REA Presents Baseball Card and Memorabilia Treasures Auction

. April 2, 2009

Excitement Builds For Baseball World’s Most Anticipated Auction!

rea.gifThe Robert Edward Auctions catalogs will ship on April 9, 2009. The first copy off the presses will be presented to The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, for their library, as is the longstanding tradition. The other 10,000 672-page catalogs will be sent to collectors all over the world who have anxiously been waiting all year for the annual sale by Robert Edward Auctions, the collecting world’s most exciting and highly anticipated auction. Inside the auction catalog will be hundreds of items worthy of Cooperstown, many of which will ultimately find their way into the most prestigious collections in the world, both private and public. The final date of bidding is May 2. Bidding starts April 10 by FAX, phone, or the Internet via the Robert Edward’s site. The total sales for the event are expected to exceed $5-million.

Serious baseball collectors all over the world look forward to Robert Edward’s annual spring auction. “We try to make it a special event for everyone, to make it fun and at the same time to give collectors and historians some great reading with the catalog,” says REA president Robert Lifson. “With all the problems in the economy, and all the problems even in the baseball memorabilia world, we feel our auction has a special place in the field. We’re trying to do more than just have an auction. We’re trying to create a positive event that is historic, that makes collecting fun, and that everyone can be a part of, as a bidder, a consignor, or just as an observer.” Of course, having great material makes it all possible. “This year, really, we’ve gotten very lucky. The material is unbelievable. This may be our best auction ever.”

The 1915 Cracker Jack Poster on the catalog cover would be hard to top as the single greatest auction highlight, but there are many candidates. Also included in the auction are the two most valuable baseball cards in the world, the famous T206 Honus Wagner and the 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth Rookie Card (each with a reserve of $50,000); an incredible newly discovered find of unopened 1930s gum cards, and the best Babe Ruth cap in the world from 1932, the year of “The Called Shot” (res. $50,000).

cracker-jack-poster.jpgThe Cracker Jack poster, produced to promote Cracker Jack’s 1915 baseball card issue, is one of the rarest and most extraordinary of all baseball display pieces. The offered example, by far the finest of only two known, carries a minimum bid of $25,000. Lifson adds “We think this is such a great item we actually produced a celluloid magnet as a keepsake, featuring the poster. We made over 10,000 of them. Every catalog will include one. We know it sounds crazy, because this cost real money, but we’re excited about the auction and the poster, and this was a way to do something for collectors, and at the same time promote the auction. Only one person can get the poster but everyone can have a small refrigerator magnet version! It also seems in keeping with the spirit of Cracker Jack. You know, a prize in very box.” REA sold this piece to the consignor in a private transaction in 1989 for $35,000. Even in this economy, the auction house is very optimistic on high quality items. “We’ve been trying to get this back to auction for twenty years. We don’t know what it’s worth, but we think the owner is going to do very well. It’s the best Cracker Jack piece in the world. It’s the best twentieth- century baseball card advertising piece in the world. Great items always seem to do well over time and it doesn’t get any better than this item.”

Coming to the block will be over 1,500 lots of baseball collectibles covering the entire history of the game. The incredible find of unopened gum boxes and packs from the 1930s, one of the great card collecting discoveries of the ages, will be offered in fifty lots. The 1932 Babe Ruth Yankees cap, a gift from the Yankees manager Joe McCarthy to his paperboy in 1932, has an unrivalled provenance. This may be the best baseball cap in the world (res. $50,000). The T206 Wagner is the very same card that was once owned by actor Charlie Sheen. He allowed the card to be displayed at the All Star Café in New York. In a plot worthy of a TV episode, many years ago the card was stolen from its display case by workers at the All Star Café, and replaced with a copy! When the theft was discovered, the thieves were soon caught, and the Wagner card was recovered by the FBI! The card is a low-grade example but a T206 Wagner is extremely valuable in any condition. It has a minimum bid of $50,000 and is expected to sell for in excess of $100,000. Many consider the 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth Rookie Card to be the single most important and miraculous baseball card in the world. The 1914 Babe Ruth rookie card features Ruth as an unknown minor league rookie straight out of St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys. Only ten 1914 Baltimore Ruths are known to exist, including the one owned by the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore. The reserve for this card is $50,000, and it is also expected to sell for in excess of $100,000.

Nineteenth-century baseball cards and items of great historical significance have always been a special area of interest for REA. This auction has some of the most remarkable items in this important area to ever come to auction. An exceptional example of the famous 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Peck & Snyder advertising trade card featuring the very first professional team is a special highlight (est. $25,000+, res. $10,000). Over six-hundred Old Judge baseball cards issued by Goodwin & Co from 1886 to 1890 are also included in the sale. This is one of the largest collections of Old Judges ever assembled. Also offered are a selection of N173 Old Judge cabinets, including many Hall of Famers, and an incredible twenty-nine 1889 Police Gazette cabinet cards, the largest-ever offering of these extreme rarities, including a particularly outstanding example of Hall of Famer Tim Keefe (res. $5,000).

The auction includes an extraordinary array of rare nineteenth-century baseball cards including examples issued by Kalamazoo Bats, Mayo’s Cut Plug, as well as many rare nineteenth-century baseball cabinet cards; Cracker Jack baseball cards issued in 1914 and 1915; literally thousands of 1910-era baseball tobacco cards, one the largest selections to ever be offered at auction; complete Topps and Bowman sets from virtually every year, including three complete sets of 1952 Topps with the rare high-numbers. In addition to two sets of 1909-1911 T206 White Border tobacco cards, many other rarities from the T206 set, the most important issue of the 1910 era, are presented. These include four examples of the rare T206 Eddie Plank (one graded EX-MT 6 by PSA); five T206 Magie error cards; and numerous extremely high-grade T206 examples. The newly-discovered 1933 R306 Butter Cream Confectionery of Babe Ruth is another extraordinary highlight item in the sale. One of card collecting’s most interesting and legendary rarities, this is only the third example known (res. $10,000).

Copies of the 672-page full-color premium catalog (shipping April 9) are available free. To review the catalog online, to learn more about Robert Edward Auctions, or to receive a complimentary copy of the catalog, or to inquire about consignments, visit http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/.

Robert Edward Auctions is currently assembling its next sale. For further information contact: Robert Edward Auctions, PO Box 7256, Watchung, NJ or call (908)-226-9900.

For over 30 years Robert Edward Auctions has specialized in all areas of historic baseball collectibles, as well other sport, non-sport, and Americana collectibles including political and campaign memorabilia, autographs and manuscripts, and original illustration art. Robert Edward Auctions has been responsible for many of the most important baseball memorabilia sales including overseeing the sale of the $26-million Barry Halper baseball collection, universally recognized as the best and largest in the world; the legendary “Gretzky-McNail” T206 Honus Wagner card, $1.3-million; the uniform Yankee legend Lou Gehrig was wearing in 1939 when he gave his famous farewell speech, saying “Today, I consider myself to be the luckiest man on the face of the earth”, $306,000; and the 1854 Knickerbocker Trophy baseball, now on permanent exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, New York, at a then-record $72,000.

Category: Auction News

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