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View Full Version : Holy Smokes!!! $400,000+ for one item??


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08-27-2003, 04:34 PM
Posted By: <b>Halleygator&nbsp; </b><p><a href="http://www.mastronet.com/index.cfm?action=DisplayContent&ContentName=Lot%20Information&LotIndex=31948&CurrentRow=1" target=_new>http://www.mastronet.com/index.cfm?action=DisplayContent&ContentName=Lot%20Information&LotIndex=31948&CurrentRow=1</a><BR><BR>I don't know if this link will work ... but the bidding for the Trophy Ball case in the current Mastro auction is up to $411,000 !!<BR><BR>I am sure it will go even HIGHER as the end draws near!!<BR><BR>(And remember, I promised NOT to outbid the guy for this if you don't outbid me for the 1873 Boston card) <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14>

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08-27-2003, 10:09 PM
Posted By: <b>Brian Hodes</b><p>Really it seems like it belongs in the Hall of Fame to me. There are several other items that I believe belong with me ....

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08-27-2003, 11:07 PM
Posted By: <b>julie</b><p>But is it real, or is it...

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08-28-2003, 12:20 AM
Posted By: <b>Hankron</b><p>Julie, you should buy the lot and have a dutch auction on eBay. "Divorced the husband. Trophy balls must go."

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08-28-2003, 09:24 AM
Posted By: <b>Jay Miller</b><p>The funny thing is that there is already an ammendment to the lot description which states that the case may not be period. I've already heard rumblings through the grapevine that if the case is not period then the balls may not be period either. Seems like alot of money to bid on an item with some questions associated with it. Then again, that never stopped bidders on the PSA8 Wagner.

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08-28-2003, 09:37 AM
Posted By: <b>Halleygator</b><p>This thing really does belong in the Hall of Fame.<BR><BR>Does the HOF have some sort of philanthropy trust fund that they use to purchase memorable items ... or do they just rely on gifts??<BR><BR>Anyone know?

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08-28-2003, 09:52 AM
Posted By: <b>Rich Klein</b><p>a FOR-PROFIT organization run by the Clark family that has made a living for years on creating an impression that they are only doing this for the continuing good of baseball preservation. (No, I'm not bitter in any way)<BR><BR>So, since they had all those years where they were able to live on donations without much competition, it is really difficult for them to compete in today's world where many private collectors with plenty of means want to keep rare cherished items.<BR><BR>Ergo, unless the HOF wants to start spending $$ on choice material, they are totally at the mercy of players, teams, and even collectors who are willing to donate items to them.<BR><BR>It will be interesting to see if the HOF ever starts having to pony up for items to see what will happen.<BR><BR>Rich

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08-28-2003, 11:34 AM
Posted By: <b>runscott</b><p>I guess the description says it all: "It is almost inconceivable that this case, with all of the balls still beautifully preserved in their near pristine state, has remained hidden from the public's eye for all these many years."<BR><BR>It is interesting that people will pay so much for items that have little or no provenance. It seems like owning these types of things is more of a status symbol and it's more important that everyone THINK you own something unique and original, than it is for you to know with certainly that the item is legit.<BR><BR>Also, what if someone created this sometime later in the 19th century, to commemorate the outstanding performance of the 1869 Red Stockings? This seems like a perfect way to do so - find a bunch of balls, paint them, write the scores of the games on them, create a trophy case. Wallah! Actually, I might try this myself. Point being - where is the provenance?

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08-28-2003, 11:55 AM
Posted By: <b>runscott</b><p>I won an item from Mastro two years ago, and received a paper trail of associated provenance (without asking). So I'm guessing the winner of the 1869 Red Stockings Trophy will get the same sort of thing (signed letters indicating who owned it, for how long, etc.)<BR><BR>But I'm curious - if this item was unknown for so long, then presumably the description came from the current owner. How did the part about the case not being original not make it into the original auction description? Did the current owner just forget about it, or did a cabinet expert identify some quality of the case to determine it was of more recent manufacture? Again, I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation, and anyone willing to bid half a mill will be talking with Mastro and will get the scoop. <BR><BR>BTW, I don't know what the fuss is about the current catalog - I see loads of great stuff. I am also very impressed with the Ramly set description which mentions that PSA wouldn't grade some of the cards, though Mastro thought they were fine.

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08-28-2003, 01:24 PM
Posted By: <b>Jay Miller</b><p>Scott---What I have heard is that a potential bidder/bidders had the cabinet looked at by experts who indicated that there were doubts as to whether it was period. The more I look at that cabinet the more I believe it looks like the top of a grandfather clock. I have a grandfather clock at home that has a removeable top piece that is very close in appearance to that cabinet. <BR>Does anyone here know how a trophy ball is authenticated? Why couldn't the piece have been made as a commemorative later in the 1800's or in the early 1900's?<BR>If the cabinet is not period it makes one wonder about that paper attached to its back with all the scores.

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08-28-2003, 02:05 PM
Posted By: <b>PSAKID</b><p>I don't care who wins this item as long as it's not one of the major card companies who will proceed to cut it up into tiny pieces for their soon to be worthless insert cards.

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08-28-2003, 10:42 PM
Posted By: <b>Tom Boblitt</b><p>agree on HOF pony'ing up........the Halper wing was bought by MLB for about $5M if I remember correctly and then placed into the HOF. I've heard that the HOF takes interest in some of these items but I'm sure their funds are somewhat limited as well. This might be one of those items that they 'unbuckle' on though given the purported historical value.<BR><BR>And......about authenticity......I viewed the trophy ball case in Atlantic City. It was a fantastic piece......the cabinet is interesting, and I agree with Jay that it looks like a grandfather clock top. The wierd thing about the case was the little photo in the front. It looked like a newspaper clipping or something. And......how hard would it be to 'create' something like this......? Wasn't there a forger in Cincinnati in the early 1990's that was creating game used Ruth Jerseys and autographed Ruth/Gehrig and other items? Who's to say that someone couldn't have created this item? Not that I think that's what happened. Is it completely implausible that someone could do it?

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08-29-2003, 10:11 AM
Posted By: <b>Jay Miller</b><p>I still have not seen an answer to the question of how a trophy ball is authenticated. Does anyone know the answer or with a little paint and an old cricket ball could I make one of these? Oh yah---I need a rusty nail too.

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08-29-2003, 10:55 AM
Posted By: <b>Brian H</b><p>While the HOF may only have a limited amount of cash on hand, the HOF has a collection that is worth untold millions. Sure some of the big items could never be sold but I bet some significant percentage of the stuff (think of all of the bats and balls alone !) is not restricted and could theoretically be sold if the HOF wanted to generate some cash for purchases such as this trophy (assuming, of course, that it is legit).<BR><BR>Or the winner could simply lend it to the HOF for display purposes.

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08-29-2003, 10:59 AM
Posted By: <b>runscott</b><p>You need a paper trail that stops at all previous owners, hopefully leading back to a family member of one of the ball players. There have been a number of baseballs in auctions that I wanted, but the provenance wasn't there - I was especially interested in some pre-wwI "no-hitter" balls. There were always great stories that went along with them, but they were also exactly the stories a scammer would have created. "right-fielder caught the ball for the final out, everyone mobbed the pitcher, presented the ball to him after the game and it's been with the family ever since." Heck, the right-fielder could have kept the real ball and sub'd a practice ball! Or a child could have used the ball for a pick-up game (this has really happened) and then his brother found a replacement before mom and dad got home.

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08-29-2003, 11:15 AM
Posted By: <b>runscott</b><p><img src="http://www.grandfatherclocks.com/clockpops/north/images/02_full_.jpg">

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08-29-2003, 11:26 AM
Posted By: <b>Jimmy Leiderman</b><p><img src="http://www.network54.com/Realm/tmp/1062082435.JPG"><BR><BR>According to early newspaper accounts the (Keystone - June 22nd, 45-30) match was played with a "ROSS" type ball.<BR><BR>I don't know if the "Ross" ball was indeed a Cricket ball.<BR><BR>About the 1872 Red Stockings fund raiser auction:<BR><BR>Here are two accounts from the Cincinnati Enquirer.<BR><BR>(4-13-1872 Enquirer) "PERSONAL PROPERTY OF THE CBBC AT AUCTION - At 3:30 at <BR>the Union Grounds...Flags, banners, uniforms, bats, score-books, silverware, <BR>medals and all trophies and balls won by said club. Also, one lawn mower, <BR>lamps, tables, chairs, six stoves and pipe, 33 pairs of skates, picks, brooms, <BR>shovels, scythes, 70 large steamboat reflecting lanterns, and all other<BR>personal <BR>property belonging to the Union Grounds.<BR><BR>(4-14-72 Enquirer) "DEPARTED GLORY - Sale of the Red Stocking Traps and <BR>Trophies - In the glorious April sunlight of yesterday afternoon a little knot<BR>of men gathered at the old Union Grounds to witness the disposal at auction of the 'traps and trophies' of the Cincinnati Base Ball Club, whose sobriquet 'Red Stocking'--the synonym of victory--was once on every tongue. A red flag fluttered drearily from 'The Grand Duchess,' where the never-lowered streamer 'Cincinnati' was wont to proudly flaunt the breeze, and the words at the entrance gate, 'Members must show their tickets,' had grown meaningless. Of all the ten thousand fair women and stalwart men who would have gathered around that 'diamond field,' the handsomest ball grounds in the country, one year ago, had so fair an afternoon favored the playing of 'the first great match-game of the season,' only a few representative spirits were present. Champion and Joyce ..were of course on the ground. Jack, always mercurial, let the blues overcome him, and soon retired. Mr. Champion bravely assisted the auctioneer through his dreary work of knocking down the 'traps' of the Club, mostly for a song. <BR>The lumber had previously been disposed of, and it was only when the sale of the trophies came that the auction assumed any interest. The following is the <BR>melancholy record of the latter, Mr. T.G. Smith, Al Corre, John Sullivan and other being among the purchasers:<BR>Pitcher and goblets won in Tournament of 1867, $40<BR>Gold Medal, Tournament of 1866, $30<BR>Mutual, 2-4 ball, of 1869, $10<BR>Athletic, 25-27 ball, of 1870, $5<BR>Mutual, 12-15 ball, of 1870, $4<BR>Haymaker, 32-38 [sic] ball, of 1869, $3.50<BR>Eckford, 5-26 ball, of 1869, $3<BR>Athletic, 18-27 ball, of 1869, $3<BR>Buckeye, 10-28 ball, of 1868, $2<BR>Forest City of Rockford, 14-15, 1869, $2<BR>Other balls of Harvard, Stars, Marylands, National, Olympics, Forest City of <BR>Cleveland, and other prominent Clubs, from $1 to $3.<BR>Streamer of 1869, $7.<BR>Streamer of 1870, $5.<BR>It was nearly dusk before the sale was concluded, and when the sun went down behind the hills it left, in the half-dismantled 'Union Grounds,' as fitting <BR>an illustration of 'departed glory' as pen could wish, were space at command wherein to draw the contrast between the field days of the first nine and the <BR>last scene to be viewed in the twilight from 'The Grand Duchess.'"<BR><BR>from Lee Allen, "Baseball's Immortal Red Stockings": "The last chapter of <BR>the story of the Red Stockings took place at Cincinnati on October 25, 1916. <BR>when the tokens and relics of the historic team were sold at public auction. <BR>Included were a group picture of the team, a faded uniform, three of the <BR>original baseballs used in 1869, the cap of Asa Brainard, and a rubber<BR>mouthpiece <BR>used by Allison, the catcher.<BR> At the Stacey auction rooms on Gilbert Avenue, these sentimental relics <BR>were sold by the estate of Harry Ellard, who had guarded them until his dying <BR>day. There were two principal bidders: Garry Herrmann, who wanted the<BR>mementos <BR>for the office of the Reds; and William C. Kennett, Jr., son of a man who <BR>served the Reds as president in 1880. Such sentiment as Herrmann felt could<BR>not <BR>compete with the bidding of Kennett, who purchased the souvenirs. They were <BR>later destroyed in a fire at his home. <BR> But one reminder of the glorious story escaped. The old clock that ticked <BR>away the hours in the office of the club is now [at Cooperstown; note from DB: <BR>Tom Shieber corroborates this--they have it]. It was kept by the family of <BR>Aaron B. Champion and donated...in 1960 by Robert Champion Rowe. <BR> In a letter [to Allen] Aaron Burt Champion Rowe, a descendant of the <BR>president of the RS, recently wrote:<BR> 'In October of 1919 as my grandmother (Mrs. A.B. Champion) lay dying, she <BR>in some of her lucid moments hoped to hear of the Cin Reds winning a World's <BR>Series. She died just before the final game and she never knew of the scandal <BR>that followed. But downstairs in the kitchen of that house the old clock was <BR>ticking out those fateful moments. When we moved in 1924, the clock was taken <BR>down.'"<BR><BR>*The newspaper accounts were copied from Darryl Brock's messages on the SABR 19c Baseball eGroup forum.*<BR><BR>The 19cBB eGroup is open for SABR and Non-SABR members<BR><a href="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/19cBB" target=_new>http://groups.yahoo.com/group/19cBB</a>/<BR>

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08-29-2003, 11:36 AM
Posted By: <b>Tom Boblitt</b><p><b><i>compete with the bidding of Kennett, who purchased the souvenirs. They were later destroyed in a fire at his home. But one reminder of the glorious story escaped.</i></b><BR><BR>Anyone seen 'Consipracy Theory' with Mel Gibson?

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08-29-2003, 12:52 PM
Posted By: <b>petecld</b><p>Maybe I'm asking too much here but shouldn't someone at Mastro have done this kind of research BEFORE they offered this item?

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08-29-2003, 01:04 PM
Posted By: <b>petecld</b><p>Sorry, I know David is the only one who is supposed to respond to their own posts but I forgot something. . . <img src="/images/wink.gif" height=14 width=14> <BR><BR>Jimmy Leiderman - Nice research. How long did it take you to find the information you did?

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08-29-2003, 02:41 PM
Posted By: <b>runscott</b><p>The five missing balls from the Eastern tour were supposedly mounted along the top of the trophy case, and were probably the ones from the Eastern tour that aren't currently in the case, per Mastro:<BR><BR>Troy (June 6th)<BR>Mutuals (June 15)<BR>Atlantics (June 16th) and sold previous by Mastro<BR>Eckfords (June 17th)<BR>Athletics (June 21). <BR><BR>It makes sense that at the 1872 auction, they would have sold individual trophy balls not part of a display (other than from the 21-ball Eastern tour), but it also makes sense that they might have taken the five balls off the top of the trophy case, which would not have affected the visual appearance. As Jimmy's research shows, among the 1869 balls sold at the 1872 auction were the following four from the Eastern tour, plus one from Forest City of Rockford. Among the five missing from the trophy, only the Atlantics is not listed as part of the 1872 sale, and that's the ball that the current consignor claims was also nailed to the case. So everything lines up nicely...but this assumes that the current case is the same one that the balls were in prior to the 1872 sale.<BR><BR>Mutual, 2-4 <BR>Haymaker (Troy), 32-38 [sic]<BR>Eckford, 5-26 <BR>Athletic, 18-27 ball<BR>Forest City of Rockford, 14-15<BR><BR>Also, the stuff that burned in the fire did not appear to include any balls.