Success of November sports and Americana auction confirms appeal of rare items

LANSING, Ill. — When it comes to jump-starting the economy as it pertains to the Sports and Americana collectibles industry, Legendary Auctions understands that success lies in the quality and the rarity of the material. Despite a still-challenging overall economic environment, Legendary Auctions has shown that with the right items and the appropriate sales platform, strong prices realized are achievable.

“I know I sound like a broken record, but if there is one thing that can get collectors bidding, it’s fresh, high quality pieces,” said Doug Allen, CEO and president of Legendary Auctions. “You offer enough incredible items and collectors will show up. Because we are focused on consigning and offering some of the very latest and the very best the hobby has to offer, our results continue to exceed expectations.”

The Lou Brock Collection

The Legendary Auctions November sale had plenty of the very latest and the very best in the form of several amazing collections. One of the most notable was The Lou Brock Collection. Lou Brock chose Legendary Auctions to handle the sale of his personal collection after learning how well the auction house did for his fellow Cardinal, Bob Gibson.

Like Gibson, Brock was ecstatic with the results from the auction of his collection. In total, the Lou Brock Collection exceeded $280,000. “I am just thrilled that items representing my baseball career were so well received,” said Brock. “It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to know that these historic pieces are in the hands of collectors who will treasure their significance and safeguard their importance for years to come.”

The Lou Brock Collection represented almost 80 of the more than 1,700 lots in Legendary Auctions’ November sale. Among the most significant Lou Brock items sold were:

Lou Brock’s 1967 St. Louis Cardinals World Championship ring that commanded $65,175;

A 1979 LeRoy Neiman original painting of Lou Brock sliding sold for $35,550;

A 1974 Lou Brock St. Louis Cardinals game used home jersey — the jersey he wore to set the single season stolen base record of 105 — went for $14,220;

A game-used base stolen by Lou Brock to break Ty Cobb’s record — #893 sold for $13,035;

A Curt Flood original painting of Lou Brock sold for $10,073.

The Chicago Cubs

In addition to the collection of a Hall of Fame player being an auction hit, items associated with a popular team also proved to be an event favorite. Anything vintage Cubs is almost always a winner at auction. Among the most significant results were:

A Frank Chance 1911-12 Chicago Cubs game used home jersey that sold for $62,213;

A Johnny Evers signed handwritten letter mentioning “The Famous Merkle Play of 1908 when my good friend Merkle forgot to touch 2nd Base” commanded $35, 550;

William Howard Taft’s presentation copy of the book “Touching Second” signed by the 1910 Chicago Cubs Including Tinker, Evers, Chance and Brown (with a “bonus” signature of Honus Wagner) went for $24,885.

Record-Breaking T208 Cullivan’s Firesides

Yet another collection that grabbed considerable auction attention before the event and during the sale was an assembly of T208 Cullivan’s Fireside tobacco insert cards that were sold individually. This collection of T208s with Fireside back designs was among the largest such groups ever offered publicly.

The headliner in the group was a 1911 T208 Cullivan’s Fireside Eddie Plank graded PSA VG 3 that commanded $62,213 – the most ever paid at auction for a T208 baseball card.

Also noteworthy were:

A 1911 T208 Cullivan’s Fireside Eddie Collins PSA VG-EX+ 4.5 that went for $47,400;

A 1911 T208 Cullivan’s Fireside “Chief” Bender PSA VG 3 that sold for $11,850;

A 1911 T208 Cullivan’s Fireside “Home Run” Baker PSA VG 3 (MK) realized a final price of $8,295.

“It’s really is a privilege to bring collections of this caliber to the hobby,” said Allen. “Moving forward, Legendary Auctions anticipates finalizing more great consignments that include new hobby material from both athletes and private collections in the near future.”

Other auction standouts

While items from collections may have stolen the Legendary Auctions spotlight, they were by no means the entire show. Other top-performing highlights in the historical and entertainment memorabilia category include:

The Beatles 1964 signed British Rail menu card obtained during the filming of “A Hard Day’s Night” sold for $7,703;

A significant 1959 Lee Harvey Oswald ALS to his mother – content reveals his frame of mind as he leaves U.S. after Marine Corps discharge – sold for $5,925;

An Abraham Lincoln 1863 Signed Military Appointment sold for $5,333;

An exceptional and complete “Mercury 7” signed photograph (7 signatures) including Gus Grissom realized a final price of $5,036;

A Beatles 1963 signed album page realized a final price of $4,740;

And a Beatles circa 1962 signed promo card picturing Pete Best on the front but signed by Ringo and the band on the back sold for $4,740.

For additional details regarding the results of the Legendary Auctions November sale or to pre-register to bid or consign an item in future sales, call Legendary Auctions at 708-889-9380 or visit

Photos courtesy Legendary Auctions.


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