNA Letter, Frank Caiazzo MB. $500
The auction offers 916 lots of fabulous autographs and memorabilia, making this one to check out.
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