Baseball Hall-of-Famers Mazeroski, Musial Auctions each Realize $1 Million-Plus
by Gregory Watkins (11/11/13).
Bill Mazeroski’s 1960 Game 7 uniform—the one he was wearing when he hit a walk-off home run to give the Pittsburgh Pirates the World Series championship over the New York Yankees—sold for $632,500 on Saturday.
Baseball collectibles auctions always generate interest, but this last weekend, two auctions in particular were the focus of the sports memorabilia world as items belonging to a pair of Hall-of-Famer went on the block.
First, at the 10th Annual Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory Live Auction in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, more than 200 pieces of Pittsburgh Pirates history owned by Hall of Fame second baseman Bill Mazeroski came up for auction, including the uniform he wore in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series when he hit a walk-off home run to give the Pirates the title over the New York Yankees.
The auction realized a total of $1,709,892, including $632,500 (including buyer’s premium) for the 1960 Game 7 uniform that was purchased, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, by a buyer representing a client with “strong ties to Pittsburgh.”
The home run, which many call the “greatest home run ever,” ended with Mazeroski swinging his batting helmet in the air as he rounds second base and him getting mobbed by teammates and fams as he jumped on home plate.
Chuck Thompson’s play-by-play call is one for the ages: “In one of the most dramatic finishes in history, Bill Mazeroski has hit his second World Series home run over the left field barrier 406 feet away and the Pirates are the 1960 world champions of baseball… You can employ a lot of script writers and pay a lot of money, but try to write a better finish to a ballgame or a more exciting one.”
“I was completely overwhelmed and humbled by the auction of my sports memorabilia collection that I witnessed,” Mazeroski said in a statement. “I had no idea the tremendous value of these treasures I have held on to all these years.”
Mazeroski, 77, played for the Pirates from 1956-72 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001. He played on two championship teams in 1960 against the New York Yankees and 1971 when the Pirates beat the defending champion Baltimore Orioles in seven games.
The bronzed bat that Mazeroski used to hit the walk-off home run in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series brought for $322,000
While the 1960 Game 7 uniform was the auction’s top lot, several other items in the auction garnered large hammer prices:
• The bronzed bat that Mazeroski used to hit the walk-off home run in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series brought for $322,000;
• Mazeroski’s Gold Glove Awards from 1958, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1967 brought $193,775;
• Mazeroski’s bronzed spikes from Game 7 of the 1960 World Series brought $97,750;
• A Roberto Clemente bat given to Mazeroski brought $86,250;
In terms of the most valuable sports uniform ever to auction, the Game 7 Mazeroski uniform what sold for $632,500 ranks near the uniform worn by Mike Eruzione, the captain of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, during the “Miracle on Ice” victory over the Soviet Union in the semifinals of the 1980 Olympics, which sold for $657,250.
A jersey that Babe Ruth wore in his first season with the Yankees garnered $4.4 million at auction last year.
Stan the Man Memorabilia
Stanley Frank “Stan” Musial played outfielder and later first base for the St. Louis Cardinals for 22 seasons, from 1941 through 1963. On Saturday, dozens of baseball fans—presumably several Cardinal fans included—bid on more than 400 lots of Musial memorabilia at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. The month-long auction realized $1.2 million, much more than original presale estimates.
This 2011 St. Louis Cardinals World Series ring given to Stan Musial sold for $191,200.
The ring was personalized to Musial, showing his uniform number, 6, in a home plate border.
Musial died in January at age 92. According to the Associated Press, his family kept most of his belongings but grandson Brian Schwarze said Musial’s four-bedroom home was stuffed with so many things he’d collected over the years that relatives decided on an auction.
An autographed, game-worn Musial road jersey from the 1948 season—the year he won the National League MVP—hammered for $53,775.
Among the more interested items in the Musial collection was a complete set of 1959 Fleer Three Stooges trading cards set, which sold for $38.837.50.