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Early sports contracts coming before bidders Feb. 20

An archive of contracts and paperwork associated with the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings ball club, largely considered the first professional baseball team, is featured in Heritage Auctions' Feb. 20 Platinum Sports Auction.

NEW YORK – Four extraordinary private collections of fresh to the hobby vintage sports memorabilia

Leonard contract

Andy Leonard Boston Red Stockings player's contract, 1872-73, signed by Leonard & Harry Wright. (All photos courtesy Heritage Auctions)

will prove, once again, that Heritage Auctions is the premier source for prime, one-of-a-kind sports material when the company holds its’ Platinum Sports Auction at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion in New York on Feb. 20, 2016.

“It’s often said that one is judged by the company he keeps,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Heritage Sports Collectibles. “This is special company we’re keeping in this auction, a cast of sports immortals spanning nearly a century and a half.”

The grandson of Andy Leonard – a member of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings ball club, the team widely considered to be the first professional baseball club – has consigned an extraordinary archive of baseball contracts and other paperwork dating back to the sport’s infancy, while Green Bay Packers legend Jerry Kramer supplies an array of game worn uniforms, contracts and awards, including both his jersey and his Championship ring from Super Bowl I.

The family of New York Yankees fan favorite Bobby Murcer has consigned Murcer’s keepsakes of a life’s service to the Majors, with Championship rings, game used gear and much more, while father and son Bill and Dave Christian offer their personal treasures from Olympic Ice Hockey Gold Medal heroics in 1960 and the glorious 1980 “Miracle on Ice,” respectively.

Two legendary members of the New York Yankees pantheon lend star power to several highlight lots from the balance of the auction:

Lou Gehrig’s Triple Crown season of 1934 is recalled with both the signed player’s contract that secured the services of the Iron Horse for that glorious campaign and The Sporting News’ trophy recognizing Gehrig as Most Valuable Player of the American League. The “Luckiest Man” is likewise celebrated with a pair of pinstriped uniform pants worn as he guided the New York Yankees to victory in the 1936 World Series.

The earliest days of the career of Mickey Mantle are documented in this New York Platinum Night

Kramer jersey

Jerry Kramer Super Bowl I 1967 game-worn Green Bay Packers Jersey.

event, beginning with the 1949 contract that the 17-year old slugger signed the day of his high school graduation to legalize scouting by the Yankees. It’s the first contract Mantle ever signed. Also on offer is the earliest known payroll check from Mantle’s service to the franchise, and an array of 1952 Topps cards, the most important cardboard of the post-war era.

Iconic sports artist LeRoy Neiman is represented with no fewer than eight original works, further securing Heritage’s status as the leading venue for his creations. Subjects include such residents of the athletic pantheon as Mickey Mantle, Bobby Orr, Muhammad Ali, Joe DiMaggio and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Further highlights include, but are not limited to:

• 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente #164 PSA Mint 9: Estimate $200,000+

• 1933 Babe Ruth Signed Last Will and Testament: Estimate $150,000+

• 1903 World Series Game Three Program (Boston Americans): Estimate $100,000+

• 1920 Babe Ruth Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9: Estimate $100,000+

• 1927 New York Yankees Team Signed Baseball: Estimate $80,000+

• 1960 Rome Summer Olympics Final Torch of the Flame Relay: Estimate $60,000+

• 1956 Duke Snider Game Worn Brooklyn Dodgers Jersey: Estimate $50,000+

• 1973 New York Mets National League Championship Ring Presented to Willie Mays: Estimate $50,000+

World Series contract

1903 World Series game three program (Boston Americans vs Pittsburgh Pirates)

• 1939 Hall of Fame Grand Opening Program Signed by 10 Members of Inaugural Induction Class: Estimate $50,000+

• 1991-92 Michael Jordan Game Worn Chicago Bulls Jersey with Berto Mourning Band, MEARS A10: Estimate $40,000+

• 1987 Phil Simms Super Bowl XXI Game Worn New York Giants Jersey: Estimate: $20,000+

• 1971-72 Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl VI Championship Ring Presented to Defensive End Tody Smith: Estimate $20,000+

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