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1988 “Cincinnati Classic” Limited-Edition Signed Poster with 24 Hall of Famers, Including DiMaggio and Mantle (#50/126)
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,370
This scarce limited-edition poster, signed by twenty-four Hall of Fame players plus Billy Martin, Pete Rose, and Muhammad Ali, was issued in conjunction with the 1988 "Cincinnati Classic," held at the Music Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio. The "Cincinnati Classic," a large, five-day sports-collectors convention, was one of the primary attractions of the city's celebratory "All-Star" weekend in 1988. (The 1988 Major League All-Star Game was held in Cincinnati that year.) This was from the early days of in-person signings, and it would be hard to think of another single show that had so many great legends, including Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, and Muhammad Ali, all attending and signing. The commemorative poster, created by artist Milt Niel, was limited to only 126 completely signed, individually numbered examples, of which this is one, and features the flawless blue-Sharpie signatures of all twenty-seven celebrity athletes who attended the show. This piece was personally saved and has been consigned to this auction directly from the promoter of the show, and is accompanied by a letter from him. The following is a complete list of the signers: Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Muhammad Ali, Billy Martin, Carl Yastrzemski, Whitey Ford, Pete Rose, Luke Appling, Jocko Conlan, Ernie Banks, Johnny Mize, Bobby Doerr, Juan Marichal, Eddie Mathews, Catfish Hunter, Leo Durocher, Bob Feller, Enos Slaughter, Billy Williams, Harmon Killebrew, Warren Spahn, Tony Perez, Brooks Robinson, Willie Stargell, Gaylord Perry, Ray Dandridge, and Rick Ferrell. All of the signatures have been flawlessly scripted in blue Sharpie and grade "10." The piece is hand-numbered "50/126" in the center of the poster, below which is the black-marker signature of artist Milt Niel. This piece is all the more noteworthy when one considers the fact that sixteen of the signers are now deceased. The poster measures 23 x 29 inches and has been beautifully preserved (which is not surprising because, as noted, it has been personally saved by and has been consigned directly from the original promoter of the show), with just a few minor surface wrinkles of no consequence that do not in the least detract from its Near Mint appearance. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $2,370
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