Robert Edward Auctions returns with banner baseball collecting auction

WATCHUNG, NEW JERSEY. The catalog for Robert Edward Auctions’ 2011 blockbuster sale will ship on April 12, 2011. As always, the first copy off the presses will be presented to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., for their library, as is REA’s time-honored tradition. The remaining 10,000 catalogs will be sent to collectors all over the world who have been anxiously awaiting the baseball collecting world’s most highly anticipated auction.

Inside the catalog will be hundreds of items worthy of the most prestigious collections in the world, both public and private. Total sales for the event are expected to exceed $5 million.

1904 Christy Mathewson
game-used baseball

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 bring back the fun of collecting, and at the same time to give collectors and historians valuable reference material, and hopefully some great reading with the catalog,” says REA president Robert Lifson. “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, promotes a love of history, and that everyone can be a part of, as a bidder, a consignor, or just as an observer.”

REA’s reputation for hosting the baseball collecting world’s most highly-anticipated event is a reputation built on forty years of experience. “This year, maybe more than ever before, we’ve been a magnet for new finds. Every time we turned around, an exciting item or previously unknown card collection seemed to turn up and find us. We’ve got an incredible lineup. A T206 Wagner. Lou Gehrig’s bat. A document signed by Joe Jackson. These are just a few of the big money items. Not everything is a fortune but we’ve got over 1,700 lots and maybe it’s just that we happen to like all the items we accepted for auction but it seems like every one is a highlight.”

Lou Gehrig Bat and Lou Gehrig Jersey: REA is offering Lou Gehrig’s 1938 New York Yankees jersey, dating from his historic last full season. The Yankees were World Champions in 1938 and it is very possible that Gehrig wore this jersey in his final World Series game. No more than a half dozen game-used Gehrig jerseys are believed to exist today, one of which resides in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The jersey carries a reserve of $50,000 and is expected to sell for in excess of $100,000. Lou Gehrig’s circa 1927 bat is another extraordinary highlight. This is a rare bat that has no leap of faith or mystery as to its provenance. The bat was a personal gift presented by Gehrig to his next-door neighbor in New Rochelle, New York. All Lou Gehrig game-used bats are rare and highly prized by collectors, but as the auction description emphasizes, “This bat has practically been handed to us by Lou Gehrig himself! It would be hard to imagine a finer or more desirable example.” The bat has a reserve of $25,000 and is expected to sell for more than $50,000.

T206 Honus Wagner
Included in the auction is a magnificently restored example of the most highly sought-after and valuable baseball card in the world: the T206 Honus Wagner. This is a particularly fascinating example in that it has a long history of being one of the few Wagners that can be traced back in the hobby over forty years. “Every T206 Wagner is different and valuing them is very subjective,” notes REA’s Robert Lifson. The reserve is $25,000. “This is obviously an extremely low level but whether it receives one-hundred bids, or if it receives only one bid at $25,000, it will be sold! High or low, that is one of the exciting elements about an REA auction.” REA estimates that only approximately fifty T206 Honus Wagner cards are known to exist.

Legendary Card Rarities
Including 1910 Joe Jackson. This sale will include virtually every one of the baseball card collecting world’s most revered “Holy Grails”. In addition to the famous T206 Honus Wagner, included is another one of the greatest treasures of all tobacco cards: the 1910 T210 Old Mill tobacco card of Joe Jackson (graded VG+ by PSA; res. $25,000) featuring Jackson in the minor leagues long before stardom and the Black Sox scandal of 1919. The T206 Eddie Plank, another of card collecting’s most famous rarities, is represented in this auction with not one, but two examples – one graded Vg-Ex (with a $10,000 reserve and an estimate of $25,000+) and one trimmed but still a very interesting example due to its extremely rare Piedmont advertising back. In addition, also featured is one of the finest examples in the world of the famous 1933 #106 Nap Lajoie (graded NM-MT 8 by PSA) (res. $10,000, est. $40,000+). Yet another legendary card on every short list of the collecting world’s most important baseball cards is an exceptional newly-discovered 1909-1911 E90-1 American Caramel Joe Jackson in Excellent condition (res. $10,000; est. $20,000+).

19th Century Baseball Memorabilia
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. Among them: an extraordinary 1859 Trophy Ball commemorating a game between the Unions and the Excelsiors, the earliest Unions trophy ball known (res. $5,000; est. $10,000+); an extraordinary example of the 1867 Base Ball Polka Sheet Music, one of the rarest and most highly prized of all baseball sheet musics (res. $2,500; est. $5,000+); exceptional examples of the 1859 Base Ball Player’s Pocket Companion (Res.$2,000; est. 4,000+) and 1868 Chadwick’s American Game of Base Ball (Res. $1,000; est. 2,000/$3,000+) are also featured, each universally recognized as among the most important and rare of all early baseball volumes; a remarkable 1866 Washington and Brooklyn Team Cabinet Photo with Henry Chadwick (res. $2,500); several important items related to the 1869 Reds, baseball’s first professional team, include: a Nineteenth-Century Baseball Bat Attributed to George Wright in 1869 (res. $5,000; est: open), and not one but two 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings team cards, one a newly-discovered CDV style example (res. $5,000) and the other a larger trade card style example with advertising for Peck & Snyder on reverse (res. $10,000; est $25,000+). Also included are a host of rare and desirable cards from a wide variety of nineteenth-century issues.

The final date of bidding in this year’s auction will be Saturday, May 7. Bidding begins April 15 by FAX, phone, or the Internet via the REA website at

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