Friday, September 21, 2012

eBay: A Couple of Jim Gilliam Personal Awards

I recently ran across a very interesting lot on eBay featuring some memorabilia from a beloved Dodger- Jim Gilliam.  As you know, Gilliam spent his entire Major League career with the Dodgers franchise- from 1953 to his untimely death in 1978.  

During his playing days he garnered Rookie of the Year honors in 1953, earned 2 All-Star berths and was a member of 4 World Championship teams.  Not considered a superstar, he did the little things that were required to win.  Gilliam played the game with the kind of intelligence unequal during his time, and the versatility that allowed him to play just about any position at a moments notice. 

During the tail-end of his career he served the Blue Crew as a player/coach in 1964 and became a full-time coach in 1967.  He had the ambition to be the manager one day, and even interviewed for the Dodgers job after Alston's retirement- Lasorda and Gilliam were the only candidates.  As history tells us, Lasorda would become the manager, but that didn't stop Gilliam from continuing to serve the team as best he could.  Til his death, he remained loyal to the Dodgers.

To this day, Jim Gilliam remains the only Dodgers number to be retired who is not in the Hall of Fame.  In September of the 1978 pennant race, Jim Gilliam fell into a coma due to a cerebral hemorrhage and died nearly a month later- the day after the Dodgers won the National League title.  Two days later the Dodgers would formally honor him by retiring number #19.  If you want to check out a great biography on the man go to the SABR website, here.
(eBay Auction Link)

Featuring in this post are two personal awards given to Jim Gilliam from the Carson Black Heritage Association and some golfing buddies.  See the eBay auction here.  Strangely, the first award (the one directly above) was given to his family after his death, which naturally got me wondering if this was real.  So, I did a little bit of research and discovered that this along with many other personal effects were originally sold in a 1981 estate auction through Goldberg Auctioneers.  See that sale here (Auction #12).  It was a part of a 5 trophy lot that sold for $207.

Since I came across the original estate sale, I thought I would feature other items from Jim Gilliam's playing days that I thought were worth a look.

Below is his 1955 World Series ring.  It has sold for $26,450 in 1981.

Below is his 1959 World Series ring.  It originally sold for $7,475.

A 1963 Commemorative World Series Bowl.  It sold for $541.

And here is a memorabilia item I have never seen before.  Below is a 1971 East-West All-Stars glass and silver plated vessel.

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