SCP Auctions is honored to present the Walter Alston Estate Collection as part of its 2016 Mid-Summer Classic Auction. Nearly 100 outstanding lots will go up for bid on Wed., August 3, 2016.
A single at-bat, which resulted in a strikeout, comprised the playing career of the late Alston. But four World Series titles, seven National League pennants, and 2,040 regular-season triumphs later – all realized in a managerial capacity at the helm of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers – cobbled his path to Cooperstown.
A native Ohioan, Alston earned the nickname “Smokey” in high school because of his blazing fastball. He attended Miami of Ohio University where he lettered in baseball and basketball before signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1935. In 1940, when it became apparent he wasn’t in the Cardinals’ future plans as a player, Alston was given the opportunity to play and manage in their farm system. He was released by St. Louis in 1944, but was spotted by the keen eye of former Cardinals General Manager and then-Brooklyn President Branch Rickey who signed him to play and manage in the Dodgers minor league system. Following the ‘53 season, Brooklyn Skipper Charlie Dressen insisted on a multi-year contract to continue as Dodgers’ skipper. Brooklyn Owner Walter O’Malley balked at the demand and to everyone’s surprise chose the little known Alston to pilot the club.
He led the Dodgers to a second place finish in 1954, then won Brooklyn’s first World Series title in 1955, defeating the Yankees in seven games. Always displaying a calm, professional demeanor, the unflappable homespun Ohio farmer managed the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers for the next 23 seasons. His teams won 90 or more games in 10 different seasons. On July 17, 1976, Alston became only the sixth manager in MLB history to win 2,000 games. Just before the end of that season he retired as Dodgers’ skipper with 2,040 wins. He was named N.L. Manager of the Year six times, and led N.L. All-Star teams to seven victories. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. -Terry Melia
More than 200 pieces of Don Drysdale’s personal collection of memorabilia are being sold. Game-used gear, championship rings and awards are all among the items being put up for bid. They headline SCP Auctions’ 2016 Spring Premier Auction. Game-worn uniforms from both the 1963 and 1965 World Series are among the items expected to fetch the highest bids. Other jerseys come from throughout his career including his rookie season of 1956 in Brooklyn. Los Angeles jerseys from 1965, 1966 and 1969 are also available.
During the 1933 Major League Baseball season, at the age of 38, New York Yankees’ slugger extraordinaire Babe Ruth was still putting plenty of good wood on the ball as he batted .301 with 34 home runs and 104 runs batted in. For good measure, he scored 97 runs and was walked 114 times. But during the off-season, Ruth was busy putting his business affairs in order and even drew up his last will and testament. That important document, which was signed and dated on Dec. 26, 1933, is now on the auction block at www.scpauctions.com with bidding scheduled to close on Saturday, April 25. A featured item in SCP Auctions’ online Spring Premier, it could fetch as much as $150,000.
“It is well-documented that the vast majority of Babe’s personal memorabilia was gifted, at Ruth’s consent, to the National Baseball Hall of Fame shortly after his passing,” said SCP Auctions Vice President Dan Imler. “The offered Last Will and Testament is among only a few Ruth mementos ever offered to the public with direct Ruth family provenance. It is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Babe Ruth’s grandson, Tom Stevens.”
The nine-page document (pages are 13-by-9 inches) is in superlative condition and is affixed to the traditional “Last Will and Testament” cover folder, with the ornate old English script and Ruth’s full name and the Dec. 26, 1933 date typed on the cover piece. Ruth’s elegant signature appears on the final page, using his full name “George Herman Ruth,” a grudging nod to formality that The Bambino would typically reserve for official documents and the like. Three other New York State residents have signed as witnesses below Ruth’s signature, adding their residence information. Also included is the traditional heavy cardstock 5-by-10-inch flapped envelope with “Will of George Herman Ruth and the date” typed on the cover. The envelope is in complementary condition, jostled only slightly by a small 3/4-inch tear to the flap.
Online bidding is open to registered bidders only and concludes on Saturday, April 25. The auction is being conducted online at www.scpauctions.com. For more information, call 949-831-3700. -Terry Melia
Gene Tenace says he doesn’t need the money. Says he’s not selling his memorabilia to get over the financial hump. Nevertheless, he hooked up with an auction house to sell some of his most prized possessions.