Lansing, IL, July 7, 2009 - Significant personal collections from two extremely important baseball figures will take center stage at the House of Blues on Friday, July 31, 2009 at 8:30 p.m. in Cleveland, Ohio. Historically noteworthy items obtained directly from Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson and from the family of 19th century pitching sensation Bill Hoffer will be showcased in Legendary Auctions' eagerly anticipated live auction event.

The sale will include 69 lots of coveted collectibles. A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T) which is Bob Gibson's charity of choice. B.A.T. was formed in 1986, primarily by a group of former Major League Baseball players, to help members of the baseball "family" who have come on hard times and are in need of assistance. In the spirit of this charitable endeavor, Legendary Auctions is requesting a $100 ticket donation for each individual attending the event. One hundred percent of this donation will be given to B.A.T.

Doug Allen, president and CEO of Legendary Auctions, is looking forward to bringing sports collectibles of such high-caliber to the collecting public. "To begin with, the items themselves are just incredible. These are major pieces of sports memorabilia representing the essence and accomplishments of these two great players," said Allen. "Then there is the fact that these items have never been publicly sold. Gibson's items come directly from him and Hoffer's treasures were safeguarded by his descendants for over a century. They represent the epitome of fresh hobby material and that is sure to drive spirited bidding."

In addition to the Bob Gibson and Bill Hoffer Collections, several other notable pieces of sports memorabilia will be offered in the Legendary Auctions Live Sale. "It promises to be a memorable evening on many levels," said Allen. "It's going to be a great night for collectors, a profitable night for charity and a nice opportunity for the industry to come together and celebrate our shared future."

Highlights of Legendary Auctions' Live Auction event include:

The Bob Gibson Collection

Bob Gibson's 1968 National League MVP Award - Acknowledging One of the Best Single Season Pitching Performances in History!
This elegant circular showpiece is comprised of a 16"-diameter black wooden backing, atop which gleams an inlaid Dieges & Clust sterling silver plaque with 10K gold components. Around the border, in raised lettering, the octagonal plaque reads, "KENESAW MOUNTAIN LANDIS MEMORIAL BASEBALL AWARD." In the center resides a large baseball diamond design featuring: a "BBWAA" press pin-like insignia on home plate, a baseball-and-bat "1968" logo, a brooch-sized bust relief of Kenesaw Mountain Landis and the words, "MOST VALUABLE PLAYER NATIONAL LEAGUE / ROBERT GIBSON / ST. LOUIS CARDINALS." Minimum bid $50,000.

Bob Gibson's 1968 Cy Young Award from His Incredible 1.12 ERA Season
Gibson won numerous accolades in 1968, and one of these is the most coveted -- his Cy Young Award. The centerpiece of the award is a life-like sculpted pitcher's hand sprouting from the mound of a baseball diamond and clutching a ball with a two-fingered grip. Relief lettering above and below reads, respectively, "CY YOUNG AWARD" and "PRESENTED TO BOB GIBSON - MOST VALUABLE PITCHER - 1968." Minimum bid $25,000.

Bob Gibson's 1967 World Championship Ring - Awarded After Winning Three Games and Posting a Series ERA of 1.00
This attractive 14k gold ring, produced by Balfour, features a baseball "diamond" design. Mounted upon a black stone is an infield configuration with a large diamond set in the center and four smaller diamonds representing each of the bases. The phrase "World Champions" encircles the ring in raised relief. One shank features a depiction of Busch Stadium displayed between the team name, "St. Louis Cardinals," and the year, "1967." The opposite shank exhibits the name, "Gibson," and a design incorporating both a Cardinal perched upon a bat and a baseball. Minimum bid $15,000.

Bob Gibson's 1981 Hall of Fame Induction Ring
This elegantly designed and distinctive jewelry piece is topped with a baseball on a black stone, bordered by the legend, "Baseball Hall of Fame". The shanks read, respectively, "Pitcher - Elected 1981" and "Bob Gibson" with "National Baseball Hall of Fame" under an image of the Hall of Fame building. A manufacturer's stamping, "Balfour - 10K," appears inside the band. Minimum bid $15,000.

Bob Gibson's 2006 St. Louis Cardinals World Championship Ring
Bob Gibson was awarded this championship ring -- in recognition of his role as a team consultant -- following the Cardinals' 2006 World Series triumph over the Detroit Tigers. Raised lettering proclaims, "ST. LOUIS CARDINALS - WORLD CHAMPIONS." On one side, "2006" headlines the detailed representation of a World Series trophy dominated by bat-sitting Redbirds. The opposing shank exhibits "GIBSON." Minimum bid $5,000.

Bob Gibson's Personal Hall of Fame Plaque - Awarded at His Induction!
This presentation piece is a smaller version of Gibson's metal Hall plaque. A label on the back notes the National Baseball Hall of Fame copyright, and the date, "1981," is displayed at the bottom edge of the plaque on the front. Personal Hall of Fame presentation plaques -- especially those issued to players of Gibson's stature and popularity -- are very seldom offered for public sale. Minimum bid $4,000.

Bob Gibson's 1959 St. Louis Cardinals Contract - His Rookie Season!
This four-page document was finalized on April 9, 1959 and it carries a formal backstamp imprint, "National League - Apr 13 9 35 AM 1959." The first page of the typewritten document stipulates Gibson's "$7,000" per-annum compensation. Minimum bid $4,000.

Bob Gibson's Game Used Glove
This article of the legend's personal equipment is stamped "FastBack Model / Heart of the Hide," "'Deep Well' Pocket," and "XFG6-H" in the palm. The pocket area has many scrapes and scratches, and there is also considerable wear on the tips of the fingers and back. This is a "Fastback" model with the popular "Holdster" cut-out for protection of the index finger. Minimum bid $4,000.

Bob Gibson's "First Major League Victory" Game Used Ball - The Only One He Kept!
On July 30, 1959, a young pitcher, Bob Gibson, authored a win for the St. Louis Cardinals over the Cincinnati Reds. The final score was 1-0. It wasn't the most spectacular game for the players or the fans, but it was a great one in terms of history. It marked the very first Major League victory posted by a certain up-and-coming, future Hall of Famer. This is the actual game ball used during that milestone win. The ONL (Giles) sphere has been uniquely decorated, highlighting this fact, by longtime St. Louis Cardinals clubhouse man "Doc" Bauman in his inimitable style. Minimum bid $4,000.

Bob Gibson's 1968 St. Louis Cardinals Contract - From His Historic MVP and Cy Young Season!
At the conclusion of the 1968 campaign, Gibson's employers chose to properly acknowledge his brilliance through the enactment of this extraordinary "retroactive" contract. This signed Uniform Player Contract is dated September 28, 1968. This four-page document carries a formal backstamp imprint, "National League - Sep 30 1001 AM 1968." The first page of the typewritten document showcases Gibson's "$100,000" compensation. Minimum bid $3,000.

Bob Gibson's 1971 Gold Glove Award
This official Gold Glove Award, Gibson's 7th, is designed with a gilt Rawlings right-handed fielder's glove set upon a three-tiered wooden base. A gold baseball is displayed at each side of the glove. The top tier of the base features a gold metal facing that displays an illustration of Bob Gibson. The second tier displays a similar gold metal facing that reads "P - Bob Gibson - 7th Award - The Sporting News - National League All Star Fielding Team" and "19 - 71." Minimum bid $1,500.

The Bill Hoffer Collection

Spectacular Circa 1895 Baltimore Complete Uniform Worn by Bill Hoffer
The gravity attached to the emergence of this artifact from one of the 19th century's greatest players can not be overstated. Because items such as these came into existence many years before the advent of the organized collecting hobby, their survival is extraordinarily rare. Add to that - this one came directly from Hoffer's family and has never been offered publicly. Minimum bid $10,000.

Historically Significant 1895 Baltimore Pennant Winning Game Ball
This incredible baseball was used in the contest that clinched the 1895 Pennant for Baltimore. The baseball is inscribed by Hoffer. Minimum bid $5,000.

Bill Hoffer's Circa 1895 Baltimore Sweater
This is an absolutely splendid garment in amazing condition. The heavy, top-quality apparel piece is distinguished by vivid colors, most notably, the bright-orange hue that has remained a Baltimore hallmark. Minimum bid $4,000.

Bill Hoffer's 1897 Baltimore Player Contract - Signed by Ned Hanlon
This legal agreement between the "Baltimore Base Ball and Exhibition Company" and "H.L. Hoffer" calls for Hoffer to receive a yearly salary, payable in semi-monthly installments. The contract has been boldly signed "E. Hanlon" in fountain pen. Pre-1900 player contracts are exceedingly scarce and rarely, if ever, found in such great condition. In addition, Ned Hanlon's autograph represents one of the "Holy Grail" autographs for Hall of Fame collectors. Examples of his autograph are few and far between. Minimum bid $2,500.

1895 Baltimore Base Ball Club "Champions" Imperial Cabinet Team Photo
This phenomenal image is an amazing antique. The names of the individual participants have been recorded for posterity on the cabinet's mount. The photo features seven Hall of Famers. The minimum bid is $4,000.

And Additional Highlights...

Other amazing items to be offered in the Legendary Auctions sports event include:

  • A 1909 T206 White Border Honus Wagner - PSA Authentic - minimum bid $75,000;
  • A rare 1903 World Series Program at Boston - possibly unique scored example from the first game of the first-ever World Series! - minimum bid $40,000;
  • An ornate 1898 Boston Beaneaters Championship Trophy - presented to team captain. Hugh Duffy - minimum bid $20,000;
  • A Jackie Robinson 1950-1956 H&B game used bat - minimum $20,000;
  • Mickey Mantle's signed and inscribed 535th home run ball - placing him #3 on the All-Time List! (Sept. 19, 1968) - minimum bid $15,000;
  • A Roberto Clemente 1966 Pittsburgh Pirates game used road jersey and pants - from his MVP season! - minimum bid $15,000;
  • A phenomenal Mickey Mantle 1966 H&B game used bat - graded PSA DNA GU-10 - minimum bid $15,000;
  • A Babe Ruth 1931 signed letter to a friend - Incredible content: baseball and beer! - minimum bid $10,000;
  • A 1950-51 "Toleteros" Josh Gibson - PSA NM 7- minimum bid $10,000.

For additional details regarding Legendary Auctions live auction event or to pre-register to bid, call Legendary Auctions at 708-889-9830 or go to www.legendaryaucitons.com.

About Legendary Auctions
Legendary Auctions, headquartered in Lansing, IL, is a premier auction house that specializes in bringing the finest Sports and Americana memorabilia to the collecting public. During the past decade, the company's principals have managed the sale of over $300 million in historical collectibles and overseen the auction of newsworthy items such as the most expensive baseball card sold publicly, the "Bartman" baseball, Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak bat, Mickey Mantle's 1961 61 home run season jersey, and the bus on which Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat. Legendary Auctions conducts several sales annually in a combination of phone/internet and live auction events.