Welcome One of the great joys I get out of pulling together these auctions is the research that uncovers such amazing stories. There are a lot of them in this auction: • The incredible story of Robin Reed, the Olympic wrestler who hitchhiked across the country and defeated the entire University of Iowa wrestling team (just so he could use their gym), pinned every member of the US Olympic team (including the heavyweight gold medalist), and won Olympic gold in 1924. His story reads like one of the old American tall tales, like a real-life Paul Bunyan. • The mystery of “Big Ed” Delahanty, the Hall of Famer who was put off a train due to objectionable behavior and left at the foot of a bridge. The mystery of his death has never been solved, and never will. • The story of our consignor, a young boy in the mid 1960s whose father helped the Pittsburgh Pirates with their travel arrangements – and who received a beautiful game-used bat from Roberto Clemente as a result. • The incredible story of Billy Miller, an African-American pitcher and infielder who broke all racial boundaries as a semipro ballplayer in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, where he was a superstar, embraced by his community despite his race – and who joined the United States 369th Infantry, an entirely African-American regiment that fought valiantly on the front lines with France. Miller lost an arm and a leg in combat, defending the line in the Second Battle of the Marne. • •The story of Harry Stovey, the game’s first five-tool player, whose eventual Hall of Fame selection is all but inevitable. Baseball is filled with these stories, about how little people make their lives fascinating, creating stories worth telling, often more than 100 years later. Sometimes, like in the case of Delahanty or Stovey, they’re stories many of us already know – stories we’ve told and told again, their fascinating tales capturing our imaginations. Sometimes, like in the case of Miller or Reed, they’re brand new – stories of people who might otherwise have been lost to history, but who did something special, something unique, and something worth keeping alive. It occurred to me as I was writing the descriptions for this catalog that the stories weren’t really about fame, or greatness, or monetary value. The stories are about regular people like you and me, seeing an opportunity and rising to the occasion. In past auctions, we’ve told the stories of people like Young Perez, Moonlight Graham, Lou Criger, Jose Mendez, along with a host of others. They’re all stories of regular people, stepping out of the shadows, maybe fighting insurmountable odds, or maybe just doing the right thing when it would’ve been easier not to. But they’re all great stories, and they’re all worth telling. I’m way too inexperienced to be dispensing wisdom, but one thing I try and do every day: create a story worth telling someday. Do you? What’s your story? Warmest of Holiday wishes to you and your family. We thank you for helping us have a successful 2018, and we join you in hoping for a healthy and safe 2019.
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