SOTHEBY’S & SCP AUCTIONS’ SALE OF IMPORTANT SPORTS MEMORABILIA BRINGS $4,732,560 CASEY STENGEL’S 1951 NEW YORK YANKEES WORLD SERIES RING FROM THE STENGEL ESTATE ACHIEVES $180,000, OVER THREE TIMES ITS HIGH ESTIMATE
his team to their first NBA title. Reed, who missed Game 6 of the series with a torn right thigh muscle, appeared amazingly on the court in the middle of pre-game warm-ups to join his team for the deciding game of the NBA Finals. It was this dramatic entrance, recently voted in a national poll as the most dramatic sports moment in the history of Madison Square Garden, that is said to have set the tempo energizing his team to victory.
The Collection of Mitsuhiko Fujita
The Collection of Mitsuhiko Fujita, grandson of Baron Denzaburo Fujita, totaled $415,020, far above its high estimate (est. $204,800/298,200). The Collection, comprised of forty lots, many of which far exceeded their high estimates, represented the finest and most extensive collection of autographed baseballs and photos that document this Japanese Golden Age, which peaked with the visit of the Ruth and Gehrig-led US All-Stars in 1934. Highlighting the Collection was a Babe Ruth Single Signed Baseball in Original Japanese Ball Box, selling for $57,000 to a telephone buyer after competing with at least two other bidders (lot 11, est. $25/35,000). This was followed by a 1934 US Tour of Japan Team
Signed Baseball in Original Japanese Ball Box, which brought $52,800, also selling to a telephone buyer after competition with at least two other bidders (lot 8, est. $25/35,000).
Game-Used Bats, Baseballs and Additional Highlights
Among the other highlights of the sale were a Circa 1928-29 Babe Ruth Game Used Bat (Graded 10), which brought $162,000, selling to an anonymous telephone buyer after competition with at least two other bidders (lot 192, est. $125/175,000); a Walter Johnson Script Signature Game Bat, which sold for $96,000 to an American private collector (lot 106, est. $40/60,000); and a Ted Williams 1955 All-Star H&B Game Bat (Graded 10), which realized $72,000 (lot 75, est. $45/65,000).
Passed down from Walter Johnson through the generations and consigned by his grandson, Walter Johnson’s Single Signed Baseball from Last Out During Game Seven of the 1924 World Series brought $90,000 (lot 99, est. $60/80,000). Signed by Johnson and notated “World Series 1924”, the ball was only one of three balls personally saved by the Washington Senators pitcher. A 1927 Babe Ruth and Brother Mathias (St. Mary’s School for Boys) Dual Signed Baseball which connected the legend with his childhood guardian and mentor, the Prefect of Discipline at St. Mary’s School, achieved $66,000 (lot 187, est. $20/30,000).
Another highlight of the sale was a rare Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth Dual Signed Photo from 1939 from Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day, which sold for $120,000, four times its high estimate (lot 201, est. $40/60,000). Joe DiMaggio’s 1941 New York Yankees World Championship Wristwatch from the DiMaggio Estate commanded $78,000, almost four times its high estimate (lot 205, est. $15/20,000). Further, Henry Zimmerman’s 1907 Chicago Cubs Championship Medallion fetched $54,000 (lot 51, est. $15/25,000). The top baseball card of the sale is a 1909-11 T206 White Border Eddie Plank PSA 6 (MC) EX-MT, which