Dallas, TX - Heritage Auction Galleries' Sports Collectibles division will present a stunning array of vintage sports memorabilia and trading cards in its upcoming April 23-24, 2009 Signature® Auction, taking place at its Uptown Dallas headquarters.

"These are names even my mother knows," joked Chris Ivy, Director of Heritage Auction Galleries' Sports Collectibles division (HSC), "Mickey Mantle, Muhammad Ali, Ty Cobb, Pete Maravich, 'Shoeless Joe' Jackson. You don't even need to be a big sports fan to realize how special this auction is."

A New York Yankees jersey worn by Mickey Mantle during his last season as the club's center fielder makes its hobby debut in the April auction. It's estimated to bring more than $75,000.

"The jersey comes to us directly from the Oneonta Yankees minor leaguer who was issued Mickey's jersey as a hand-me-down," Ivy said. "Remarkably, the jersey remains 100% original and unaltered, a rarity for shirts sent down to the minors."

A multitude of remarkable Muhammad Ali artifacts includes the trunks Ali wore in his second meeting with Ken Norton and the passport he used to travel to Zaire and the Philippines for "Rumble in the Jungle" and "The Thrilla in Manila." These two fights are easily still the most famous sporting events involving an American competing overseas.

A young medical student, one of two witnesses to the final breath taken by the first Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ty Cobb, supplied this auction with an intriguing array of never-before-seen artifacts.

"My favorite piece from this archive is a photo of the famous 1908 incident in which Ty Cobb spiked Frank Baker during a close play at third base," said Ivy. "Cobb actually defends his actions in the rather lengthy inscription, making for a singularly unique autographed piece."

The most significant offering of memorabilia from the basketball career of "Pistol Pete" Maravich provides added heft to the sale. Not only are there game worn jerseys from each of Maravich's collegiate and professional teams, the auction also features two record-setting basketballs from his remarkable LSU career.

A cabinet photograph picturing the notorious "Shoeless Joe" Jackson with the 1908 Greenville (SC) Spinners, his first professional ballclub, likewise makes its hobby debut. The piece was consigned by a family member of one of Jackson's teammates and was unknown to the hobby until two months ago

Game worn material from Ernie Davis, Jim Thorpe, Joe Louis, Dale Earnhardt, Pele, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky and Jerry West furthers the iconic theme that infuses the auction.

Not to be outdone, the trading card portion of the auction - presented in an Extended Bidding format on Thursday April 23 - is anchored by the spectacular second installment of the Jeff Hull Collection of Early Boxing Cards, widely considered to be the largest privately held compilation of late 19th and early 20th century boxing cards on earth.

The card selection includes numerous highlights from every era of collecting. Fans of rare gems will marvel at the 19th Century offerings anchored by an extremely rare 1893 Just So Tobacco Nig Cuppy, which is one of only two known. Other highlights include a Mint condition 1915 Cracker Jack Christy Mathewson, the only graded T226 Red Sun of boxing legend Jack Johnson plus high grade examples of baseball legends Honus Wagner (E93), Lou Gehrig (1934 Goudey), Babe Ruth (1933 Goudey) and an array of 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards to appeal to a range of collecting budgets.

The trading card portion of the auction will end on Thursday, April 23rd in an Extended Bidding format, each lot closing individually after 30 minutes of bidding inactivity following the 10 p.m. CT cut-off. The memorabilia will be sold April 24th in a real-time live auction format beginning at 12 noon CT, with bidders able to participate in person, by telephone, or online at www.HA.com/Live.

"Sports fans around the world are going to want to participate in this auction," Ivy said, "and I'd encourage everyone to visit our homepage at www.HA.com/Sports, where they'll see enlargeable, full-color images of each and every lot, complete with our thorough and informative catalog descriptions. They'll even have an opportunity to place bids online."

1966 Mickey Mantle Game Worn Jersey:

MINIMUM BID: $18,750.

1970s Muhammad Ali Passport with Philippines, Zaire Stamping:

MINIMUM BID: $2,500.

Circa 1961 Ty Cobb Signed "Spiking of Home Run Baker" Photograph:

MINIMUM BID: $5,000.

1967-68 Pete Maravich Game Worn Jersey:

MINIMUM BID: $18,500.

1908 Greenville Spinners Team Cabinet Photograph with Joe Jackson:

MINIMUM BID: $5,000.

1966 Sandy Koufax Game Worn Fielder's Glove:

MINIMUM BID: $12,500.

1961 Ernie Davis Game Worn Jersey, Heisman Trophy Season:

MINIMUM BID: $5,000.

1964-65 Bobby Orr Oshawa Generals Game Worn Jacket:

MINIMUM BID: $2,500.

HSC specializes in rare and collectible sports cards, as well as uniforms, equipment, and related vintage sports memorabilia. Consignments for future Signature Sports Auctions are currently being accepted. Prospective consignors or sellers of quality vintage sports cards and sports memorabilia are encouraged to contact:

Chris Ivy at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1319 or email: [email protected]

Mike Gutierrez at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1183 or email: [email protected]

Lee Iskowitz at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1601 or email: [email protected]

Mark Jordan at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1187 or email: [email protected]

Jonathan Scheier at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1314 or email: [email protected]

Stephen Carlisle at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1292 or email: [email protected]

Peter Calderon at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1789 or email: [email protected]

For more information about Heritage's auctions, and a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit www.HA.com.

To reserve your copy of any Heritage auction catalog, please contact Client Services at 1-800-872-6467, ext. 1150, or visit www.HA.com/Catalog to order by email.