View Full Version : DiMaggio treasures heading to auction

01-24-2006, 09:54 AM
DiMaggio treasures heading to auction
Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

An heir to Joe DiMaggio's estate jolted the auction market yesterday, offering up a huge trove of the Yankee legend's memorabilia, including World Series rings, his 1947 MVP award and a signed photo of Marilyn Monroe.
A Pennsylvania auction house, Hunt Auctions Inc., announced the DiMaggio collection will be sold May 19 and 20 at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Some of the take will benefit the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Florida.
The sale includes a set of World Series rings from 1936-1942 and 1946-1951, Joe's nonwar playing days, and rings presented to him from 1952 to 1996 by the Yankee front office.
The lot also includes the ball DiMaggio slugged for a base hit in Game 45 of his record 56-game hit streak in 1941. That hit broke the old record of hits in 44 consecutive games set by Wee Willie Keeler in 1897.
Auction house officials say it's too early to put a presale estimate for the items. "We're still going through the catalogue," a Hunt Auctions official said.
Joltin' Joe, who died March 8, 1999, at 84 from complications of lung cancer surgery, left much of his estate to Paula Sue DiMaggio Hamra, one of two kids adopted by DiMaggio's late son, Joe DiMaggio Jr.
Hamra is believed to be the source of the auction, but she did not return calls from her California home. Hunt Auctions had no comment. The Monroe photo is a remnant from DiMaggio's nine-month marriage to the blond bombshell in 1954. He never spoke about the relationship, but reportedly sent flowers to Monroe's grave for years after her death in 1962.

01-24-2006, 09:56 AM
DiMaggio items to be auctioned

(Original Publication: January 24, 2006)

NEW YORK There's the 1951 gray jersey with "NEW YORK" on the front and "5" on the back. There's the 1947 MVP plaque. There's the $25,000 1938 Yankees contract. There's the photo of a smiling Marilyn Monroe sitting back in a plush chair, and it's signed "I love you Joe, Marilyn."
More than 1,000 items that used to belong to Joe DiMaggio are going up for public bidding through a Hunt Auctions event at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, May 19-20.
Paula DiMaggio Hamra and Kathie DiMaggio Stein inherited the items from their icon of a grandfather following his death in 1999. But mostly the memorabilia has been sitting in a warehouse.
"They kept things that were very personal to them," said David Hunt, the president of Hunt Auctions, who brought some of the pieces to a press conference at the hotel yesterday to announce the event.
"It's an overwhelming amount of things, not just from a valuable and security standpoint, but from a standpoint of preservation and conservation. Things like this cannot just be left in boxes. ... They want the public to enjoy it."
Hunt said the collection will reap "millions plural." A portion will benefit the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.
The American League MVP plaque has an estimated value of $150,000-$250,000. DiMaggio's last road jersey has an estimate of $100,000-$150,000, as does his set of Yankees World Series rings. The contract papers could be worth $15,000-$20,000. The Monroe photo, one of several items related to her marriage to DiMaggio, is valued at $30,000-$40,000. There are pieces related to the 56-game hitting streak in 1941 as well.
So what would DiMaggio have thought about all this? Ask someone who knew him. "After Paula explained it to him, I think he would be happy," said Frank Torre, the brother of Joe Torre and a former big-leaguer who's a consultant for Hunt Auctions. "As tough as (DiMaggio) seemed and as private, I think he'd be very happy that this is going to get into his true fans' hands. I think you're going to find this is going to go way beyond collectors."

01-24-2006, 10:01 AM
Auction allows fans to own a piece
of DiMaggio's amazing life
THE framed photo looked like it could have been signed yesterday. There was Marilyn Monroe in all her glory.
"I love you Joe," the photo was inscribed, "Marilyn."
That was just one of a treasure trove of Joe DiMaggio artifacts on display yesterday in a meeting room at the Marriott Marquis.
Over in one corner was DiMaggio's 1947 MVP Award, an estimated value of $150,000-$250,000. DiMaggio's 1951 Yankees road jersey also was standing at attention, in pristine condition with J. DiMaggio written on the inside collar. The jersey is expected to bring in at least another $100,000. The "To Joe" signed photo is estimated to go for between $30,000 and $40,000.
On a rainy January day it was as if a time machine had been put in overdrive and once again the Yankee Clipper was gracefully patrolling center field at Yankee Stadium.
Just looking over the mementos made you understand what a powerful hold Joltin' Joe had on this city, this country and generations of baseball fans. The items are from DiMaggio's personal family collection. On May 19-20, Hunt Inc. Auctions will auction over a thousand pieces at the Marquis.
"This collection is almost surreal," explained David Hunt, president of the Exton, Pa.-based sports memorabilia company. "He really was the most popular man in the entire world during his time."
Frank Torre couldn't believe his eyes. "For a guy like me from New York, this is quite a thrill," said Torre, who was friends with DiMaggio, and remembers sitting in his brother Joe's office at Yankee Stadium with DiMaggio. "Then you throw in Marilyn and it's really something special. The thing that was amazing about him was that he kept everything."
Toward the end of his life, DiMaggio could be difficult to deal with because he did not want to be taken advantage of by people. As Frank Torre, a consultant for Hunt, noted, "Trust was a tough thing for him."
Through it all, DiMaggio never lost his place in the hearts of his fans. In Joe D., there was always trust.
Hunt said the collection came directly from DiMaggio's two granddaughters, who live in San Francisco, and that many of the Monroe-related items have never been seen by anyone outside the DiMaggio family. DiMaggio passed away in 1999.
"We've been doing this a long time and this is an amazing collection," Hunt explained. "Some of the things are untouched.
"For example we've found pictures in cardboard tubes from the 30s. You open it up and it's an 11-by-14 photo of the Yankee sluggers, signed by all of them, just like the day it was signed. Absolutely pristine.
"Then we find this little ring in a box," Hunt noted. "On the bottom of the box it says: 'Joe DiMaggio No. 11.' We're thinking what is this? So we open it up and it's his ring from his 1932 San Francisco Boys Club Championship.
"It's an incredible crossover of eras, the 30s, 40s, and 50s. It's a portrait of American life," Hunt added.
One of DiMaggio's favorite keepsakes was a baseball he had signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. "In his writings Joe stated that was the only ball that he ever asked anyone to sign," Hunt said. "I thought that was neat."
Asked if it was difficult to take these items out of the family, Hunt said, "The first thing we always tell the family is to keep what you want to keep," he said, explaining that's why families like to do business with his company. "If there is something that is important to you, whether it's worth a dollar or a million dollars, keep it. We're not just trying to grab everything, and they did keep things."
As for a dollar figure on the event, Hunt said he has "no idea" at this juncture because "we're still finding so many things, but obviously, millions."
Millions. Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Such is the price of the keepsakes of an icon's life.

01-24-2006, 01:46 PM
Here's an affordable DiMaggio treasure that I have for sale!
A Joe DiMaggio signed jersey. It's has a gem mint 10 signature and the jersey is in absolute pristine condition.

The jersey has never been displayed and is stored in an archival box, wrapped in acid free tissue in a temperature controlled room.

Jerry Romolt of Pro Sports Services, did two limited edition jersey signings with Joe DiMaggio, one was limited to 325 for his lifetime batting average and the other 56 for his 56 game hitting streak. This is the 1 of 56 jersey. The Joe DiMaggio signature on this jersey is perfect. This jersey was in Jerry Romolt's personal collection and I have a signed letter from him stating this.

You can find signed Mickey Mantle Upper Deck jerseys limited to 536 pieces for sale on ebay and auction houses going for $5500 to $6500. Try finding a limited edition 56 jersey with a signature like this one. Price is $8500 delivered. email: hawaii_five0@yahoo.com

Thanks, Bobby

01-24-2006, 02:04 PM
I remember the only time I met Joe DiMaggio was at show in Harvey, IL in the early 1990s if memory serves me right. Joe was sitting at a table next to Gordie Howe.

The dealers at the card show didn't bring enough blank hockey pucks to fit the demand, and Gordie was found autographing quite a few baseballs. He turned to Joe DiMaggio during the show and told him that he was hoping someone would have him sign a hockey puck before the end of the day.

It didn't happen.

01-27-2006, 09:36 PM
I remembered reading about Joe Dimaggio's World Series Rings being stolen at a hotel during a road trip. I can't imagine how Joe D. would've felt that these rings have all of a sudden have shown up in the hobby and someone out there is making a cool million out of stolen goods.

Let's hear your thoughts.