'Cap' Hanson smashes a World Record price at this month's Heritage auction

Baltimore was the setting for Heritage Auctions Signature Sports Collectibles auction platinum night on Thursday August 5, 2010.

Taking place inside the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards the sale was held in conjunction with the 2010 National Sports Collectors convention and attracted large crowds of baseball memorabilia collectors from across the country.

The signed picture of
Ruth and Gehrig

And the auction itself did not disappoint with rare signed collectibles reaching impressive sale prices at the event.

There were a total of almost 70 carefully selected pieces, with many coming from the famed Christy Walsh Collection.

Walsh was one of the first talent agents of American sports and as such amassed a historic and personal collection of memorabilia.

Amongst the top lots from this collection were two pieces from the "Sultan of Swat" himself, Babe Ruth.

The first was a signed photograph of Babe Ruth alongside the legendary Lou Gehrig. The personally autographed piece fetched a price of £53,540 ($83,650).

Similarly, a single baseball signed by Babe Ruth sold for £53,540 ($83,650). 

This price was not only identical to the figure reached for the signed photograph, but also near to the world record price for a sports memorabilia piece of this kind.

The Mathewson rookie car

Baseball trading cards also made news at the memorabilia sale with the auction of a rare Mathewson 1903 Breisch-Williams rookie card.

The piece was regarded as one of the most sought after rookie cards on the market and this particular Breisch-Williams issue is widely acknowledged as the first major set of the twentieth century.

It was little surprise then that the piece reached a final sale price of £76,487 ($119,500).

The top lot at the iconic auction, instead came from the hands of baseball legend Adrian "Cap" Anson.

Regarded as one of the first superstars of the professional game, the August auction offered collectors the chance to bid for the last game bat used by Anson in his glittering baseball career.

The final sale did not disappoint with the game used bat reaching a final figure of £183,570 ($286,800) setting a world record price for 19th century lumber.

And following the sale, Chris Ivy, the Director of Sports at Heritage Auctions was ecstatic:

"We had expected bidding competition to be fierce for this piece, but we nearly tripled our pre-auction estimate. The consignor is thrilled, to say the least, and we are as well."

Despite the problems of the traditional American financial markets, it would appear that there's never been a better time to invest in America's traditional sports.


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