Sotheby's To Auction DiMaggio's 1936 Home Rookie Uniform
Sotheby's To Auction DiMaggio's 1936 Home Rookie Uniform
November 8 2005 at 12:30 AM Eric (Premier Login ecky3)
Here's the press release
Sotheby's & SCP Auctions to Sell Important Sports Memorabilia and Cards on December 10, 2005
Featuring Joe DiMaggio's 1936 New York Yankees Home Rookie Full Uniform
And the Original Heisman Trophy Sculpture From 1935 by Artist Frank Eliscu
NEW YORK, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- On December 10th, Sotheby's and SCP
Auctions will hold a sale of Important Sports Memorabilia and Cards, including
unique material representing the most prolific figures in the history of
America's most popular sports -- baseball, football, basketball, hockey and
boxing. Among the highlights is Joe DiMaggio's 1936 New York Yankees Home
Rookie Full Uniform, one of the most historically important artifacts of
sports memorabilia ever offered at auction (estimated to bring in excess of
$600,000). Property from the sale will be on exhibition in Sotheby's 2nd
floor galleries from December 5th to 9th. The sale is expected to bring
approximately $5 million*.
"This auction tells a number of amazing sports stories," said Lee Dunbar,
Director of Sotheby's Collectibles department. "In 1936, Joe DiMaggio burst
on the scene in the middle of the Depression and both re-ignited the nation's
passion for baseball and re-invigorated the Yankees' dynasty, leading them to
four consecutive World Championships, the first wearing this Yankees pinstripe
uniform. Additionally, as a 23-year old, sculptor Frank Eliscu created the
original Heisman Trophy sculpture, bronzed into the country's most celebrated
award in college football, which, seventy years later, is still the most
magnificent trophy in sports."
David Kohler, President of SCP Auctions, continued, "Our December 10th
sale features 350 lots of scarce sports memorabilia and cards. In our two
past auctions, we have set records with exceptional items, such as the bat
that Babe Ruth used to hit the first home run ever at Yankee Stadium on
Opening Day 1923 and the 1919 contract selling Ruth from Red Sox to the
Yankees. Once again we have unearthed a number of historic pieces that have
never been out before for public sale. We are offering the most significant
piece of Joe DiMiaggio memorabilia, his 1936 New York Yankees Rookie Home full
pinstripe uniform. And, interestingly, the original 1935 Heimsan Trophy
Plaster Sculpture will be sold on the same day as the 2005 Heisman trophy
winner is announced in New York City."
Joe DiMaggio's 1936 New York Yankees Home Rookie Full Uniform
The cornerstone of the sale is a 1936 New York Yankees Home Rookie Full
Uniform from Joe DiMaggio, who many believe to have been the greatest
all-around player in the game. In 1936, Joe DiMaggio was a highly-touted
rookie with unparalleled promise, arriving at a time when the country's
optimism was waning and when Americans needed a symbol of heroism. More than
fifty years after his retirement, fans continue to marvel at his achievements
on the diamond. Manufactured by Spalding, the uniform, consisting of a
pinstriped jersey and pants, is in superb original condition. The original
red chain stitching in the collar reads "Joe DiMaggio 9" and the stitching on
the pants reads "Joe DiMaggio 9 36." DiMaggio wore this uniform during both
the regular season and the World Series. The full uniform is the most
important DiMaggio item ever to be offered at auction, and it is estimated to
bring in excess of $600,000.
During the 1930s, Yankee players were commonly issued two home uniforms
and two road uniforms for the season. At that time, Yankee uniform numbers
were often issued based upon a player's appearance in the batting order, and
in 1936, DiMaggio was such a celebrated prospect that he was assigned #9 for
his rookie season. Following 1936, DiMaggio would don his famed #5 for the
remainder of his career. Following the season, as a cost-savings measure,
teams typically sent their uniforms to their farm clubs for use, as was the
case with this uniform. The uniform was handed down to a promising young
pitcher, Charles "Smoke" Mason, who signed with the Yankees in 1938 from the
University of Missouri. Mason was then sent to Joplin, Missouri, home of one
of the Yankees farm teams, and upon arrival Mason was given a uniform for his
workouts prior to the start of Joplin's 1938 season. Unbeknownst to Mason at
the time, he was given DiMaggio's 1936 uniform. Mason held on to the uniform
for nearly seventy years, and now, at 89, has chosen to sell this
extraordinary baseball artifact at auction. The jersey is accompanied by a
letter of authenticity from MEARS, the most respected uniform authenticators
in the industry, and a letter of provenance from the Mason family.
Original 1935 Heisman Trophy Plaster Sculpture
Another highlight of the sale is the original 1935 Heisman trophy plaster
sculpture, used as the model for the most famous and significant individual
award in college football and the most magnificent trophy in sports. Voted on
by more than 1,000 sportswriters and announced every December at New York's
Downtown Athletic Club (DAC), the Heisman trophy has been awarded annually for
seventy years. Many of the players have become both household names and Pro
Football Hall of Famers, such as Paul Hornung, Marcus Allen, Barry Sanders and
Roger Staubach. In 1935, when the DAC first decided to bestow an annual award
upon college football's most outstanding player, they commissioned Frank
Eliscu, a 23-year old New York native who had recently won the National
Academy Prize in sculpture, to complete the sculpture. Using his good friend
and former player Ed Smith as a model for pose and costume and exaggerating
his biceps and calf muscles, Eliscu created a model in plaster, the mold from
which the final bronze statues would be made. Although Eliscu completed many
other commissions during his career, the Heisman remained his favorite. In a
1994 interview Eliscu insisted that he approached the work as a labor of love.
"It's an honest work," he said. "I think that the Heisman has a feeling. I
think that you can feel not only the movement by the intensity of the piece.
That's what I call honesty." Consigned directly from the family of the
artist, the sculpture is estimated to bring $200/300,000. This year's Heisman
trophy will be awarded in New York City on December 10th, 2005, the same date
that the Heisman sculpture will be offered.
Game-Used Baseball Bats
Another sale highlight is "Shoeless" Joe Jackson's Game-Used "Black Betsy"
bat. Jackson, one of the most well-known baseball players of all time, was
dubbed "Shoeless" Joe when he played a game barefoot after getting blisters on
his feet from a new pair of cleats. Recognized as Jackson's favorite bat,
"Black Betsy" was arguably the most famous piece of sports equipment
attributed to a single athlete and was used throughout his magnificent
13 years in the big leagues. On August 1, 1932, a Greenville, South Carolina,
newspaper quotes Jackson in reference to this bat: he states that he
originally received the bat in 1908 from a friend who fashioned it from a
piece of hickory. "I've had it ever since and it's never been broke, although
its getting old now and I expect it (to break) at any time." The bat weighs
more than 40 ounces, compared to today's average bat weight of 32-34 ounces.
Jackson took his final major league swings during the infamous 1919 World
Series known as the "Black Sox" scandal that alleged eight players "threw" the
Series. Jackson, who boasted a career .356 average and hit .408 for the 1911
season, hit .375 during the 1919 series with a home run. The eight, including
Jackson, were banned from baseball for life by being placed on Major League
Baseball's "ineligible" list, one of 19 players in baseball history to be
banned in this way. Jackson's fame was forever immortalized in the 1989
blockbuster "Field of Dreams," in which he appears with his Chicago teammates
in the form of ghosts, prompted by the line: "If you build it, they will
come..." Jackson was a member of the 1917 Chicago White Sox, the last year
the Sox won the World Series before the 2005 team won the World Championship
by beating the Houston Astros just weeks ago.
Authenticated by all of the industries' leading third party
authentification firms, "Black Betsy" was originally sold by Joe Jackson's
family in 2001. The bat is accompanied by photo documentation of Jackson with
the bat and is the only game-used Jackson bat with documented Jackson family
provenance (estimated to bring in excess of $300,000).
Other game-used baseball bats in the sale include those once wielded by
such icons as Babe Ruth, c. 1917-1921 (est. $80/120,000), Mickey Mantle,
c. 1966 (est. $30/50,000), Ty Cobb, c. 1921 (est. $50/70,000), Joe DiMaggio,
c. 1947-48 (est. $15/20,000), Roberto Clemente, c. 1964 (est. $8/12,000) and
Stan Musial, c. 1940's (est. $6/8,000).
Also on offer is a selection of signed contracts, and among them are
Christy Mathewson's 1900 New York Giants Rookie Contract (est. $50/75,000),
Mickey Mantle's Signed Yankees Contract from the storied season of 1961
(pictured left, est. $50/60,000) and Babe Ruth's 1930 Yankees Contract
Numerous autographed baseballs include single signed balls by Babe Ruth
(est. $30/40,000), Lou Gehrig (est. $6/8,000), Ty Cobb (est. $30/40,000),
Cy Young (est. $8/12,000), Ed Walsh (est. $4/6,000), Walter Johnson
(est. $8/12,000), Honus Wagner (est. $8/12,000) and Roberto Clemente
(est. $8/12,000). Among the important team signed baseballs are examples
signed by the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers (est. $20/30,000), the 1927 New York
Yankees (pictured right, est. $30/50,000) and the 1934 Tour of Japan
(est. $25/35,000) will also be sold.
Game-Used Baseball Jerseys, Awards and Rings
Among the game-used jerseys to be featured are Ted Williams' 1948 Boston
Red Sox home jersey (est. $40/60,000), Reggie Jackson's 1967 Kansas City
Athletics Rookie jersey (est. $20/30,000), Duke Snider's 1962 LA Dodgers home
jersey (est. $12/18,000), Jimmy Dykes' 1933 Chicago White Sox home jersey
(est. $8/12,000) and Alex Rodriguez's 1995 Rookie jersey (est. $8/10,000).
Also available will be the cap that Hank Aaron wore when he broke Babe Ruth's
home run record hitting home run #715 (est. $20/30,000) and the first
baseman's glove Mickey Mantle used during the last 3 years of his career
(est. $30/50,000). A number of rings and awards on offer include a Mickey
Mantle 1957 MVP award, one of only two produced (est. $20/30,000).
Important and Rare Baseball Card "Finds"
Rounding out the auction is a diverse sampling of 19th century, pre-war
and post-war single cards and sets, including a recently-discovered and rare
group of (8) Autographed 1871/72 Boston Red Stocking Cabinet Cards from Warren
Studios including Al Spalding and Harry Wright, which date from the very
beginnings of professional baseball (pictured left, est. $40/60,000). Offered
in the sale will be a cache of circa 1903-04 E-107 Breisch Williams cards.
Nearly tossed into a trash can in recent months, this group is another
remarkable "find." Several E-107 Hall of Famers and Commons will be sold,
including Honus Wagner, Cy Young, Eddie Plank, Nap Lajoie and Ed Delahanty.
Also offered will be the finest known T-205 Hoblitzell "No Stats" card
Complete and Near Sets of Rare and Important Baseball Cards
Among the complete sets of baseball cards to be sold are 1933 & 1934
Goudeys, 1934-36 Diamond Stars, 1941 Play Ball, 1948-49 Leaf, 1951 Topps
Connie Mack and Current All Stars, 1952 & 1953 Topps and 1949, 1950, 1951,
1952, & 1953 Bowman complete sets. Many scarce regional sets and near sets
include 1954 Wilson Weiners, 1953 & 1954 Stahl-Meyers, 1955 & 56 Rodeo Meats,
1950 Drakes, 1953 Glendale Meats and 1953/54 Briggs.
The Hunter Kaplan Program Collection
A selection of rarely seen and historically important sports programs
covering the history of baseball, football and basketball will be offered from
long-time collector Hunter Kaplan. Examples include an 1875 first Harvard vs.
Yale football game program (est. $5/7,000) and a 1907 World Series program --
Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago Cubs (est. $15/20,000).
The catalogue can be pre-purchased by logging on to http://www.sothebys.com or by
calling (888) 752 0002. Catalogues are also available for purchase in
Sotheby's galleries in New York and London. The price for the catalogue is
$36 including shipping and handling.
Registering to Bid
Registration is required to bid in Sotheby's auctions. You can register
in person at our New York headquarters any time before the sale, or via fax
when you submit an absentee bid form. Please call the Bid Department at
(212) 606 7414 for further information.
There are four ways to bid in this sale:
* Bid through the Internet beginning November 15th using real-time
and absentee bidding at ebayliveauctions.com. You can register
there to place bids through eBay's Live Auctions tool. Note that
online registration only enables you to bid online.
* Bid in the room by attending the auction in New York and raising your
paddle (issued upon registration).
* Bid by absentee. An absentee bid is a form you fill out and return
to Sotheby's bid department via fax or mail. The form indicates the
highest amount you would like to bid for an item or items. The
auctioneer will submit bids on your behalf as necessary, up to -- but
never above -- the amount you specify. Absentee bid forms are printed
in the back of each catalogue, and are available at Sotheby's offices
and at http://www.sothebys.com.
* Bid over the telephone through a Sotheby's representative, who sits
in the room and conveys your bid to the auctioneer. Phone bidding is
best when you have not set a limit for an item and want to pursue it
until it's yours. Call the Bids department at (212) 606 7414 to set
up an account.
* Estimates do not include buyer's premium
For more information, please visit http://www.sothebys.com or http://www.scpauctions.com.