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    Description

    Fresh-to-the-market, consigned by the Pipp family!

    1923 New York Yankees World Series Championship Pocket Watch Presented to Wally Pipp. He was the American League home run king of 1916 and 1917, launching twelve and nine round-trippers respectively, the last man to lead the Junior Circuit in that category before Babe Ruth began his own lengthy domination thereof. The starting first baseman of the Yankees from 1915 to early 1925 would welcome Ruth to the pinstriped fold at the center of that term of pinstriped service, sharing the franchise's first taste of World Championship glory in 1923.

    Despite eleven seasons of faithful service to the Yankees, Pipp's primary association in baseball history remains that of the man whose day off at first base to nurse a headache launched young Lou Gehrig's 2,130-game streak at the position. The classy first sacker chose to suffer the demotion in good humor, famously joking, "I took the two most expensive aspirins in history."

    The rise of Gehrig would restrict Pipp to just a single season of World Championship glory with the Yanks, and this is the symbol of that journey to the sport's mountain top, the first of twenty-seven to date in franchise history. The gorgeous Gruen Verithin Pentagon pocket watch was consigned to auction by the Pipp family, making its hobby debut in this Platinum Night event. While its status as the inaugural Championship award for the most successful baseball franchise in history alone is sufficient to establish it as one of the most important relics to emerge from the Major Leagues' trophy case, it is also noteworthy as the sole primary Yankee Championship award that is not the standard ring format adopted in 1927 and used for each of the twenty-six Fall Classic victories to follow.

    It was six years ago, in our February 2014 New York City Platinum Night auction, that Heritage presented the watch issued to Babe Ruth for the achievement, a supremely important artifact that commanded $717,000 for ownership. The watch is identical in design to that model, crafted in fourteen karat (14k) gold in unique pentagonal format. The case's verso is masterfully engraved with a miniature scene of a pitcher, hitter and catcher, and a ball in flight in their midst. Framing the scene are the historic words, "Yankees, World's Champions 1923." The rear case pops open to reveal further engraving, "Presented by Baseball Commissioner to Walter C. Pipp." Here we also find stamped maker's mark and serial number, and some scratched notations from jeweler's servicing.

    The watch measures approximately fifty grams (50 g.) and springs to life with a turn of the crown, though we suspect that it will require service to provide accurate timekeeping. It survives with only minor indications of handling, still attached to a fourteen-inch (14") gold chain and pen knife as Pipp wore it. A thrilling opportunity for the advanced New York Yankees collector. Letter of provenance from Pipp family.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2020
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 23
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,062

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