Collectible Classics sale loaded with vintage material

Autographs of Steve Prefontaine, Lou Gehrig, Turkey Stearns and Walter Johnson, a rare Batter-Up premium (shown), a scarce 1888 book on New York baseball and a high-quality 1938 Churchman “Boxing Personalities” set are among the highlights of Collectible Classics’ CCA25 auction, which is online now at and closes Aug. 25.
Collectible Classics specializes in collector-friendly auctions with affordable lots. The current auction offers 284 sports and non-sport lots, with most minimum bids set at $100 or less. 

In the early 1970s, Prefontaine held every U.S. track and field record for distances from 2,000 to 10,000 meters. The popular athlete, the first to endorse Nike shoes, died in 1975 in an auto accident. He was only 24. His autograph is at the end of a 1974 brief handwritten letter.

The Gehrig and Johnson signatures are on team-signed officials baseballs. Stearns, the Hall of Fame outfielder, led the Negro Leagues in home runs seven times and batted .353 lifetime. He signed an index card and added career information.
The Negro leagues are represented also by autographs of Willie Wells Sr., Hilton Smith, David Malarcher, Newt Allen and Bill Byrd. One of the auction’s more unusual items is a bat made by Lyman Bostock Sr. and signed by 27 Negro ‘eaguers.

Jackie Robinson bridges the Negro and major leagues with his signature in a stated first printing of Wait Till Next Year: The Jackie Robinson Story. The auction has more than 70 autograph lots, and others signers include Sandy Koufax, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Roger Maris, Kiki Cuyler, Satchel Paige, Stanislaus Kowalewski (Stanley Coveleski), Joe DiMaggio, Goose Goslin, Chuck Klein, Ed Walsh and Eddie Waitkus.

The Koufax signature is framed with an original 1973 “This Day in Sports” cartoon by Lenny Hollreiser.  The auction includes a number of bulk lots with good potential break-up value.

Besides autographs, cards are a staple of Collectible Classics’ auctions, and the CCA25 edition presents 18 baseball lots of complete, near or partial sets, 42 lots of graded cards and 57 more “raw” lots.

Up for bid are a 1952 Bowman near-set (244 of 252), a 1953 Bowman Black and White set, 1954, 1972 and 1973 Topps sets, a 1960 Leaf set and 1960 and 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats.

A rare 1934-36 Batter-Up premium of Wes Ferrell headlines the contingent of cards that have not been slabbed.  Fewer than six of these cards are known, and this is the only card of Ferrell to surface. Another Batter-Up premium recently sold for almost $1,100, including the premium, in a Lew Lipset auction.

Other key lots are a 1926 “Boston Braves in the 1880s” Goodwin composite, 1933 Goudey No. 92 Lou Gehrig, a 1940 Play Ball colorized proof of  Luke Sewell, 1949 Bowman double-printed backs, 1952 Topps high numbers and 1954 Dan-Dee cards. 

Among the graded cards are: 1952 Topps Bobby Morgan rookie SGC; 1968 Topps  Dick Williams PSA 10 (only five others graded this high); 1910 T206 Rube Marquard Portrait  SGC 60; 1940 Play Ball No. 1 Joe DiMaggio PSA 4, and 1954 Topps  Hank Aaron rookie SGC 60.

The rare 1888 softcover book Sketches of the New York and Brooklyn Base Ball Clubs is the most uncommon among 14 lots of signed and unsigned books. Other lots are the 1989 Dowd report to Major League Baseball on Pete Rose’s gambling, a 1947 history of the Washington Senators, Eight Men Out autographed by Eliot Asinof and books signed by Bill Veeck, Sandy Koufax, Jimmy Piersall and Arch Ward, father of the baseball All-Star Game and the All-American Football Conference.

Three 1896 Whitehead & Hoag baseball positions pins are available, as well as a 1933 PR4 Cracker Jack pin of Lou Gehrig and a 1950s PM10 pin of Jackie Robinson (yellow background).

Collectible Classics is auctioning a number of display items, including a Babe Ruth “called shot” statue. There also is a historically significant 1888 John Ward newspaper print associated with formation of the Players League, a New York Times front page with a Black Sox headline, Frank Lanning original artwork of Stan Musial, large charcoal originals reproducing T205 cards of Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson, seven outstanding silver gelatin prints that were originally displayed in the National Sports Gallery in Washington, D.C., a 1943 military panorama with Joe DiMaggio in uniform and a 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates original NL Champs poster.

Other sports are well represented in the auction.  For boxing collectors, the 1938 Churchman “Boxing Personalities” set includes four SGC-graded cards. Dempsey and Louis are graded SGC 96, Schmeling SGC 88 and Jack Johnson SGC 80. 

The rest parallels these grades: 50 percent mint, 25 percent Nr-Mt to Mt and 25 percent Nr-Mt.
Other boxing lots are a 1948 Leaf partial uncut sheet, several Allen & Ginter cards, seven 1901 Ogden’s Tab “Heroes of the Ring” cards and 40 cards spanning 1901-38.

Football is represented by an autograph of Tom Lombardo, 1944 Army captain and quarterback killed in Korea in 1950, a 1959 Topps partial set and a 1953 Lions vs. Browns 1953 NFL Championship Game program. 

Other sports include basketball, with 1972-73 through 1975-76 Topps sets, autographs including Bill Russell and an early poster of Michael Jordan, a golf lot of 43 autographs, a 1912 Olympics-related photo of Jim Thorpe and a vintage autograph of Jesse Owens, a hockey pennant with an early Mario Lemieux autograph and horse racing cards and autographs.

Non-Sport collectibles include a 1911 T25 Between the Acts “Actors” near set (45 of 50), a lot of seven 1930s British sets, a lot of 325 cards focused primarily on British royalty, a 1952 Topps “Look ‘N See” set, a 1956 Topps “Roundup” near set (75 of 80), four original court exhibits from an early 1900s Coca-Cola patent case and a Donald Trump signed baseball.

In addition to several catalog auctions each year, Collectible Classics posts a new online auction every three weeks.  These auction typically contain 200 lots that sell for an average of $40-$75. The next of these auctions, CCANet 4, is scheduled to go live Aug. 31.

For a free CCA25 color catalog or additional information, contact Collectible Classics at P.O. Box 429, Irwin, PA 15642 or or 724-446-3079. 

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