NEW YORK — An original studio cabinet style photograph of Mike “King” Kelly, signed, from 1887 sold for a hammer price of $199,500 during a sale of works from the National Pastime Museum. The collection on display by the National Pastime Museum was the life work of the late Judge Frank Ceresi, who brought a marvelous focus to collecting, preserving and protecting items pertaining to early Negro League baseball, Shoeless Joe Jackson and, generally, vintage players of the vintage game. Ceresi died two years ago. The museum exists with its online presence. The Christie’s Auction was hammered for a total of $7.13 million.
The two-day sale, conducted at Rockefeller Center by Christie’s, ended Oct. 20. Vintage game-used bats tallied huge numbers, starting with Jackson’s bat at $583,500.
An Adrian “Cap” Anson pro model bat sold for $427,500. A George Sisler game-used bat sold for $137,500. A Walter Johnson game-used bat sold for $118,750. A Babe Ruth game bat sold for $100,000. A Jimmie Foxx game-used bat sold for $93,750; a Foxx-signed ball $20,000. An Eddie Collins game-used bat sold for $52,500; a Joe Tinker game-used bat sold for $50,000. A Grover Cleveland Alexander game-used bat sold for $47,500. A Frank “Home Run” Baker bat sold for $40,000.
A Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown single-signed baseball fetched $43,750.
A Joe Jackson-signed bill of sale sold for $81,250. A Bill Dickey game-used bat sold for $35,000.
Among other items that sold in the sale that grossed more than $8 million were:
• A Christy Walsh Syndicate signed photo before the opening of the 1929 Series, signed by Ruth, Cobb, Hornsby, Mack, McCarthy, McGraw, $16.250;
• Lefty Grove pro model bat, 27,500;
• A Ned Hanlon signed contract for $27,500;
• The purported final out ball from the 1909 World Series between Pitsburgh and Detroit for $21,250;
• A letter signed by Rube Foster for $15,000; and
• A photograph of the 1914 Providence Grays, featuring a 19-year-old Babe Ruth, sold for $47,500.