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Charity offering up rare items

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Posted: Saturday, January 31, 2004 6:26 am

Arizona Baseball Charities is inviting the public to view and purchase some rare baseball memorabilia Wednesday.

The items available include an 80-year-old bat signed by Babe Ruth, in a custom-made display that includes forensic documentation and is available for a donation of $19,900.

A collection of autographed baseballs that includes 12 of the all-time home run hitters: Hank Aaron, Ruth, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Frank Robinson, Mark McGwire, Harmon Killebrew, Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, Sammy Sosa, Mickey Mantle and Jimmie Foxx, is $29,900.

The 11 original inductees into the baseball Hall of Fame signed a ball on June 12th, 1939 during ceremonies at Cooperstown, N.Y. Signatures included are Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Ruth, J. Honus Wagner, Larry "Nap" Lajoie, Connie Mack, Tris Speaker, Cy Young, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Eddie Collins and George Sisler.

The 12th signature is former commissioner Ford Frick, who participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1970. The ball and a photo of the Class of 1939 is $39,900.

Proceeds from the sale of these items at Molina Fine Jewelers, 3134 E. Camelback Road in Phoenix, will benefit Arizona Baseball Charities, which helps children reach their full potential through sports.

For more information, call Nadine Allen (602) 469-5828 or Buddy Schultz (602) 404-3132.

The group’s old-timers game will be 1 p.m. Feb. 8 at Scottsdale Stadium. Admission is $8 for adults, with children 18 and younger and senior citizens 65 or older free. A baseball autographed by Ruth and Lou Gehrig will be given away during the seventh inning stretch at the game.


Topps’ American Treasures will return in 2004 Topps Series 2 baseball, but this time the popular insert will not focus on presidents of the United States.

Topps has confirmed that the American Treasures included in Topps Series 2 will have the 1-of -1 cut signatures featuring autographs of famous American inventors, military personnel and others whose role in American history is significant.

"The feedback (for the American Treasures presidential-signed cards) has been absolutely tremendous," Topps spokesman Clay Luraschi said. "Collectors love the program and it has attracted many non-traditional collectors.

"We’ve always had preliminary plans to do something with American Treasures in Series 2. Once we got the overwhelming response for the presidential cut signatures, it solidified our plans."

Luraschi said the signatures were difficult to obtain and "some were nearly impossible."

"The great thing about doing these types of cards is that they attract everyone, because they are subjects that the average person is going to recognize," he said. "This draws interest from the non-traditional collector, which is one of our main goals with trading cards. And for the traditional collector it is a break from the norm. It’s different, but it’s something special. Many collectors in this hobby are not just sports collectors, they are pop culture collectors. And many people are autograph collectors and not just sports autograph collectors."

Topps Series 2 is scheduled for a mid-April release.

The 18-card checklist for American Treasures in Topps Series 2 includes Douglas MacArthur, George Patton, Orville Wright, Charles Lindbergh, Helen Keller, Mark Twain (pen name), Samuel Clemens (Twain’s real name), Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, William Randolph Hearst, Jonas Salk, Albert Einstein, Aaron Burr, Patrick Henry, Robert Kennedy, Daniel Webster, Amelia Earhart and Neil Armstrong.


Today: North Phoenix Baptist Church, Bethany Home and Central. 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. 65 tables. Adm.: $1. Autograph guests, all 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Luis Gonzalez ($45, $49 bats and jerseys), Shea Hillenbrand ($20), Matt Williams ($20, except bats and jerseys, $35). Add $15 each signature for inscriptions up to five words or numbers, $20 for bats, jerseys, large items and art work). Contact: Jeff Thalblum (623) 587-9766.

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