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Four Page Written Account of 

The 28th Annual 2007 

National Sports Collectors Convention

Including Pre Con Venture to 

Philadelphia and Adamstown PA


Carlton Hendricks


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A few of finds at the show


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Continued from page 1

Wednesday was set up day for the National and I went in right when the doors opened. As usual there is a lot of hurrying around at the beginning desperately looking for stuff even though hardly anyone is set up. Then slowly over the next four hours the show starts to unfold and take shape.


It was an unusual set up day in that things came out slower than usual. For instance the Kanuit contingent; that is, the shared booth of John Kanuit, John Orban, and Jim Griffith, decided to wait two or three hours before setting up. Usually they are the power blast that kick starts the show right at the beginning. At which time, mob rule/marshal law is declared the first hour they set up. So that created a lull. More than usual, it seemed that a lot of good stuff didn't come out until after the show opened. Another example of the lack of oomph on set up day was the sentiment of John Gennantonio who kept murmuring he couldn't believe he took a day off work to come there. One thing that stayed the same though, I usually find my power pieces early on, and that didn't change. The two greatest things I bought, I found within the first hour or two. I also found a lot of very good stuff after the show opened that was priced so reasonably I couldn‘t pass them up. More on my buys later, lets get to the show.


Thanks for the write up Carlton. Always enjoyable. 
-Dan Bretta, Lincoln Nebraska

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The one dealer that was already set up, or at least had a lot of good stuff already out was Hunt’s. The reason they were set up way ahead of the other dealers was they were part of the corporate opening day which took place the previous day, Monday. Well, let’s get rock’n with what I saw. As usual, please understand the dealers mentioned had much more than I recorded, I’m only subjectively featuring the highlights.


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Items in Hunt Auctions booth


Hunt Auctions 

We begin with the booth of Hunt Auctions from Exton PA. First up was a Spalding first baseman trophy, 11” tall x 15” wide, $2,900.00. One leg had been re-soldered, had a chip in the bottom lip of the metal base, the wood base had been refinished, I saw it later in Sotheby’s/SCP’s booth with a $4,000.00 price tag. Next was a 1929 Michigan Collegiate Conference baseball trophy with a 10” tall figure of a pitcher with a strong resemblance to Walter Johnson, 17 7/8” tall $2,900.00. Next, Hunt’s had another excellent figural baseball trophy called the Goldsmith Trophy. It had three crossed bats holding up a life size baseball, which in turn had a batter standing on top, 19 ½” tall, $850.00. Next up was a c1897 baseball broadside for the Pemberville Base Ball Club, with “Our Champions” at the top, and a large team photo in the middle and a games schedule below, pretty good condition, slightly pink in color, 17 7/8” tall x 9 7/8” wide, $750.00 (John Buonaguidi got this in a Hunt’s auction latter) Next, was a c1900 14” tall water/beverage pitcher with two 5 ¼” tall tankards (mugs), made by Avon. All had a transfer ware illustration of a Harvard Baseball pitcher about to burn one in. Excellent condition, $1,750.00. Next was a c1890 squared barrel baseball bat, no maker, $525.00. Next in Hunt’s arsenal was a Victorian era silver or silver plate flask with an excellent engraving of a baseball batter. 5 5/8” tall, $525.00. Next was a vintage baseball cap with “Babe Ruth” on the front, $650.00. Next was a white plaster figural bookend sculpted as a seated baseball player holding a bat with a mitt by his feet, and a large baseball next to him. It was engraved “The Biltmore Homecoming Dinner” and dated “March 1914”, 6 ¼” tall, never got the price. FuranoShMug.JPG (109450 bytes) Next was a great c1880’s porcelain shaving mug with crossed ring bats and a baseball, intertwined with a green wreath, with the name G. Furano at the top, 3 ½” tall, $900.00. Next was a 40 ½” wide x 29” tall c1930’s oil painting of a boy scout holding a baseball bat in one hand and a baseball in the other. He was in an odd pose, appeared sitting on the ground leaning back. By it’s seemingly unfinished look, it was probably produced as illustration art, $3,900.00. Next up, a pair of baseball shin guards, of the smooth finish type, made of a fiber composition material, very good condition, no maker, 22” tall, $750.00. Next up was a c1930’s Nokona 325 Model leather football helmet, nice condition, had strap, $750.00. Next was a Rawlings St. Louis 25 Jerome Wilson  - catchers mask, $450.00, Next another Rawlings catchers mask, this one a St. Louis 300 Al “Red” Evans, also $450.00, was a little nicer condition than the other. Next up, a D&M Stuffy McGinnis baseball glove (back photo) $1,400.00. Next was a dark brown catchers mitt (back photo) no markings, never got the price. Next, a signed photo of Babe Ruth with Yankee shortstop Lyn Lary with his actress wife Mary Lawler Lary, Lyn looking very Hollywood dapper, 7 ¾” tall x 7” wide, $6,200.00. Next up, a signed Honus Wagner photo with a very honest 1st grader-ish personalization “With best wishes to H.D. Evans from J. Honus Wagner", 9 1/4" tall x 7 1/4" wide, $3,400.00. Next was a Rawlings Mickey Mantle glove that came with the original 2 1/2" tall x 1 3/4" wide, cast metal die used to stamp the glove when it was produced, $1,450.00 . Next, a 40 3/4" wide x 13 3/4" tall panoramic photo of Forbes Field with corner inscription "Attendance 30,338 June-30-09", $6,750.00. Next, a signed Ruth photo of him swinging a golf club, personalized: "To Don Sincerely Babe Ruth" 8 1/4" tall x 6 1/4" wide, $6,500.00. RuthWatchCase.JPG (114303 bytes) Next, a Babe Ruth wristwatch baseball shaped case, with original box, but without watch, $475.00. Next, a signed Ruth softball, $4,800.00. Next, a Spalding web glove c1896-1900 (back), $1,300.00. Next up, a c1890 porcelain shaving mug illustrated with a batter and catcher, and personalized with the name  C.G. Nothwang, 3 5/8" tall, $1,600.00. Next, a 15 3/4" tall x 8 7/8" wide trophy with a life sized baseball on top that was engraved: Wilson Official League, $475.00. Next was a great wire type photo of Lou Gehrig sitting on a couch with a dog on his lap that appears to be a boxer, greatest grin on his face (Gehrig not the dog), 8 7/8" tall x 7 3/4" wide, $700.00. 

Next was a c1887 Harvard vs. Yale baseball game scorecard which was written in, 6 3/4" tall x 3 3/4" wide, $350.00. Next up, a 27" wide x 15" tall panoramic framed photo of the 1910 Princeton baseball team, $475.00 (bought by Ryan Simms). Next, a c1913 copper cast figural lighter in a caricature of a short pudgy baseball player, having a great animated facial expression and wearing a pillbox cap, 4 3/4" tall x 3 3/8" wide x 3 5/8" deep, $525.00. Next was a great panoramic team photo of both teams that played in the 1922 Dixie Championship, being Fort Worth Texas vs. Mobile Alabama, 40 3/4" wide x 10" tall, price unknown probably stashed by collector. Next was a c1948 Cleveland Indians pennant and apron, $675.00. Last for the Hunt armory, a Mickey Mantle baseball glove box, box only, $2,400.00.


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From the booth of Bryan Dec


Bryan Dec

Next we come to the booth of the prolific Bryan Dec from Lapeer Michigan. Bryan shared his booth with equally prolific Kirk Kovacs, putting them at power booth level. First highlight from Bryan was a black and white trolly car sign for Gillette Razors featuring Bill Donovan (Tigers), Frank Chance (Cubs), John Kling (Cubs), Honus Wagner (Pirates) and Hughie Jennings (Tigers) , 27 3/4" wide x 18" tall, $4,500.00. Next, a 1907 American League Champions silk banner, with a photo of the Chicago Cubs, 28 1/2" tall x 18 3/4" wide, $3,500.00. Next, a piece of sheet music titled "The Red Stockings" featuring members of the 1869 Red Stockings, including Harry and George Wright, 14" tall x 10 3/8" wide, $2,750.00. Next up, a c1887 imperial sized photo of the Detroit Base Ball Club, 20" wide x 16" tall, $45,000.00 (came with pennant). Next was a photo of the 1920 Akron Professionals football team, titled "World Champs" at top, and had names of players at bottom, 10 1/2" wide x 7 1/4" tall i.m. (inside mat) $3,500.00. Next was a c1938 "Rawhide" movie lobby card featuring Lou Gehrig wearing a white cowboy hat, gun drawn, stooped down next to a wagon train, 14" wide x 11" tall, $550.00. JRobinsonJapa.jpg (95031 bytes) Next Bryan had a great signed photo of Jackie Robinson standing with two Asian men in suits, arm around one, 8 1/2" tall x 6 1/2" wide, $2,200.00. Next was a photo of Tye Cobb, personalized to Tony Lazzeri, 8 1/2" tall x 6 1/2" wide, $2,750.00. Next up, an 8" x 10" signed photo of an older Jim Thorpe, personalized to Max Patkin (1920-1999) Clown Prince of Baseball, $2,150.00. Last Dec mention was a photo of Walter Johnson in uniform standing with a bat with an unknown gentleman, 14" tall x 11" wide, $750.00. 


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From the booth of Kirk Kovacs


Kirk Kovacs - Kovacs Vintage Baseball

Next we come to the items of Kirk Kovacs of Kirk Kovacs Vintage Baseball, from Curtice Ohio. Kirk had more great stuff than listed here, these are just what I got in all the fast paced commotion. For instance, I never got the details of that great fan in his case. BrookExcelRibbon.jpg (91021 bytes) First up, a c1860-ish,  8 3/4" tall x 2 3/4" wide silk ribbon with a Vignette of baseball equipment, with the word Excelsior above and Brooklyn underneath. The top and bottom were a little tattered, but overall, it was in very good condition. The Excelsiors and the Knickerbockers were probably two of the most high profile cornerstone teams which propelled the popularity of baseball. The Excelsiors were esteemed as the Champions from 1860-1869, making this ribbon a heady and very rare piece of baseball's history, $2,100.00. Next up was a c1886 St. Louis Browns "Champions" cigar box, with an exceptional team photo on the inside of the lid, 8 3/4" wide x 4 1/2" deep x 2 1/8" tall (closed), $3,900.00. Next up was a late 19th century shaving mug illustrated with a baseball under crossed bats with rings at the top, personalized to Steve Goth, 3 11/16" tall, $500.00. Next was an 1894 Boston Base Ball Club vs. College Picked Nine program titled Boston's Tribute to the King of Catchers Charles W. Bennett, 10" tall x 7 1/4" wide, $2,800.00The Sporting News -  "The old catcher helped Detroit win the pennant and the World Series in 1887. Bennett's arm was a primary factor in beating the St. Louis Browns in the post-season games of that year. After Bennett had caught for 7 years for Detroit, this city dropped out of the National League and the veteran catcher went to Boston to finish his playing days. He was forced out of the game in 1894 when he lost both of his legs in a railroad accident while on a hunting trip.... ( 


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From the Kanuit, Griffith, Orban booth


John Kanuit, John Orban, and Jim Griffith

Next we come to the booth of the National's fair haired child, John Kanuit of Palos Verdes Estates CA. As many of you know, John has consistently had the best booth at the National many years and is one of the most prolific dealers of sports antiques in the world. This year, as last, he teamed up with veteran Jim Griffith of Novato CA. Jim has a good eye, particularly for bats and leather helmets. You'll notice almost everything he sells is in very nice condition, which contributes to the high quality of the show. 


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Incredible c1880's Rowing 

Trophy Offered by John Orban


Joining John K. and Jim was John Orban of Cleveland Heights Ohio. John was back this year for the first time since the 2004 National. John O. is a career antiques dealer and has seen a lot of material over many years. His parents were antiques dealers as well, so he grew up in the business, and has an educated exceptional eye for great sports pieces. A perfect example of his prowess was the ground shaking c1880's rowing trophy he brought. Before the KGO booth had started setting up, I mentioned to John O. I liked rowing stuff. He told me about a rowing trophy he had and said it was incredible. I was all ears, but he said it would take a while to get it out as it was packed in with a lot of stuff. I walked around for 45 minutes before He got it out......whoa, talk about killer. But it was serious money, $3,500.00, and even as great as it was I held off because of the price and condition. It wasn't perfect, was missing some of the wreathing, and tarnished pretty good. Nevertheless it was probably the best rowing trophy I'd ever seen. It had a fantastic large oval shaped engraving of a single sculler, with about 8" crossed oars on each side, it's right side missing part of the wreathing. I think John said he got it at Brimfield. And actually someone told me about John having it almost a year before but I forgot about it till then. As I was looking at it Darrel O'Mary was checking it out and commenting on it. He ended up buying it. Had it been around later I'd have probably nose dived an offer.


What a great write up and an even greater write up about the 2007 National. You did a simply fantastic job. All of the pictures to look at are awesome. I even saw some folks I know.....such as John and Judy Burke speaking with Rich Klein....(who only was showing his backside, which could be a plus ).....Tik Sr. and his very lovely wife and others. I especially liked the gentleman wearing shorts and black dress shoes and no socks....very GQ looking......if anyone wants to stay inundated for a while check this site out.... 
-Leon Lucky, Lucas Texas

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Now for the rest of the KGO tour starting with a c1930 Reach Official American League trophy, having a figure of a catcher standing ready to make a catch on top of a gigantic sliver plate baseball, with a black bakelite base, 22 1/4" tall, $1,850.00. Next up,  a very nice "PITTSBURGH" baseball jersey, circa 1915 collared pullover style. Turned out John said it was a movie prop, I'd have never known, $550.00. Next up, a c1900 football union suit pants and vest combo, excellent condition, had it displayed with a long sleeved maroon striped jersey, $3,500.00. These are getting tougher and tougher to find as year$ go by. Next, a large sized pair of brown quilted football pants, (back) $350.00. Next, a rare 12 1/2" tall German bisque statue of a soccer player (Euro Football) wearing extra decorative red and white striped cap and pants, priced right at $475.00, first example I'd seen. Next, a c1930 Wilson pinstriped baseball uniform with blue trim, with sox, $650.00. Next a very striking red with white trimmed sports sweater with sewn on letters spelling "WTN" on the front, having a makers tag that said: Schmelzer Arms Co. Athletic Sporting goods Kansas City, Mo., $475.00. Next up, a c1915 Grey with blue striped, small billed baseball cap, $425.00. Next was a very nice complete c1920 baseball uniform with green trim including sox, having the letters NPD down the button placket, $425.00.


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From the Kanuit, Griffith, Orban booth



Next up, a boat load of timber, baseball bats that is. They were nicely displayed on the pegboard wall. At one point I counted 9 on the wall, and three on the table. Here goes. First up for the bats was a 34" Spalding Player Model, two black rings flanking logo in center, large bold black ring above, $950.00. Next, a 33" Spalding Wagon Tongue, $1,850.00. Next, a dark brown 32" J.F. Hillerich & Son with ball knob, $2,200.00. NOTE: The Hillerich company changed their name to "J.F. Hillerich & Son" in 1897, then to “J.F. Hillerich & Son Co.” in 1911 Next up, a 32 3/4" Spalding, with name in Victorian style script, and a small black and white round decal label, $475.00. Next up, a 33" Spalding black tip, $1,450.00. Next, a 35" Spalding ring bat, double black rings flanking bold black center with Spalding logo, $2,400.




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