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11-18-2005, 02:10 AM
Louisville Slugger auction story (AP)

November 14 2005 at 8:41 PM Eric (ecky3@aol.com) (Premier Login ecky3 (http://www.network54.com/Profile/ecky3))
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Rarities found, sold at Louisville Slugger auction

Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Anne Jewell came across a surprise at the Louisville Slugger auction on Saturday.

Someone broguht in a cigar box for the "Louisville Cubs," an African-American baseball team estimated to have been from the early 1900s.

Jewell, executive director of the Louisville Slugger museum, hadn't heard of the team - one of the unusual finds during the museum's second auction.

The museum teamed with Hunt Auctions of Exton, Pa., for its second annual sale of sports memorabilia and other antique collectibles.

Most of the more than 500 items were baseball-related. A tobacco-card collection from a private estate generated national attention and totaled about $400,000, according to the auction company. A 1914 Cracker Jack card featuring Shoeless Joe Jackson that sold for $15,500 was part of that estate.

Tom Boblitt, 39, of Louisville, spent the afternoon adding to his collection of Louisville Colonels memoribilia.

Boblitt bought a 1954 Louisville Colonels Junior World Series championship ring, a collection of Pee Wee Reese items related to the Hall of Fame shortstop's days with the Louisville team and autographed Colonels baseballs.

Boblitt spent about $1,500 was considering buying other items as the auction continued.

"My checkbook might say otherwise," he said.

Other, more high-profile items, sold for thousands of dollars.

A Babe Ruth bat from around the mid- to late 1920s went for $68,750. A lineup card from Ruth's first Major League game, originating from the collection of Hall of Fame umpire Tommy Connolly, sold for $22,000.

A 1958 Willie Mays San Francisco Giants jersey sold for $39,600. A set of the speedster's 1969 uniform pants went for a mere $1,100.

About 50 items in the auction were from the archives of Hillerich & Bradsby, the downtown company that makes Louisville Slugger bats. Jewell said the museum uses its auction proceeds to acquire memorabilia.

Frank Torre, an adviser to the auction company, attended the auction. Torre is a Major League veteran and former member of the 1960 Louisville Colonels that won the Junior World Series. His brother, Joe Torre, played for the Colonels in 1961 and now manages the New York Yankees.

"We didn't collect things in the old days," said the elder Torre, who has a few pictures with Hall of Famer Ty Cobb.