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Press Release - April 14, 2005

Historic Babe Ruth, Cassius Clay, and Mickey Mantle Memorabilia to Highlight Heritage Sports Collectibles Auction

Dallas, Texas: Heritage Sports Collectibles (HSC) will offer a wide assortment of artifacts from the greatest names in the American sporting history in its upcoming Signature Auction, to be held May 14, 2005 at its Dallas, Texas headquarters.

"This will certainly be the biggest sports memorabilia auction event of the season," said Chris Ivy, Director of HSC. "We have spent the last six months searching the country for the rarest and most valuable pieces in the collecting hobby, and have had great success in tracking down some truly museum quality collectibles." Among the artifacts to be offered:

"It's a piece that could easily occupy a place of honor in either the Baseball Hall of Fame or the Smithsonian Museum," Ivy declared. "It is our sincere hope that the lucky winning bidder appreciates the responsibility he takes on as ward of such a special and important treasure."

In every regard, this bat takes on the ideal specifics of Ruth's favored lumber, from the length and weight of thirty-five inches and forty ounces respectively to the scored left-handed hitting surface from which at least one of his 714 career home runs was launched. Ruth was also known to 'notch' his bats after hitting a home run. To the right of the center brand is one distinct mark, which is vintage and original to the bat. The Babe's practice of 'boning' his bats, flattening the hitting surface with a steer bone to create a wider ideal point of impact, is evident on the back of the barrel in a ten-inch strip of smoothed wood. This hitting surface shows distinct stitch marks from titanic collisions with Ban Johnson baseballs, and as Ruth knocked the dirt off his spikes in the batters box, he left small gouges in the wood of the barrel. Industry experts expect this historic lumber to be in the $150,000 to $200,000 range.

One of the few surviving pieces of paperwork relating to the sale of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees. This note guaranteed payment of one-quarter of the price of the Babe, and is signed by both Harry Frazee and Jacob Ruppert, owners of the Red Sox and Yankees respectively.

Ivy added "Many Red Sox fans believe that their eighty-six year World Series Championship drought was caused by Ruth's departure to the Yankees. This promissory note for $25,000 of the purchase price of Ruth is one of the few known official documents surviving from this watershed event in baseball history."

"I don't think there is any disputing that the biggest baseball star of the post-war era is Mickey Mantle," expressed Ivy. "An argument could certainly be made that Jackie Robinson is more important from a cultural standpoint, but in terms of pure celebrity, the Mick is the top man on the totem pole. So we're thrilled to offer this incredible jersey worn by Mantle for road games during the 1954 season."

The grey flannel jersey, offering a simple block lettered "New York" on the chest, and the immortal number "7" on the reverse, shows excellent wear from a season that saw Mantle drive in over one hundred runs, and score 129 himself, a figure that topped the American League by a good margin. "It's easily one of the most desirable pieces of sports memorabilia to reach the auction block in 2005," claimed Ivy, "with the last Mantle game jersey that went to auction reaching over $140,000, this earlier career example will likely be in the same rare air."

Dating from the historic season that saw Mantle and Maris chase Babe Ruth's 1927 home run record, this cap is the very one that Mickey wore in October of 1961 as the New York Yankees bested the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series to become Champions. The cap derives from the estate of the charter pilot for the New York Yankees and New York football Giants from 1958-68, and includes a notarized letter from the pilot's son attesting that the cap was given to his father by Mantle directly.

"Jack Dempsey was the biggest name in boxing in the 1920's, and literally one of the most famous men in America when he was presented this belt by the Boxing Writers to commemorate his seven-year reign as Champion of the World," explained Ivy. "This is the first public offering of the only known Jack Dempsey Championship belt, which certainly ranks among the most significant sporting awards ever to be sold at public auction." Included in the lot is a photograph of Dempsey receiving the belt.

Cassius Clay's Earliest Known Memorabilia From the Estate of Joe Martin:

Directly from the estate of the young Muhammad Ali's first boxing trainer in Louisville, Kentucky comes an incredible array of trophies and fight worn gear once owned and used by a teenaged Cassius Clay. "This is undoubtedly the earliest and most significant offering of memorabilia from this titan of the boxing world ever offered at public auction. We have no fewer than five trophies Clay won as a fifteen and sixteen-year old amateur, mostly in Golden Gloves competition, a pair of trunks he wore in a fight for which he won a trophy, and various other pieces dating from these formative years." All of it was once on display at the Louisville gym where Ali first took up the sport of boxing at age twelve.

Heritage Galleries, with annual sales exceeding $300 million, is the world's largest collectibles auctioneer, handling rare coins, sports collectibles, currency, comic books, vintage movie posters, illustration art, music memorabilia, antique silver, and Americana. For more information about Heritage, please visit or for more information about this current Signature Sports Auction, please visit

HSC specializes in rare and collectible sports cards, as well as uniforms, equipment, and related vintage sports memorabilia. Consignments for future 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. 319 or email:
Stephen Carlisle at 800-872-6467 Ext. 292 or email:
Sam Foose at 800-872-6467 Ext. 227 or email:
Stephen Carlisle at 800-872-6467 Ext. 292 or email:
Jonathan Scheier at 800 872-6467 Ext. 314 or email:

To order the May 14th Signature catalog, call or write Nicole Jewell at 800 872 6467 Ext. 272, c/o Heritage Sports Collectibles, 3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor, Dallas, TX 75219.

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