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1980s Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Collection (Silver Bat, Glove, and Mini-Gallery Silver Ingot Plaques Set)
Starting Bid - $1,000.00 , Sold For - $4,700.00
In the mid 1980s, the Baseball Hall of Fame decided to issue a series of high-end collectibles that were intended for advanced, adult collectors. In keeping with the museum's demanding standards, many of the pieces were crafted in sterling silver and all exhibited a high degree of craftsmanship. Unfortunately, by the end of the decade, high production costs, coupled with a modest demand from collectors due to the necessary significant expense of most of these very high quality item, resulted in the discontinuation of nearly all of the Hall's specially produced sets. Today, most of those sets and limited-edition pieces are very rare and seldom seen offered for sale or auction. Presented here is a magnificent assortment of Baseball Hall of Fame collectible pieces, all of which were purchased by our consignor directly from the Hall of Fame in the 1980s. The first item listed was particularly costly. (We think the original issue price of the silver bat was at least $2,000.) 1) The highlight of the group is an incredibly rare silver bat issued by the Hall in commemoration of its 50th anniversary in 1989. The full-sized 34-inch metal bat, created by Louisville Slugger, features both the company's engraved center brand and the Hall's 50th Anniversary logo on the barrel. This bat was limited to just fifty in number, and that fact is duly recorded on the barrel as well, which bears the engraved notation "National Baseball Hall of Fame - Cooperstown, N. Y. - 21 of 50." Aside from a few areas of light tarnishing and a small half-inch scratch on the side of the barrel, the bat is in Near Mint condition overall. The original certificate of authenticity from the Hall as well as its original wooden display case (Vg) accompany the bat. 2) Limited-edition figural piece, crafted in sterling silver, of a baseball resting in a baseball glove (approximately 2.25 x 2.25 x 1 inches). The limitation number, "21-50," is engraved on the reverse. The piece remains housed in its original wood presentation case (5.75 x 5.75 x 5 inches), which bears a printed plaque that reads "National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum - 'The Evolution of the Baseball Glove' - Sterling Silver Edition." Light tarnishing, otherwise Nr-Mt. 3) Complete National Baseball Hall of Fame Mini-Gallery Collection (63 ingot plaques). The Mini-Gallery Collection consisted of exacting miniature reproductions, crafted in sterling silver, of each player's Hall of Fame plaque (1.25 x 1.75 inches). The Hall issued these plaques in a series, with each series comprised of nine different plaques housed in a special presentation case (4.25 x 7 x 1 inches). Only seven series were ever issued. Offered here is a complete collection of all seven series, for a total of sixty-three different plaques. Each series of nine plaques remains housed in its original case; all are in Mint condition. As a point of reference, each individual series was originally sold at a retail cost of $400. Included with the collection are two interesting letters from the Hall of Fame, to our consignor in 1988, expressing regret at the discontinuation of the series. 4) Also included in this lot are three collections of metallic Hall of Fame plaques issued by the Baseball Hall of Fame (207 different plaques), Football Hall of Fame (sets 1-27, total of 181 different plaques), and the Basketball Hall of Fame (200 different plaques). Each set is housed in its respective custom-made commemorative album. Even these metal plaque cards cost a lot when they were issued. All are Nr-Mt. This is a collection of extremely high quality Hall of Fame-issued premium items that cost a small fortune when issued. These items are too recent and too scarce for a formal market to have developed yet. Hall of Fame-issued items historically are highly sought after by collectors. The fact that these items are of such high quality and are naturally rare due to their great expense when issued, in addition to in many cases actually being produced from silver, suggests these items will be more on the radar of collectors in years to come. Total 653 items (1 bat, 1 glove, 63 silver ingot plaques, and 588 metallic plaque cards). Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $4,700.00
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