One dark day in 1919, a historic curse was initiated. A curse that some say inhibited the Boston Red Sox from winning the World Series for 85 years. Hard-hitting baseball great Babe Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees from Red Sox owner Harry Frazee to Colonel Jacob Ruppert of the New York Yankees, prompting the legendary ?Curse of the Bambino? to begin. On June 10th, 2005 the sensational and historic contract sold at Sotheby?s auction house in New York City for $996,000.
Ruth?s contract was sold to Peter Siegel, the owner of New York City memorabilia store Gotta Have It! Collectables, through an auction by Sports Cards Plus (SCP) and Sotheby?s. Siegel, a passionate baseball fan, said that he would have paid more for it and he?ll probably never sell it. He described the document as ?a historical jewel, a diamond? and received a standing ovation when he won the contract with a bid of $996,000.
Interestingly, Seigel was also the top bidder for the dress Marilyn Monroe wore when she sang happy birthday to John F. Kennedy. That entertainment ?diamond? set Seigel back $875,000.
The Ruth contract truly is a historic sports ?diamond.? The Bambino?s five-page contract required $125,000 and a $350,000 loan to finance Frazee?s Broadway production interests in exchange for blossoming superstar Ruth? oh, if only the Red Sox had known what they were giving up! In what became known as the ?Curse of the Bambino,? the New York Yankees would go on to win 39 American League Pennants and 26 World Series Titles. The Red Sox, on the other hand, did not win another World Series until 2004.
The astronomical price paid for the historical memento is only second in price to Mark McGuire?s 70th homerun ball, triumphantly rocketed by McGuire back in 1998. That sold in a 1999 sale for $3 million.
Items that once belonged to Yankee legend Lou Gehrig fetched sizeable amounts at the auction as well. A bat he once used snatched up $156,000, making it the most ever paid of one of Gehrig?s items.
A rare Honus Wagner baseball card, a T206 PSA 1 FR-FD dating back to 1910, brought in a whopping $132,000 and the inaugural baseball thrown at the 1912 opening of Boston?s historic Fenway Park sold for the same amount. The ball was sold through the estate of former umpire Tom Connolly and was reportedly thrown out by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.
Pitching idol Lefty Grove was also well received at the sale. His signed ?299th? pitch win ball from 1941 fetched $6,000. The medium toned ball also carries the date ?July 4, 1941? as well as the box score on the west panel. Grove was only the twelfth pitcher to win 300 games, thus adding much significance to the ball. A game used bat signed by Grove and fellow Red Sox player Jimmie Foxx was also sold. It brought in $8000.
Tennis phenom Arthur Ashe?s pair of Haggar 24-carat gold trophy tennis balls garnered $144,000. Ashe acquired the trophy when he beat Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon in 1975, becoming the only African-American to win the men?s singles title at the prestigious English tournament. The unique prize weighed an unheard of 25 pounds and was sold to Ashe fan John Ramblin.
Finally, some interesting items that once belonged to boxing great Rocky Marciano were auctioned off at Sotheby?s last week. His black satin Everlast robe yielded $48,000. The garment bears his embroidered name on the back and was worn by Marciano on September 3, 1952 when he beat Jersey Joe Walcott to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Marciano?s report card from 1941 was also sold, bringing in $3,600.
Overall, the Sports Cards Plus/Sotheby?s auction brought in an unfathomable $5,527,200 USD. Given the legendary names, historical value and money generated, this auction was truly in a league of its own! For more information, please visit www.SportsCardsPlus.com.
By: Nicole Gately
The New York Yankees have a legacy of greatness. From Babe Ruth to Lou Gehrig to Yogi Berra, New York?s pinstripes left a winning taste in the mouth of Americans that time cannot seem to shake. Now, through a partnership between the New York Post, the New York Yankees and Activa Consumer Promotions, the pride of the Yankees can be commemorated in your own home through the 2005 Yankees Immortals Medallion Collection.
In this highly collectable, full-color set, some of the greatest Yankees to hit the field are featured. Among the twenty immortal Yankees depicted on the medallions, eight CMG Worldwide clients have made the roster: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Thurman Munson, Billy Martin, Casey Stengel, Lefty Gomez, Tony Lazzeri and Don Larsen.
New York Post readers can catch the New York Yankee pinstripe fever by cutting out the medallion coupons on the back page of the New York Post and redeeming it at one of the fifteen participating retail outlets in New York and New Jersey. These small morsels of baseball history are available now through May 15 at participating retail locations.
By: Nicole Gately
July 10, 1934 was the day of the second annual American League All-Star game; a game that included one of the 10 most memorable incidents in baseball history. New York Giants? pitcher ?King Carl? Hubbell was on firmly planted on the pitcher?s mound of the Polo Grounds when he historically struck out five legendary Baseball Hall of Fame players consecutively. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin all swung and missed the cunning efforts made by Hubbell that day. Today, April 20, that historic ball goes up for auction on Overstock.com.
The ?Matchless Ball? is the only surviving official (REACH) American League ball from that historic match up of baseball greats. After the game, the ball was passed around the dugout and signed by thirteen unforgettable players: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Cronin, Al Simmons, Sammy West, Jack Russell, Bill Dickey, Earl Averill, Red Ruffing, Mel Harder, Tommy Bridges, Lefty Gomez, Jimmy Dykes, Ben Chapman, Heinie Manush, Walter Johnson, Micky Cochrane and Charlie Gehringer. New York Yankees great Tommy Henrich added his signature after the game, thus adding to the provenance of this historic relic. The ball gained international interest when it was stolen from the Babe Ruth Museum, only to be mysteriously returned during an exhibit for Ruth?s 100th birthday celebration.
Semi-retired baseball author and collector Dan de la Torre is the individual selling the ball. He came across the memento while in a Georgia shopping mall in 1992. The ball was misidentified and sold at an unrealistic price. De la Torre, knowing he had something special in his possession, researched the ball and found that it was indeed the infamous ?Matchless Ball.? He went to write a novel chronicling the ball?s history entitled ?Pitched From the Past, The Journey of the ?Matchless Ball?.?
Bidding for the 10-day auction will begin today at 3:00 p.m. EDT and close on Friday, April 29th at 5:00 p.m. If this round piece of historic sells at or above $500,000. de la Torre will donate some of the money to HOSPICE, a national non-profit organization that cares for the terminally ill and their families. The ball has an estimated value of $500,000 - $1,500,000, with the auction bidding beginning at $250,000.
Included in the lot is a notarized copy of the ?Statement of Authencity? signed by Mel Harder; this document authenticates his and his teammate?s signatures and testifies to the balls relevancy. Another ?Statement of Authencity? signed by Tom Henrich is also included, along with the original copy of the ball?s 1993 appraisal and a limited edition, autographed copy of de la Torre?s book ?Pitched From the Past, The Journey of the ?Matchless Ball?.?
Place your bid for this incomparable piece of baseball nostalgia at www.auctions.overstock.com/cgi-bin/auctions.cgi?PAGE=static&pagenum=483.
Upper Deck Where The Legends of Baseball Live On!
CARLSBAD, CA. (February 15, 2005) ? The leading sports and entertainment company, Upper Deck, and Curtis Management Group (CMG) Worldwide have agreed to an historic, exclusive pact allowing Upper Deck to utilize CMG?s legendary roster of baseball talent in upcoming trading card and memorabilia products. CMG Worldwide and Upper Deck have signed a multiyear, trading card exclusive agreement and a non-exclusive component that gives Upper Deck Authenticated, the company?s memorabilia division, the rights to produce unique one-of-a-kind items.
?Upper Deck recognizes that baseball is steeped in history and is rightfully honored as our National pastime,? said Joe Fallon, Director of Product Development for Upper Deck. ?We feel that by joining forces with CMG Worldwide we?ll be able to ensure that these players live on for ages in the minds of sports fans and collectors.?
The first cards depicting CMG?s iconic baseball player?s appeared in Upper Deck?s early-February 2005 release of Sweet Spot Classic (SRP $9.99 per pack), while the premier authentic memorabilia piece will commemorate the first class of inductees into Baseball?s Hall Of Fame. Upper Deck will continue to utilize the large portfolio of photos and players throughout the company?s product launches for years to come.
?This partnership with CMG allows Upper Deck to not only to be the exclusive trading card manufacturer for an incredible roster of legendary players, but it also puts us in a position to manage some of the proliferation that has taken place and re-establish collector values. These athletes are a natural resource for the category, and Upper Deck is committed to balancing the collector desire with collector value. We will continue to be a leader in the baseball trading card category as we plan to include these timeless legends in upcoming card sets and authenticated products,? adds Fallon. ?If a collector is looking for cards of the legends, they should collect Upper Deck sets.?
"CMG Worldwide is excited to be collaborating with The Upper Deck Company on this new Legends program. CMG has worked with UD for over 10 years and is confident that this expanded relationship will further enhance the history and tradition of our Hall of Fame clients in the trading card industry" says Mark Roesler, CMG Worldwide Chairman.
About The Upper Deck Company
The Upper Deck Co. is a premier global sports and entertainment-publishing company that delivers a portfolio of relevant, innovative and multi-dimensional product experiences to collectors, sports and entertainment enthusiasts. For more information on the Upper Deck Company and its products visit www.upperdeck.com.
About CMG Worldwide
CMG Worldwide is the premier business and marketing agent for over 200 diverse personalities and corporate clients in the sports, entertainment, and music fields. For more information on CMG Worldwide and its clients, please visit www.cmgworldwide.com.
Batter up! Have we got a fast ball of nostalgia coming your way. Trademark Prints has dug deep into the locked archives of Brown & Bigelow and found 22 historic baseball paintings featuring some of America?s legendary players. Talk about a home run!
Some of the all-time baseball greats are immortalized in this collectable series. Lou Gehrig is featured in a print titled ?A Great Day,? Rogers Hornsby in a print titled ?Nice Going Fella,? Honus Wagner in ?That?s It? and Babe Ruth in ?Ata Boy.?
This is the first time these prints have been made available to the public. Only 1000 of the prints will be produced, so it?s wise to act fast! These pieces would make the perfect gift for baseball enthusiasts or nostalgia lovers alike.
These masterpieces are museum grade prints reprinted from the Brown & Bigelow calendar collection. They are printed in the highest quality available and sold exclusively through Trademark Prints. Each print will come with and 8.5? x 11? certificate containing the player?s biography and some of their career highlights.
Trademark Prints has made this collectable art series available in the United States and Canada. They can be purchased through Trademark?s Web site: http://www.trademarkprints.com/new/index.html.
Originally Posted on mlb.com
Instead of creeping his way up on home run history, Ken Griffey Jr. is going after it in an all-out sprint.
The Cincinnati center fielder's latest victim was Marlins right-hander Justin Wayne, who served up what turned out to be a game-winning three-run homer to the future Hall of Famer in the seventh inning of Cincinnati's 9-7 victory on Monday at Pro Player Stadium.
The homer was Griffey's team-leading 13th of the season and big-league leading 10th in May. The count was 0-1. Griffey didn't know what the pitch was.
"I don't know what it was," Griffey laughed. "If I would have swung and missed I could tell you. That's getting too technical."
He might not like talking semantics, but he can no longer avoid talking about rapid climb up baseball's all-time home run list.
Griffey's three-run, game-winning homer put him ahead of Yankees legend Lou Gehrig on the all-time home run list.
"It was awesome enough just to tie him," Griffey said. "I can't say too much more than that. He's one of the best players to every put on the uniform and to tie him is an honor in itself."
The long ball leaves Griffey in 20th place among the game's greatest power hitters, now six shy of joining the 500 Home Run Club.
Eventually, Griffey's power numbers will probably dwarf Gehrig's. However, Griffey's not one to ignore the accomplishments of the great players who came before him.
"I know a lot about him, especially from when my dad was playing for New York," he said. "I got to learn a lot about the Yankees' history. In New York, they always play his speech and Babe Ruth's. He was only 37 when he got sick and died. The guy hit more than 490 home runs and batted .340."
That wasn't all Griffey knew about 'The Iron Horse'.
"I know I'm right on his heels in games played," he joked, "he just played them all in a row."
As usual, Griffey was able to take his most recent accomplishment in stride, but at least one person in the Cincinnati clubhouse was pretty much in awe of what he's been able to do on the baseball diamond.
"All I know about Lou Gehrig is from movies and stories," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "But it's been pretty fun to watch. There's some pretty impressive names on that list."
Todd Lorenz is a writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
In a streak that lasted over 13 years, Lou Gehrig played in 2,130 consecutive baseball games. In his years with the New York Yankees, his slugging averages were higher than any player?s in the history of baseball, except his teammate Babe Ruth. Lou?s batting skills made him a great ball player, and his grace and courage in the face of a devastating illness made him a great man.
It was for these and many other reasons that Lou Gehrig came to mind when established high-end memorabilia provider ProTour Memorabilia wanted to launch an exciting new division of products. After successfully securing their position as the exclusive licensee for PGA Tour framed memorabilia, ProTour has diversified into a wide range of framed celebrity display pieces.
ProTour has jumpstarted their new line by harnessing the demand for memorabilia dedicated to many of the worlds greatest legends. In addition to selecting American hero Lou Gehrig, these personalities include other sports favorites such as Babe Ruth and Arthur Ashe. Also featured are musicians Buddy Holly and Ella Fitzgerald, entertainment icons Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Peter Sellers, and historical figures General George S. Patton, Jr. and Amelia Earhart.
Each framed piece is double matted and may include elements such as a candid photograph, biography, brass nameplate and an engraved or facsimile signature reproduction. As an added service to their customers, ProTour will also engrave the memorabilia free of charge. These items will be available worldwide, with retail prices starting at $49.99 USD.
For more information, including a complete listing of CMG clients included in this program, please visit http://www.classicmem.com/classics.
Quite simply put, Lou Gehrig was one of the greatest players in the history of baseball. This year represents a special commemoration, as 2003 marks the 100th Anniversary of his birth. A New York City native, Gehrig was born Ludwig Heinrich Gehrig on June 19, 1903. He possessed a rare combination of speed, power and consistency, and was active in sports throughout his youth. These qualities also caught the eye of the New York Yankees scout who signed Gehrig while he was a student at Columbia University. Gehrig's talent was evident, and he went on to capture two Most Valuable Player awards (1927 and 1936), the Triple Crown (1934) and six World Series titles. His single season mark of 184 RBI's still stands in the American League record books. Gehrig earned his nickname, "The Iron Horse," for his record-setting consecutive games played streak of 2,130. Yet Gehrig is often best remembered for delivering one of the greatest speeches in sports history. At Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939 he bid a touching farewell to baseball in front of over 62,000 fans and reporters. CMG Worldwide is honored to represent this Lou Gehrig, and honor the 100th Anniversary of his birth.
The accomplishments and character of New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig made him an American hero. A tireless worker with 2,130 consecutive games played, Gehrig won the Triple Crown in 1934, and was voted the league's MVP in 1927 and 1936.
With this in mind, Team Beans has chosen Lou Gehrig for several new products. These items include beanie bears, magnets and plaques, all of which are part of their popular Cooperstown collection. Team Beans will also feature Gehrig in their "Legends of the Park" bobble head line, dedicated to commemorating the most skilled and brightest stars in MLB history. Fans can purchase them online and in retail stores across North America beginning in Spring 2003.