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Press Release - September 14, 2004

Spectacular 1963 Mickey Mantle Jersey Highlights Inaugural Heritage Sports Collectibles Signature Auction

Dallas, Texas: Heritage Sports Collectibles (HSC) Signature Sports auction, held September 10th and 11th in Long Beach, California, realized $1,950,000 with over 660 lots sold.

"The auction was a phenomenal success and I want to thank the sports collecting community for it's support. We're especially grateful to our consignors for entrusting us with this outstanding array of material." Said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions for Heritage Galleries.

Jim Halperin, Co-Founder of Heritage Galleries, added "We believe this was by far the highest grossing first-time sports auction ever by a company entering the venue. We were expecting a blockbuster sale, but the results went well beyond our expectations."

"The headliner of this auction was without a doubt the 1963 Mickey Mantle Yankees home jersey," Continued Ivy. "With a perfect SCD Authentic designation of A-10 and phenomenal provenance, this jersey had everything going for it: It was a home flannel belonged to the most collected figure in the hobby in outstanding condition and displaying good game use. Most importantly, it was completely original and unaltered. It's not too often that gems like this surface in the hobby and bidding was fierce on this lot, which brought in a handsome price realized of $143,400."

Other highlights of the sale included:

1933 Goudey "Triple Babe Ruth" Uncut Sheet
"This is the first time that this particular sheet has ever come onto the auction block. It is the finest of only three examples that we know to exist." The 1933 Goudey Gum series of 240 cards was the first major gum card set of the 1930s and is universally recognized as the most popular and significant set of the era. The complete 240 card set is highlighted by four Babe Ruth cards and two of Lou Gehrig, with included cards of all the baseball stars of the day. The set was produced in ten sheets of 24 cards each, which were then cut, packaged with a stick of gum, and distributed. Ivy continued, "Obviously the triple Babe Ruth sheet is by far the most impressive of the 10 sheets comprising the set. Not only does it contain the three Babe Ruth cards, but also five other Hall of Fame players: Jimmie Foxx, Leo Durocher, Joe Sewell, Lloyd Waner, and Lou Gehrig. It is clear that this sheet has been meticulously preserved over the past seventy plus years and this rare item exhibits bold, vibrant colors, with strong registration and superb overall eye appeal."

Muhammad Ali's 1978 Fight Worn Championship Robe From Lean Spinks II Bout
The very robe that Muhammad Ali wore into the ring when he won the heavyweight championship for an unprecedented third time against Leon Spinks on August 15th, 1978. "Muhammad Ali is perhaps the most universally recognized name in sports," continued Ivy. "To be able to offer such a historic piece of memorabilia from his career is certainly a unique experience."

Spectacular Artifacts from the Career of Frank "Home Run" Baker

Frank "Home Run" Baker 1912 home run baseball

Frank "Home Run" Baker 1916 home run baseball
"These are two of the earliest, if not the very earliest, documented home run baseballs ever to reach the auction block," explained Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions for Heritage Galleries. "There are numerous reasons for this. First of all, very few home runs were being hit prior to 1920. Baker himself, known for home runs, hit fewer than 100 in his thirteen-season career. Secondly, very few game used artifacts from this era have survived, period, much less those related specifically to historic events. For some reason, Baker defied convention and held on to these baseballs as souvenirs, and they have remained in the family ever since." Each baseball is notated in vintage ink with the date and opposing pitcher of each home run. The earlier specimen dates from July 12, 1912, and was one of a League-leading ten struck by Baker during that season as a member of the Athletics. The latter ball dates from Baker's first season with the Yankees, and was hit on May 15, 1916. It's particularly noteworthy that the earlier home run was pitched from the hand of Ed Walsh, who joins Baker in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Frank "Home Run" Baker 1917-1921 game used bat
Joining these two exceptionally rare baseballs is the finest known Frank Baker game used bat, also consigned by members of the Baker family. Dating from the 1917-21 era, the Hillerich & Bradsby signature model bat shows exceptional use from Baker's days as third baseman for the New York Yankees.

Ted Williams Circa 1955 Game Used Fielders Glove
"Serious baseball collectors have long known that they might have the opportunity to own a Ted Williams uniform or even a game-used bat" explains Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions for Heritage Galleries, " But the reality of owning a Ted Williams game-used glove is unprecedented. After researching the mitt through our industry contacts, we know of only two other examples. One is owned by a Boston area doctor which was given to him by Williams and the other resides at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York." This rarest of Ted Williams gamers dates circa 1955 and is the first to ever be offered for public auction.

Willie McCovey 1959 First Major League Home Run Baseball
"This ball is particularly significant in that it is the first of 521 round-trippers hit during McCovey's 22-year career." McCovey had an amazing late-season hitting surge when he joined the San Francisco Giants in July of the 1959 campaign. He batted .358 and had 13 homeruns in only 52 games, which won him a surprising "Rookie of the Year Award" in the National League that year.

Sandy Koufax 1957 Game Worn Dodgers Road Jersey
"It's difficult to overstate the importance and desirability of an artifact such as this," explained Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions for Heritage Galleries. "Material from the Brooklyn Dodgers ranks among the most desirable of all sports collectibles, with game worn jerseys even from bench players commanding great interest and high prices in the hobby. But when considering the added appeal that comes from a Brooklyn Dodgers jersey worn during the team's final season on the East Coast by one of the game's most celebrated superstars, the bidding for this piece was quite spirited."

Joe Frazier 1975 Fight Worn Gloves from the "Thilla in Manila" Bout

It was one of the most famous bouts in boxing history, a brutal and bloody fight to the finish that Ali himself, the eventual victor, described as the closest he had ever come to death in a boxing ring. Though Frazier could not answer the bell for the fifteenth round, the technical knockout earned by Ali was little satisfaction after the vicious beating he had taken, and the Champ suggested after the fight that he was done with the sport. For the first time, the gloves that "almost killed" Muhammad Ali are being offered to the collecting public.

"The gloves derive from the collection of Milton Bailey," explained Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions for Heritage Galleries. "He was Frazier's cut man for the fight, and it was Bailey that personally removed the gloves from Frazier's hands after the bout, and took them back to the United States. The provenance is just impeccable, and the Thrilla in Manila is one of the most famous matches in the history of the sport. It's definitely one of the most exciting boxing lots to reach the auction block in quite some time."

Heritage Galleries, with annual sales exceeding $250 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. We are still accepting consignments for our September Signature Sports Sale. 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:
Sam Foose at 800-872-6467 Ext. 227 or email:
Stephen Carlisle at 800-872-6467 Ext. 292 or email:

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