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1954 "Billy Sullivan Days" Pin-Back Button
Starting Bid - $100, Sold For - $353
Rare pin-back button issued in commemoration of Billy Sullivan's induction into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1954. The button features a portrait photo of Sullivan in uniform as a member of the Chicago White Sox and is lettered "Billy Sullivan Days/June 28-29/Ft. Atkinson, Wisc." Manufactured by The Whitehead & Hoag Co., of Newark, New Jersey, as noted on the reverse. Although this button is not dated, and in the past has always been attributed to a much earlier era, it seems almost certain to have been issued in commemoration of Sullivan's induction into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame on June 29, 1954. That honor took place at Milwaukee's County Stadium in a special ceremony preceding a Braves vs. Cubs game. The night before, on June 28th, a special banquet was held for Sullivan in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, where he went to high school. A crowd of over 450 attended the banquet and the next day busloads of fans departed the Black Hawk Hotel in Fort Atkinson to honor him once again with their presence at County Stadium for his induction ceremony. We have seen a few other examples of this button at auction over the years, but we believe this is the first time it has ever been accurately described and dated. A gigantic round banner featuring the design of this very pin is hanging behind Sullivan (holding the famous banana bat) in images of him at the podium addressing the crowd at the 1954 event. Sullivan was one of the top defensive catchers in the American League in the early 1900s and a member of the famed 1906 World Champion Chicago White Sox, best known today as "The Hitless Wonders." He also later managed the White Sox for one season in 1909. The button (one-inch diameter) is in Near Mint condition. Reserve $100. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $353
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