Auction Action

By Joe Orlando

Legendary Babe Ruth Bat Brings Record $86,250 at $2.5 Million Grey Flannel Sale

Ruth bat
Ruth bat

One of four known Babe Ruth home run "Notch" bats hit the auction block recently and set a new price record. With a final bid of $86,250, this bat set a new auction standard for Ruth game-used bats in an auction that captured $2,537,000 in total bids. The Ruth example, which exhibited 11 home run notches, sold for roughly $20,000 more than the only other Ruth notch bat to surface at auction (that bat had 8 notches and sold a couple of years ago). The only other notch bats known to exist reside in museums, one in the Baseball Hall of Fame in New York and the other in the Louisville Slugger Bat Museum. Here's a look at some of the auction highlights from the big sale.

Thorpe jersey Orr jersey

Item and Price Realized

1) Dr. James Naismith scrapbook $24,020

2) 1972 Mercury Morris Miami Dolphins Super Bowl Ring $21,047

3) 1972 World Champion Miami Dolphins signed photo $5,175

4) Eagles logo from turf at Veteran's Stadium $9,803

5) 1973 Ed Kranepool National League Championship Ring $12,650

6) Tris Speaker signed baseball $6,111

7) 1955 Brooklyn Dodger team signed baseball $3,363

8) 1960 Pittsburgh Pirate team signed baseball $3,061

9) Derek Jeter's first game ball signed by Jeter $6,957

10) Pedro Martinez 300th strikeout ball from 1997 $8,728

11) Ebbets Field Double Seats $8,222

12) Polo Grounds Double Figural Seats $12,014

13) Forbes Filed Triple Seats $11,048

14) 1996 Dick Williams N.Y. Yankee World Championship Ring $45,540

15) 1927-31 Babe Ruth game-used 11 home run notch bat $86,250

16) 1946 Mel Ott N.Y. Giants game-used uniform $45,223

17) 1946 Ted Williams game-used bat $20,338

Koufax jersey Mathews jersey

18) 1976 Hank Aaron game-used cap from 755th home run game $7,871

19) 1959 Eddie Mathews Milwaukee Braves game-used road jersey $20,872

20) 1976 Ernie Banks game-used Chicago Cubs coaches jersey $6,578

21) 1999 Mark McGwire game-used cap from record game (50HR's) $5,094

22) 1933 Joe DiMaggio Rookie Autographed Seals jersey $46,000

23) 1950-60 Yogi Berra game-used/autographed H&B bat $8,337

24) 1961 Mickey Mantle All-Star Adirondack bat $18,400

25) Mid-1970's Thurman Munson jacket $12,882

26) 1983 Don Mattingly game-used home rookie jersey $9,604

27) 1999-2000 Derek Jeter game-used bat $3,162

28) 1985-86 Pete Rose game-used/autographed Mizuno "ATHL" bat $2,646

29) 1950-60 Ralph Kiner game-used/autographed H&B bat $4,600

30) 1969-72 Willie Mays game-used H&B bat $9,171

31)1961-67 Hank Aaron game-used Adirondack bat $6,957

32) 1999 Alex Rodriguez game-used/autographed home run #22 bat $3,329

33)1976 Brooks Robinson game-used/autographed Bicentennial bat $3,523

34) Mid-1950's Jackie Robinson game-worn Dodger jacket $25,466

35) 1938 Babe Ruth game-used Brooklyn Dodger coaches uniform $45,919

36) 1963 Sandy Koufax L.A. Dodgers game-used jersey $46,000

37)1968 Willie Stargell game-used/autographed Pirates jersey $8,625

38) 1964 Ken Boyer game-used St. Louis Cardinals jersey $11,480

39) 1991 Ryne Sandberg game-used/autographed Cubs jersey $4,539

40) 1999 Sammy Sosa game-used Cubs home jersey $5,060

41) 1984 Nolan Ryan game-used Houston Astros jersey $7,396

42) 1973 Hank Aaron game-used/autographed Braves jersey $19,607

43) Circa 1918 Jim Thorpe game-used New York Giants baseball jersey $59,655

44)1967 Juan Marichal game-used San Francisco Giants jersey $8,140

45) 1971 Carlton Fisk game-used/autographed Boston rookie jersey $9,487

46) 1996 Roger Clemens game-used jersey and spikes $9,949

47) Cal Ripken Jr. game-used baseball mitt $10,422

48) Late-1970's Nolan Ryan game-used/autographed Angels jersey $10,350

49) Lou Gehrig autographed photo $11,197

50) 1967-68 Bobby Orr game-used Boston Bruins jersey $44,820

Russell jersey Mikan jersey

51) 1991-92 Wayne Gretzky game-used L.A. Kings jersey $12,952

52) 1971 Wilt Chamberlain game-used/autographed Lakers jersey $22,411

53) 1972-73 Walt Frazier game-used New York Knicks jersey $9,614

54) 1998-99 Shaquille O'Neal game-used Lakers uniform $13,444

55) 1952 George Mikan game-used/autographed All-Star jersey $37,041

56) 1960 Bill Russell game-used All-Star uniform $29,532

57) 1973 Bill Walton game-used UCLA jersey $13,915

58) Late-1990's Dan Marino game-used helmet $6,957

59) Mid-1980's Joe Montana game-used helmet $7,096

60) 2000 Randy Moss game-used helmet $7,132

61) 1985 Walter Payton game-used Chicago Bears jersey $11,827

62) 1995 Brett Favre game-used Packers jersey $7,475

63) 1994 John Elway game-used Broncos jersey $9,300

64) 2000 Edgerrin James game-used Colts jersey $9,949

65) 1994 Troy Aikman game-used/autographed Cowboys jersey $8,625


Boyer jersey Williams ring

Howard Rosenkrantz, CEO of Grey Flannel Auctions, was ecstatic about the success of their latest sale. "We set records in many categories and were extremely pleased that we sold over 94% of the lots that we offered," Hosenkrantz explained. "We are so pleased for our consigners, that they were able to achieve such uniformly high prices. Fortunately, our customers continue to feel that quality sports memorabilia is still a good place to put their money, even during times of such uncertainty in the financial markets."

Grey Flannel will be holding another auction during the fall of 2001. SMR will bring you all the results.


Unique Comiskey Signed Baseball Breaks $20,000 in $1.3 Million Gutierrez Auction

Comiskey ball

Usually, when a single signed baseball reaches $15,000 or higher, you expect the autograph to come from a major name like Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig. Recently, at Mike Gutierrez's all-autograph auction, a Charles Comiskey single signed Official American League baseball sold for $21,300. According to Gutierrez, it is the only known single signed baseball of this legendary Chicago owner. With that in mind, the bidding became fierce even though the reserve was a mere $2,500. Here's a look at some of the highlights from the sale that featured $1.3 million in total bids.


Item and Price Realized

1) 1923 New York Yankee team signed baseball $18,306

2) 1940 Cincinnati Reds team signed baseball $7,678

3) 1961 New York Yankee team signed baseball $12,501

4) 1969 New York Mets team signed baseball $5,700

5) 1977 New York Yankee team signed baseball $10,792

6) Jimmie Foxx autographed B&W HOF Plaque $1,995

7) Bobby Jones autographed photo $2,839

8) Babe Ruth signed "Babe Ruth Story" $4,281

9) Jeff Morey autographed index card collection $34,309

10) 1927 New York Yankee team signed baseball $17,603

11) 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates team signed baseball from Clemente estate $5,419

12) 1980 Philadelphia Phillies team signed baseball $4,281

13) 2000 New York Yankee team signed baseball $2,388

14) Charles Comiskey signed baseball (only known example) $21,300

15) Ty Cobb autographed baseball circa 1959 $13,905

16) Grover Cleveland Alexander autographed baseball circa 1933 $7,399

17) Jackie Robinson signed baseball $6,208

18) Mickey Mantle "Happy Hanukkah" autographed baseball $1,903

19) Babe Ruth 1926 signed hospital document (to Christy Walsh) $6,957

20) 1932 New York Yankee "Year to Remember" display $7,054

21) Babe Ruth autographed 1932 underwear contract $3,938

22) 1933 autographed World Series photo w/Ruth $8,419

23) Lou Gehrig autographed 1938 wire photo $9,292

24) 1961 New York Yankee "Year to Remember" display $5,829

25) Negro League Greats signed replica jersey $5,536

26) Roger Maris autographed replica bat $4,281

27) Ty Cobb autographed B&W HOF Plaque $2,304

28) Mark McGwire autographed limited edition 1987 bat $1,995

29) 1922 Notre Dame team signed photo $4,926

30) 1983 Michael Jordan game-used/autographed North Carolina shoes $16,641

NY ball

With so much participation in the auction, Mike Gutierrez was very pleased with the final tally. "We were able to do $500,000 more than our previous auction so we were very pleased," Gutierrez explained. "Once we got to $1,000,000, we started looking to $1.5 million as a goal. Although we fell a little short, we certainly exceeded all expectations. The best part about the auction was that the bidding was strong across the board. There weren't any runaway prices but the consistency was tremendous."

Cobb ball

Trends are always an issue in the sports collectibles market and Gutierrez felt that a few trends exist in the autograph sector. "Team signed baseballs have always done well in our auctions but I have noticed that championship balls are on a steady climb right now, Yankee balls especially," said Gutierrez. "This might sound repetitive but the higher quality items are bringing very strong prices, as strong as they have ever been. This is especially true when it comes to baseball autographs. Baseball autographs have, in many ways, eclipsed all other autograph fields in regards to overall collector interest, even rare political documents."


Last but not least, the Comiskey, touted as the only one known, was a topic that Gutierrez was eager to talk about. "The bottom line is that the ball is the only one I have ever seen and the provenance was airtight," explained Gutierrez. "The chain of custody on the ball was clear as day, which simply adds to the appeal of the ball. We were very proud to offer such a unique item to our bidders."

NY ball

Mike Gutierrez plans on holding another auction fairly soon with a target date of September 28. This auction will feature sports as well as non-sports autographed material. SMR will have a full recap.


Mickey Mantle's American League Championship Ring Brings $43,923

Mantle ring

American Memorabilia, an auction company based in Las Vegas, auctioned off Mickey Mantle's ALCS ring on May 31st for an astounding $43,923. The ring came from Mickey's brother Ray who decided to let it go after residing with the family for decades. Here is a list of some of the auction highlights:


Item and Price Realized

1) Mickey Mantle ALCS ring $43,923

2) Cy Young signed baseball $9,900

3) 1951 New York Yankee team signed baseball $7,450

4) 1961 game-used baseball from Maris 61st homer game $4,508

5) 1988 signed Mark McGwire 72nd career home run baseball $8,000

6) Cal Ripken game-used baseball from 2131 game $1,870

7) Ted Williams "Best Wishes, Splendid Splinter" signed bat $3,000

8) Roger Maris game-used cap from 1961 $8,963

9) Craig Morton's Denver Bronco's AFC MVP Award $10,000

10) Chipper Jones signed/game-used glove $4,286