Like a heavyweight prizefight, online bidders were trading blow for blow in hot pursuit of the historical 1857 “Laws of Base Ball” documents in SCP Auctions’ 2016 Spring Premier auction, which concluded early Sunday morning. Once the dust had settled, an eye-popping high bid of $3,263,246 secured the precious baseball pages whose author was recently identified as Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams, who was then serving as President of the New York Knickerbockers Base Ball Club. Adams drafted the manuscript for presentation at the historic Base Ball Convention of 1857 in New York City. Adams’ “Laws of Base Ball” were the focal point of the convention and among dozens of newly proposed rules and guidelines established for the first time including setting the base paths at 90 feet, the number of men to a side at nine, and the duration of the game at nine innings.
“The ‘Laws of Base Ball’ is a document of unparalleled importance in the history of America’s National Pastime. Its gravitas was recognized by a diverse collection of astute bidders who pushed the bidding to a record level,” said SCP Auctions’ Vice President Dan Imler. “This figure represents not only the highest price ever paid for a baseball document, but the third highest price ever for any piece of sports memorabilia.”
By comparison, two other foundational sports documents that have sold at public auction include James Naismith’s 1891 Original Rules of Basketball, which sold for $4.3 million in 2010, and The 1859 Original Rules of Soccer, which sold for $1.4 million in 2011.
The overall auction, which featured 1,310 lots including 166 from the prestigious Don Drysdale Estate Collection, brought in a total of $7.2 million. Other top bids included a 1952 Topps Baseball complete set, $125,331; an extremely rare collection of unused, graded tickets representing all 50 Super Bowls, $100,026; and the historic August 23rd, 1989 signed agreement between Major League Baseball and Pete Rose that banned Rose from baseball for life, $85,602.
The Don Drysdale Estate Collection, the largest personal assortment of Dodgers memorabilia ever offered publicly, was led by the sale of the late Hall of Famer’s 1963 L.A. Dodgers World Series championship ring, which went for $110,111, and his 1962 Cy Young Award, which sold for $100,100. In addition, his 1965 Dodgers World Series championship ring fetched $90,999, while his 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers game-worn rookie season uniform captured $82,727.
Other highlights from the auction included:
- 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente Rookie Card #164 (NM-MT PSA 8) – $73,408
- 1961-62 Fleer Basketball Unopened 24-Count Wax Box, All GAI Graded – $68,367
- 1936 R327 Diamond Stars Baseball One-of-a-Kind Uncut Sheet – $62,256
- Dallas Baker’s 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl Championship Ring – $62,152
- 1949 Hollywood Gold Cup Won by Solidarity, 63 Ounces of 14K Gold – $51,363
The buyers of the items wish to remain anonymous at this time. All prices include a buyer’s premium. Full auction results are available at SCP Auctions. -Terry Melia
Documents that baseball historians have called the Magna Carta of the game have sold at auction for nearly $3.3 million. SCP auctions of Southern California says the 1857 papers called the “Laws of Base Ball” sold early Sunday to an anonymous buyer after more than two weeks of bidding. The auction house had predicted prior to the auction’s April 7 start that they could sell for more than $1 million.
SCP Auctions is pleased to present an assortment of Pittsburgh Steelers two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s memorabilia – directly from “Big Ben” himself – as part of its 2015 Fall Premier online auction. Bidding began on Wed., Nov. 18, and will conclude this Sat., Dec. 5 at SCP Auctions. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each of Roethlisberger’s lot will go toward the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, which supports K-9 units and service dogs of police and fire departments throughout the U.S.
The top bid currently for any of Roethlisberger’s memorabilia is $3,328 for his Pittsburgh Steelers game-worn and signed home jersey that he wore on Dec. 28, 2008, versus Cleveland in the final regular-season game of the team’s eventual Super Bowl winning campaign. Late in the first half, Roethlisberger dropped back and completed a short pass to tight end Heath Miller. On the play, he took a vicious hit from Browns linebackers’ Willie McGinest and D’Qwell Jackson and suffered a serious head/neck injury. He lay on the field for 15 minutes and had to be carted off the field on a stretcher as 60,000+ fans at Heinz Field held their collective breath. Ultimately, he sustained a concussion, but it looked much worse. Five weeks later, he led the Steelers to a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. The jersey up for bid had to be literally cut off Roethlisberger’s body at the time of his injury.
Another Roethlisberger lot that’s generating plenty of bids is his Steelers’ game-worn, signed and inscribed nine-piece uniform ensemble from Oct. 26, 2014, a game in which he led the black-and-gold to a 51-34 victory over the visiting Indianapolis Colts by throwing for 522 yards and six touchdowns. This lot is currently sitting at $2,662 with three days remaining in the online auction. Three different pairs of his game-worn and dual-signed cleats are also up for bid including a pair of his size 14 Nike “Superbad Pro” cleats from Nov. 2, 2014, when he led Pittsburgh to a 43-23 win over the Baltimore Ravens. In that game, he threw for 340 yards and six more touchdowns. The current high bid for that pair is $1,774. Every lot includes a signed Letter of Authenticity from Roethlisberger. -Terry Melia
Joe DiMaggio and Thurman Munson were great players who led the Yankees to World Series titles, but they didn’t have much in common besides their commitment to excellence. The graceful DiMaggio made everything he did look effortless, while Munson was a gruff beer can of a man who barked and sometimes even brawled with teammates. But that hasn’t stopped a Southern California sports memorabilia auction house from offering uniforms from their final Major League Baseball seasons.
Following in the (size 23) footsteps of former Celtics big man Robert Parish, C’s great Jo Jo White is selling some of the valuable keepsakes he accumulated during his Hall of Fame career. White is auctioning the championship ring he received after the Celts won the 2008 NBA title, as well as the 1974 and 1976 championship rings he was given as replacements when the originals were lost.
SCP Auctions is proud to present legendary Boston Celtics’ point guard and recently inducted Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Jo Jo White’s personal memorabilia collection as part of its 2015 Fall Premier online auction. Bidding began on Wednesday, Nov. 18, and will conclude on Saturday, Dec. 5 at SCPAuctions.com. As the organization’s director of Special Projects and a longtime community relations representative, White was awarded a 2008 Boston Celtics NBA Championship 14K white gold ring upon the 2008 squad’s claiming of the franchise’s 17th title. It tops the list of valuable items amongst White’s two dozen lots with a current bid of $17,270. View Jo Jo’s lots here.
“We are extremely pleased to be offering many of Jo Jo’s coveted basketball heirlooms,” said David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions.
White helped the Celtics win a pair of NBA titles (1974 and ’76) during his 10-year tenure in Beantown. Selected by Boston with the No. 9 overall pick in the 1969 NBA Draft out of Kansas University, he finished his career with Boston averaging 18.3 points per game and led the team in assists four different times. An outstanding post-season performer, he played key roles in Boston’s run to both titles, finishing with a 21.5 career playoff scoring average. In a jaw-dropping exhibition of his incredible conditioning, White played 60-plus minutes and scored a game-high 33 points in the Celtics’ historic triple-overtime win over the Phoenix Suns on the Boston Garden’s parquet floor in Game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals, and was later named the series MVP. He is still remembered as one of the most durable Celtics of all-time as his streak of 488 consecutive games played remains a franchise record. A seven-time All-Star, his No. 10 jersey was retired by the Celtics in a ceremony at the Boston Garden on April 9, 1982.
Among the other items up for bid will be White’s 1974 and ‘76 NBA championship rings (minimum bids are $2,500 each) that he was given as replacements when the originals were lost, as well as numerous warmup and game-used uniforms from his participation in NBA All-Star Legends games, his 1976 NBA Finals MVP digital wristwatch, two of his College All-American award plaques from Kansas, his Kansas Sports Hall of Fame induction plaque, and his 1976 and 1977 NBA All-Star Game plaques.
Bidding is open to registered bidders only. For more information on how to participate, please visit SCPAuctions.com or call (949) 831-3700. -Terry Melia