Sotheby's and SportsCards Plus to Sell Important Sports Memorabilia and Cards on June 10, 2005 On Friday, June 10th, Sotheby's and SportsCards Plus (SCP) will offer more than 350 lots of Important Sports Memorabilia and Cards, spanning the history of baseball, basketball, football, boxing, tenn
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - New York, New York - On Friday, June 10th, Sotheby's and SportsCards Plus (SCP) will offer more than 350 lots of Important Sports Memorabilia and Cards, spanning the history of baseball, basketball, football, boxing, tennis and track & field. Highlighting the sale is a trove of Red Sox memorabilia, including the most important document in sports history, the 1919 contract selling Babe Ruth from the Red Sox to the Yankees, which forever changed the course of baseball history (expected to bring more than half a million dollars), and the first baseball thrown at the 1912 Grand Opening of Fenway Park (est. $30/50,000).
The sale will feature property from a number of private estates and collections, including that of Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Athletics Hall of Fame pitcher, Lefty Grove; Hall of Fame catcher, Ernie Lombardi; the first American League umpire in the Hall of Fame, Tom Connolly; one of the most esteemed sports journalists in American history, Jim Murray; and tennis great, Arthur Ashe. Prior to the June 10th auction at Sotheby's in New York, there will be a public exhibition of all of the items from June 4th to 9th. The sale is expected to bring in excess of $5 million.
Boston Red Sox Memorabilia
One of the most momentous days in baseball history was April 20, 1912, the Grand Opening Day of Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox and the country's oldest ballpark in operation. Before a crowd of 25,000, the first baseball was thrown in the park, the beginning of a 7-6, 11-inning win over the New York Yankees.
Tom Connolly, one of Major League Baseball's first umpires, and also one of the first two to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, held on to this ball which became more celebrated as the Red Sox went on to win their second World Series that year. The first baseball pitched at the 1912 Grand Opening of Fenway Park is estimated to sell for $30/50,000. Written in Connolly's handwriting, the ball is inscribed "Fenway Park, First Ball Pitched, April 20, 1912," as well as the pitching batteries, umpires and attendants and the final score: "Boston 7, New York 6." Another item of Red Sox memorabilia from 1912 is an Opening Day ticket (est. $4/6,000).
A 1986 Red Sox American League Championship ring which belonged to Bill Buckner will also be on offer (est. $20/30,000). Buckner is destined to be remembered for his infamous "ground ball through the legs" in Game Six of the 1986 World Series that lost the Boston Red Sox the World Series.
The Babe Ruth Contract
By 1918, the Red Sox had won their fifth World Series, which was unprecedented at that time. One of their talented young pitchers was George Herman Ruth, most often referred to as "The Babe" or "The Bambino," who was also blossoming as a slugger with his home run hitting records. In 1919, the Red Sox owner Harry Frazee found himself financially strained and signed