The Knight of Kennett Square flirts with perfection1927 New York Yankees World Championship Ring Presented to Herb Pennock. There's not a Yankees fan alive unaware of Don Larsen's flawless performance in Game Five of the 1956 World Series, but far fewer know that another Yankee nearly pioneered Fall Classic perfection almost three decades earlier. In Game Three of the 1927 World Series, thirty-four year old southpaw Herb Pennock retired the first twenty-two Pittsburgh Pirates he faced at Yankee Stadium, recording seven and a third perfect innings before Pie Traynor singled to spoil the fun. Traynor would be doubled home by the next batter but the late surge was an exercise in futility, the only visiting run in an eight-to-one Yankees victory. The Bronx Bombers would complete the sweep a day later to record the second World Championship in franchise history.
The complete game victory would prove to be Pennock's last in a stellar October stat line that found the posthumous 1948 Hall of Fame inductee the owner of a perfect 5-0 record, earned on the strength of a 1.95 earned run average. His 241 regular season wins ranks Pennock number fifty-five in Major League career history. He is widely considered one of the greatest left-handed pitchers of all time.
But, for the team this elite relic commemorates, there is no need for any such qualification. The 1927 Yankees, lionized by history under the nickname "Murderer's Row," has held the distinction of "greatest baseball team ever" for nearly a century. Certainly few relics available in the collecting community more ably celebrate that iconic squad than the offered keepsake, the Championship ring awarded to Pennock for his membership in that cast of Golden Age gods.
Remarkably, this is the second opportunity that Heritage has been afforded to present a 1927 Yankees ring from the personal collection of one of the team's seven Cooperstown representatives, the first having been that of outfielder Earle Combs. That ring commanded a winning bid of $155,350 in our August 2014 Platinum Night auction.
While personal tastes would find fans and historians divided on the relative greatness of the two baseball immortals, none could contend that the Pennock representation is not the superior ring in terms of condition. Combs' example exhibited decades of proud wear, smoothing the fine detailing of the soft fourteen-karat (14K) gold, but it would appear that Pennock rarely wore his own ring, leaving it to present in a pristine state effectively unchanged from its date of issue.
The design conveys an understated elegance absent from the ostentatious monsters of the modern Championship breed, a large genuine diamond set at the center of the spokes of a star on the face, encircled by raised text announcing, "New York Yankees World Champions." Each shank delivers the same patriotic motif, an eagle in flight framed by the words "New York" above and the year "1927" below. Interior band measures to a size nine and a half (9.5) and is artfully engraved with "H.J. Pennock" in the same scripted font seen on the few other '27 Yankees rings that have entered the collecting hobby. Dieges & Clust's maker's mark appears inside the band as well, along with a "14K" gold content identifier. Weight is twenty-four grams (24 g.).
The ring is consigned to auction by the Collins family, descendants of Hall of Famer Eddie, whose son Eddie Jr. married Pennock's daughter Jane. A letter of provenance from the Collins family will attend. Letter of provenance from Collins family.
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2017 November 19 "Heroes of Sport" Catalog Auction - Dallas