Press Release - September 9, 2009

"Lost" Hobby Relics Unearthed for Finest Heritage Sports Auction to Date

Never-before-seen artifacts from Cassius Clay, Joe DiMaggio, Lenny Dykstra and Chicago Blackhawks star Harold "Mush" March anchor incredible offering of unique hobby treasures, Oct. 1-2

Dallas, TX -- Heritage Auction Galleries’ Sports Collectibles division (HSC) will present a stunning array of vintage sports memorabilia and trading cards in its upcoming Oct. 1-2 Signature Sports Memorabilia Auction at the company's Uptown Dallas headquarters.

"Heritage has a well-deserved reputation for unearthing ‘fresh’ material for our Signature auctions," said Chris Ivy, Director of Heritage Auction Galleries’ Sports Collectibles division. "We’ve clearly lived up to that reputation for this sale."

A trio of handwritten letters from the man who would become Muhammad Ali has been consigned to this auction directly from an early training partner of the boxer universally beloved as The Greatest Of All Time.

"Clay writes about the approaching 1960 Olympics in Rome in one letter and about his first professional bout in another, as well as a young lady he couldn’t forget," Ivy said. "They’re the earliest Ali letters we’ve ever encountered, and the content couldn’t be any more desirable."

From a forgotten archive of legal paperwork emerges the staggering find of four Joe DiMaggio signed Yankees contracts from the 1940s.

"It’s a pretty safe bet that no auction has ever provided this quantity of contracts from one of baseball’s greatest names," Ivy said. "We’ve even got the contract from DiMaggio's 1947 MVP season."

In a story ripped from today’s sports and financial headlines, the tumultuous saga of purported financial genius Lenny Dykstra comes to Heritage as the pawn shop which loaned the former Mets and Phillies star money for his Championship rings and historic home run baseballs is forced to sell these artifacts at auction to recoup the unpaid ticket.

"A year ago, Dykstra was considered one of the great financial geniuses of our time," Ivy said. "Today he’s yet another in a long list of fallen business titans." The son of early Chicago Blackhawks great Harold "Mush" March provides the treasures of his father’s career for advanced hockey collectors.

"Best in the collection are the puck’s netted by March to win the 1934 Stanley Cup in sudden death overtime, and to record the first goal in the history of Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens," Ivy explained.

Other spectacular pieces making their hobby debut with the October Auction include a matched pair of Carl Horner composite photographs memorializing the combatants of the first World Series in 1903; an exceedingly rare 1913 Chicago Cubs team signed baseball and an incredible cabinet photograph of "Shoeless Joe" Jackson as a member of the 1908 Greenville minor league team where he got his professional start.

The most important Babe Ruth game used bat in the hobby, dating to his 1918 World Championship campaign with the Boston Red Sox, adds heft to this historic sale, as do game worn jerseys from legends of the sport like Bob Gibson, Eddie Mathews, Don Drysdale, Tony Conigliaro, Yogi Berra, Ozzie Smith, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Guy Lafleur, Bryan Trottier, Roger Staubach, Eric Dickerson and more.

Not to be outdone, the trading card portion of the auction, presented in an Extended Bidding format on Thursday October 1st, is anchored by the spectacular “Freedom Collection of Elite Baseball Trading Cards,” featuring 40 of the rarest and most remarkably preserved Hall of Fame representations in the hobby.

Heritage likewise presents the final installment of the Jeff Hull Collection of Early Boxing Cards, widely considered to be the finest privately held compilation of late 19th and early 20th century boxing cards on earth.

"This auction is further proof that the most cultured collectors in the hobby recognize the superior marketing strength of Heritage, which is particularly crucial for reaching the bidders for material like this, which is anything but run-of-the-mill," Ivy said. Other noteworthy finds within Session One of this Signature Auction include 1872 CDVs of Albert Spalding and the Wright Brothers, T206 rarities of Eddie Plank and Ty Cobb with a Ty Cobb back, the first 1928 Harrington’s Earl Smith-Green Ink redemption example ever to be offered at public auction and a near set of 1927 Honey Boy Ice Cream cards. All genres, from tobacco to candy, to bubble gum and beyond, are proudly represented.

"Sports fans around the world are going to want to participate in this auction," Ivy said, "and I'd encourage everyone to visit our homepage at www.HA.com/Sports, where they'll see enlargeable, full-color images of each and every lot, complete with our thorough and informative catalog descriptions. They'll even have an opportunity to place bids online."

The trading card portion of the auction will end on Thursday, Oct. 1, in an Extended Bidding format, each lot closing individually after 30 minutes of bidding inactivity following the 10 p.m. CT cut-off. The memorabilia will be sold Oct. 2 in a Live auction format beginning at 12 noon CT, with bidders able to participate in person, by telephone, or online at www.HA.com/Live.

HSC specializes in rare and collectible sports cards, as well as uniforms, equipment, and related vintage sports memorabilia. Consignments for future Signature Sports Auctions are currently being accepted. Prospective consignors or sellers of quality vintage sports cards and sports memorabilia are encouraged to contact:

Chris Ivy at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1319 or email: Civy@HA.com

Mike Gutierrez at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1183 or email: MikeG@HA.com

Lee Iskowitz at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1601 or email: LeeI@HA.com

Mark Jordan at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1187 or email: MarkJ@HA.com

Jonathan Scheier at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1314 or email: JonathanS@HA.com

Stephen Carlisle at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1292 or email: StephenC@HA.com

Peter Calderon at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1789 or email: PeterC@HA.com

For more information about Heritage's auctions, and a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit www.HA.com.

To reserve your copy of any Heritage auction catalog, please contact Client Services at 1-800-872-6467, ext. 1150, or visit www.HA.com/Catalog to order by email.

Heritage Auction Galleries is the world’s third largest auction house, and by far the largest auctioneer of rare collectibles, with annual sales more than $700 million, and 450,000+ registered online bidder members.

Want to get the up-to-the-minute updates and breaking news stories about Heritage? Get them as they happen at: www.Twitter.com/HeritagePress; www.Twitter.com/JimHalperin; Facebook: Heritage Auction Galleries. To view a compete archive of Heritage press releases go to: www.HA.com/PR. To link to this press release on your blog or Website: www.ha.com/PR-1729.

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