Tuesday, April 28, 2009

REA: Dodgers

It is again time to highlight and review the hobbies best memorabilia and card auction company. Robert Edwards Auctions was built on a reputation of honesty, integrity and phenomenal products. They always seem to find the stuff worthy of entry into any museum. Over the next several days, as the auction winds down towards its close this coming weekend, I will point out several items of importance to us Dodger fans and Baseball fans everywhere.

I'll start this off with the key Dodger items in the auction. Unfortunately, it's a little light in True Blue memorabilia. No matter though, there is enough to make us gaze in amazement. Below is a truly scarce game-used uniform of Don Drysdale from the 1963 season. The description in the auction is priceless.
Don Drysdale game-used jerseys are among the rarest of all modern-era Hall of Famer players' jerseys. Their rarity is perhaps best communicated by the fact that, in addition to being the only example we have ever offered, this is the only Don Drysdale jersey ever graded by MEARS. Koufax and Drysdale together struck fear into opposing batters throughout the early to mid 1960s - especially Drysdale, who was well known for having selective "control issues" at times, especially when a "message" needed to be sent. The message was "Hit a home run against Don Drysdale at your own risk." Hitting batters was just part of Drysdale's arsenal of tricks to intimidate the opposition. Just the threat, and Drysdale's cavalier attitude, was more than enough. "I hate all hitters. I start a game mad and I stay that way until it's over." (Quotes by players were no more comforting: "Don Drysdale would consider an intentional walk a waste of three pitches. If he wants to put you on base, he can hit you with one pitch." -- Mike Shannon. "I hated to bat against Drysdale. After he hit you he'd come around, look at the bruise on your arm and say, 'Do you want me to sign it?'" -- Mickey Mantle). Drysdale scared a lot of batters, and probably hit more than a few, wearing this jersey enroute to one of his most successful seasons.
As of this writing it is already up to $12,000.00.

Here is a large 19.5" x 29.5" photo of Jackie Robinson that is believed to have, at one time, hung at Ebbets Field. The provenance is a bit shaky, but, unlike other auction houses, REA is upfront about what is known about it. It is at $1,000.00 currently.

I don't usually post up a lot of game-used bats in my post, but with the lack of Dodgers in this auction, as a whole, I though, "what the heck." Here is a game-used bat of Pee Wee Reese dating to 1949. Not only that, it was owned by Phil Rizzuto.
The precise dating of this bat is all the more desirable as the Dodgers were NL champions in 1949. Adding to the appeal of the bat is its unique provenance. This bat originates from the personal collection of fellow Hall of Fame shortstop Phil Rizzuto and was purchased in 2006 at the highly publicized auction of Rizzuto's collection. Ideally, a color copy of a photograph picturing Rizzuto holding this very bat accompanies the piece. The bat is not cracked and displays significant use along its entire length including both ball and stitch marks, green rack marks, and very slight deadwood on the front and back of the barrel. Factory records show that Reese first ordered model "M117" bats in 1949, thus conclusively dating the bat to that year.

Here is Gil Hodges World Series game-used bat dating to 1956.
The bat is stamped "World Series" and "Brooklyn Dodgers 1956" in block letters above and below (respectively) Hodges’ name (last name only) on the barrel. All of the manufacturer's stampings remain distinct and legible, and the bat displays appropriate light use, including a few ball marks, cleat marks, and rack marks. Additionally, an unidentified skipping black line runs along the length of the barrel. Factory records support the fact that Hodges ordered “S2” model bats, measuring 35 inches and weighing 32 ounces, for the 1956 World Series. Players usually received only two bats for World Series use, making each example an event-specific extreme rarity.

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