Thanks to a Laguna Niguel company, you can swing the bat last used by Lou Gehrig as a Yankee, slide on "Dr. J" Julius Erving's NBA championship ring or slip into the trunks Muhammad Ali wore in one of his memorable fights against Smokin' Joe Frazier.
Of course, to do so, you have to be the highest bidder in SCP Auctions memorabilia auction for these and several other items going on the block today.
Photos, trophies and game-used items from the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Cochrane and 19th century baseball icon Mike "King" Kelly are also part of the 763-item lot.
Specifically, you'll find:
- An autographed banquet program featuring a photo of "King" Kelly that SCP calls "possibly the greatest 19th Century baseball autograph find in hobby history . . . It has been estimated that the number of authentic 'King' Kelly autographs known to exist can be counted on two hands . . ." It's been sitting in the Elks Lodge memorabilia collection for years;
- Hall of Fame catcher Cochrane's 1934 American League Most Valuable Player trophy; his personal team-signed 1929 Philadelphia Athletics panoramic photograph; and a four-page handwritten letter and related telegram from Ty Cobb to Cochrane referencing Coca-Cola franchising;
- Ali's iconic blood-red velvet trunks worn during his first bout with Frazier dubbed the "Fight of the Century." The trunks originally belonged to the estate of Drew Bundini Brown, a long-time assistant for The Greatest;
- Gehrig's 1938-39 game-used bat, one of the last professional models made for him by the craftsmen at Hillerich & Bradsby. He hit his last two home runs in a New York Yankees uniform with the bat that wound up in the estate of actor Bing Russell, the father of Kurt Russell. Experts at SCP describe the bat as the single finest piece of Gehrig memorabilia they've handled in the company's 32-year history. There's also DiMaggio's game-used bat autographed by the 1941 Yankees team and a Babe Dahlgren 1938-39 game-used bat from the estate of Bing Russell, who acquired them directly from the players and kept them in his family for years;
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
- Dr. J's 1974 and 1976 New York Nets ABA World Championship ring; 1983 Philadelphia 76ers World Championship ring; 1996 NBA's 50 Greatest Players ring; MVP trophies from 1975-76 (ABA) and 1980-81 (NBA); 1977 and 1983 NBA All-Star game MVP trophies; 1979, 1981 and 1985 Eastern Conference All-Star game-worn uniforms, 1982-83 Philadelphia 76ers game-worn road uniform; and his final game-worn jersey from Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference playoffs.
"On behalf of Julius Erving and his family, we are proud to offer what is certainly the most important and comprehensive basketball player collection ever brought to market," SCP president and CEO David Kohler says in a company statement. "The collection is being offered in two parts with part one highlighting our November 19 sale. Part two of the collection will be featured in our December Monthly Auction. We share in the Erving family's wish that fans and collectors will cherish and preserve these items as they have for many years."
"I am very excited to work with SCP auctions to offer my personal collection of memorabilia to collectors and fans," Erving says in the same statement. "It is my hope that the buyers of these items will derive much pleasure from their ownership. I also hope these treasures initiate much discussion inside and outside of basketball circles that help to preserve my legacy. It pleases me to support my lifelong charity, the Salvation Army, with a portion of the proceeds. My family and I thank all of the fans for their continued support throughout the years."
Bidding concludes Saturday, Nov. 19. For more information on how to participate, visit SCP Auctions.