This article was originally printed in Antique Trader
Hundreds of collectibles from Tommy John’s illustrious career, Thurman Munson’s 1979 mask and helmet, autobiographies signed by Nelson Mandela and Ronald Reagan and more than 100 card lots, many PSA-graded, headline Collectible Classics’ CCA29 auction, which is open now and closes May 26.
Licensed in Pennsylvania as an auction company, the firm specializes in “collector-sized” affordable lots.
More than 100 lots from John’s collection are open for bidding. Among the highlights are his California Angels uniform, his 1979 All-Star ring, an autographed game-used baseball from his 200th victory, eight signed game-used balls from his 11 wins in 1972, a letter signed by Frank Jobe, creator of “Tommy John” surgery, autographed items dating to his childhood and trophies, awards and unique memorabilia.
John’s collection is the source of the Munson mask and helmet, and a game baseball autographed by the Yankee catcher as well. Many of his items come with a hand-signed letter of authenticity.
The John collection covers a broad spectrum of collectibles, including various sports and entertainment. Other key lots are a signed game-used baseball from Gaylord Perry’s 300th win; a baseball signed to John by Josh Hamilton as a teenager and a Wayne Gretzky autographed hockey stick.
Collectible Classics will present additional material from John’s collection in future auctions.
Two important autobiographies from other consignors are part of the sale: “The Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela and “Ronald Reagan: An American Life.” The book by South African leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient is the Easton Press limited-edition leather-bound version. Reagan signed the book, rather than the more common bookplate insert, and dated his signature Oct. 29, 1992.
Cards are always a significant part of Collectible Classics’ auctions. CCA29 includes partial or complete Topps sets for 1955-62, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970-72 and 1975 (mini).
Featured single cards include an N172 Old Judge Chief Zimmer, a 1907 Morgan Stationery Red Belt example, a 1910 E103 Williams Caramel Co. Lajoie, a rare 1930 La Presse newspaper supplement of Hack Wilson and a 1973 Laughlin Super Stand-Up Joe DiMaggio signed by Bob Laughlin PSA graded a number of the cards, including a 1926-29 Lou Gehrig postcard-back exhibit.
Bidders will find more than 75 other autograph lots, almost all authenticated for Collectible Classics by Kevin Keating. Among them are 1929 New York Yankees and 1947 Philadelphia Athletics team-signed baseballs.
Uncommon collectibles include two 1915 PM1 ornate-frame baseball pins, one with Christy Mathewson, and the other, Ed Konetchy.
Football collectors will find a scarce autograph of 1941 Heisman Trophy winner Bruce Smith and a separate photo signed by 10 of his teammates. Boxing fans can choose from a 1948 Leaf partial set, autographs of Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney, and five autographs of Muhammad Ali, one as Cassius Clay on a 1963 “I Am the Greatest!” picture sleeve. Autographs of more than 75 members of the Basketball Hall of Fame are part of the auction. Many are at the conclusion of letters describing the significance of being selected for the Hall of Fame. Hockey fans will find hockey sticks autographed by Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis and Jaromir Jagr.
For non-sport collectors, the auction has a 1910 S55 “Bathing Girls” set, a 1910 S66 “Indian Portraits” set, a 1930s Mutoscope “Bandleaders” set, a 1953 Topps “World on Wheels” set and a 1956 Davy Crockett orange back near set with several cards PSA graded.
Finally, for followers of the U.S. space program, the auction offers an Earth Rise jar handcrafted by the wife of astronaut Owen Garriott, and a Buzz Aldrin-signed replica of the plaque left on the Moon in 1969.
Online at Collectibles Classics, the sale presents 463 lots of sports and non-sports collectibles.
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