Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1930's Billy Hamilton Major League Baseball Silver Lifetime Pass. An indication of the scarcity of collectibles from this nineteenth century Hall of Famer? His autograph on a piece of paper books in Sports Market Report for $2500, while the guide lists signed photographs, checks and letters with a simple "UNK." So imagine our pleasant surprise when this fantastic piece arrived in our offices, the beautiful silver pass issued to the Victorian era's definitive base thief. It stands as the first personally owned Hamilton artifact to reach the auction block in recent memory, and possibly ever, and what a piece to do it! The shimmering silver pass (2.75x4.25") bears the maker's mark of "Lambert Bros Jewelers NY" on verso, with text on front boldly proclaiming "The National - American Major Leagues of Professional Baseball Present this Lifetime Pass to Billy Hamilton in Appreciation of Long and Meritorious Service." The facsimile signatures of League presidents Frick and Harridge appear at bottom. The piece shows expected tarnishing, but this could easily be remedied at the winning bidder's preference. The appeal doesn't end here, however. Joining the pass is a small printed card with the words, "This Permanent Pass replaces the temporary pass sent you last season. We hope you like it. Sincerely, Ford Frick" And sure enough, we have that temporary pass too! Similar in dimensions to the silver model, the card stock version reads simply, "The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs Life Time Pass. Extending the courtesy of all its grounds to Mr. W.R. Hamilton In recognition of his long service to baseball." Ford Frick's facsimile signature appears at bottom here as well. The original envelope that housed the temporary pass is the final piece in this archive, with two paragraphs printed on the front that notes in part, "The league at its meeting December 11, 1934, voted to extend this courtesy to all retired players with ten or more years active service in either or both major leagues." The three paper pieces in this lot show the mildest of handling wear, with no noteworthy creases, tears or stains. This amazing ensemble was acquired from the Hamilton family by young Doug Norwine in the mid-1960's, and may very well be your first and last chance to own anything at all from the estate of "Sliding Billy."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2005
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,431

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold on May 14, 2005 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 8 days left to consign to the 2021 June 17 Sports Monthly Showcase Auction !

    Learn about consigning with us

    Just wanted to let you know how pleased I am regarding the sale of my hockey jersey. You were great to work with, you answered all my phone calls and e-mails in a prompt manner, and you did a great job marketing the jersey.
    Fairmouth, ME
    View More Testimonials

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search