Lansing, Illinois - April 8, 2009 - Legendary Auctions, a newly formed high-end Sports and Americana auction house, announced today that it has been selected to sell an amazing collection of historic artifacts from one of the greatest players to have ever graced a baseball diamond. Bob Gibson, the respected and much-honored former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, has chosen Legendary Auctions to handle the sale of his most prized possessions. These incredible artifacts (approximately 100 items) will become available for the first time to the public through a Legendary Auctions' live event in Cleveland, OH scheduled for Friday, July 31st.
Bob Gibson's choice of Legendary Auctions was initiated by the success of record-breaking live auctions organized by Doug Allen the past two summers. "My agent Dick Zitzman confirmed this to be the definitive annual industry event and felt it would be a great way to share my keepsakes with collectors everywhere," said Gibson. But, according to Gibson, the ultimate reason the Hall of Fame icon decided to consign with Legendary Auctions was because of the personal connection he felt with Allen. "I felt comfortable with Doug and enjoyed hanging out with him and sharing a great meal together long after the business terms were discussed. I've hung on to this material for the better part of a half-century and need to trust the person and organization that would ultimately bring it to market."
"We went through an extensive diligence process to select the auction house that could maximize the exposure and ultimately the return on Bob's collection," said Dick Zitzman, President of Sport Classics, Inc. "At the end the choice was clear. Legendary Auctions with their live Summer Auction event and team of seasoned hobby veterans is best equipped to ensure that we meet all of our goals." Added Zitzman, "Sport Classics is excited to work with Doug Allen and his team to make this a historic auction event."
Allen says that he, too, is excited about the opportunity to offer Gibson's collection. "You are talking about some of the most significant memorabilia attributed directly to one of the great pitchers of all time," says Allen. "The fact that none of these items has ever been available before, and that their provenance is rock-solid, makes it just that more incredible."
Bob Gibson spent his entire baseball career with the St. Louis Cardinals. Gibson established himself as a world-class athlete at Creighton University, where he became a standout in college basketball and baseball at Creighton University. Although he received a $3,000 bonus when he signed with the Cardinals in 1957, Gibson delayed his start with the organization for a year. He opted instead to play with the Harlem Globetrotters, where he earned the nickname "Bullet" Bob Gibson. He resigned from the Globetrotters in 1958 to play baseball. In 1958, he spent a year at the triple-A farm club in Omaha. He graduated to the major leagues in 1959, and had the first of nine 200-strikeout seasons in 1962. Gibson retired from baseball in 1975 and was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981. A few of his career accomplishments include being selected to the All-Century team, 1968 Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner, and two World Series Championships (in 1964 and 1967).
Highlights of Gibson's personal collection that will be available through Legendary Auctions include:
- Gibson's 1968 MVP Award
- Gibson's 1968 and 1970 Cy Young awards
- Gibson's 1964 and 1967 World Series rings
- Gibson's Hall of Fame induction ring
- A complete compilation of all of Gibson's player contracts
- Gibson's first victory ball
- A game used glove used by Gibson
A full list of Gibson items included in this Legendary Auctions live summer sale event will be made available over the next couple of months.
In addition to making Gibson's historic collection the cornerstone of its live summer sale, Legendary Auctions will give collectors another reason to feel even better about bidding on the items. The event will serve to raise money for the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.). The mission of this charity is to aid those members of the "baseball family" that are most in need. B.A.T. strives to provide a means of support for people who are unable to help themselves.
"We are pleased to select a worthwhile charity to benefit from this year's event," says Allen. "It was the natural choice, given Bob's involvement and passion for this organization. The Legendary Auctions live summer auction promises to be a spectacular industry event."
For more information on the Gibson collection or to consign in Legendary Auctions' live summer event, call 708-889-9380 or go to www.legendaryauctions.com.