New York, NY – There is a Baseball Hall of Fame in midtown Manhattan.
What’s unique about this one is that it entitles the public to purchase a piece of history from the Golden Era. Currently on exhibit at Christie’s Auction House, at 20 Rockefeller Plaza, is a display highlighting the Golden Age of Baseball and from now until next Wednesday the event is open to the public before a public auction that follows.
Christie’s, celebrating their 250th anniversary and not known for sports displays and auctions, picked the right time to unveil memorabilia and photos that were stored in a warehouse from an astute longtime fan of the game who prefers to not be mentioned.
Regardless, Simeon Lipman, with 22-years experience as a culture specialist with Christie’s is proud of the event. He is also a fan of baseball and it is October that culminates with the World Series and crowning a new champion.
“It encompasses the whole story of baseball,” he said during a walking tour of the halls that includes original and authentic memorabilia along with autographed photos. “From the earliest days to the semi pro teams to the major leagues. The whole story is there. The history of baseball.”
The donor of original items, that will be auctioned next Wednesday and Thursday over the years had apparent access and associates that assisted with his rare collection. And not like other baseball fanatics that won’t part with history he opened the door to a unique and special viewing of what is up for sale.
There are items and original contracts signed, a history of women who have played the game, the Negro Leagues, Cuban baseball and of course it is New York. Two of the bats the Yankees Derek Jeter used in a four-hit game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2001 World Series are signed and will be on auction.
“The collector was democratic in his collecting,” Lipman said. “You don’t see that too often.” Meaning there is a diversity that rivals the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
One in particular is a stand out photo that is autographed by the late Roberto Clemente. And a Cuban player from 1910, Christopher Torrinte. And much about the “Babe” as Ruth photos that are rare along with a minor league photo as a brief member with the 1914 Providence Grays.
“Shoeless” Joe Jackson and his “Black Betsie Bat” one of two he used in 1917 and 1920,” Lipman said. “The 250 best I felt are here that told the story.”
That also includes the legendary Jackie Robinson and many of that classic memorabilia and photographs, the Clemente signed contract and rookie baseball card, Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige Puerto Rican League contracts.
More about the “Golden Age of Baseball” at Christie’s can be obtained at Christies.com.