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Val Picinich Estate Collection - Bats, Balls, Equipment, Letters, Checks, Etc.
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $4,113
This large and eclectic grouping of material originates directly from Val Picinich's estate and includes both baseball and non-baseball items. All of this material was just recently discovered by the family as they were preparing to move, stored safely in a trunk for the past sixty plus years, and is new to the collecting community. Highlights include pro-model bats, balls, a Bill Terry signed letter to Picinich, numerous canceled checks, Picinich's Major League lifetime pass, his Brooklyn Dodgers locker tag, and assorted minor league memorabilia. 1) 1933-1944 Val Picinich H&B Pro-Model Bat. The signature model bat (predating model numbers) displays no use and was obviously saved by Picinich as a memento from one of his final years in organized ball. Picinich's Major League career ended in 1933, but he later coach and played in the minor leagues. Length: 34.75 inches. Weight: 35.6 ounces. 2) 1933-1943 Billy Rhiel H&B Pro-Model Bat. The bat (predating model numbers) has ‘Rhiel’ stamped on the barrel in block letters. Billy Rhiel played in the Major Leagues from 1929 through 1933. He was a teammate of Picinich in 1929 with Brooklyn. Although we have not undertaken the task of determining whether or not there were any minor league players by the name of Rhiel during the manufacturing period of this bat, given the provenance, we are fairly certain it belonged to Billy Rhiel. The bat displays heavy use including minor deadwood, rack marks, and a scored handle. Length: 35 inches. Weight: 34.8 ounces. 3-4) Val Picinich's Major League and National League Lifetime Passes. Each of these lifetime passes was presented to Picinich in appreciation of his long and meritorious service. The elaborately designed Major League pass is constructed of metal and features Picinich's name engraved on the front, as well as the facsimile signatures of each League president: William Harridge and Ford Frick. 4.25 x 2.75 inches. Vg, with heavy tarnishing. The National League pass (No. 388) is printed on cardboard stock and bears Picinich's name neatly printed in black ink. 4.25 x 2.5 inches. Vg-Ex. 5) 1939 Bill Terry TLS. One-page letter, typed on official New York Giants stationery, signed in black fountain pen by Bill Terry (grading ‘10’). Terry was the president of the Milford Base Ball Club in 1939 and this letter, dated December 26, 1939, was sent to Picinich as notice that the club would not be retaining his service as manager of the club for the upcoming season. 8.5 x 11 inches. Ex, with mailing folds and a crease in the upper left corner. Included with the letter is the accompanying ‘Player's Official Release Notice’ from the club that is also signed by Terry in black fountain pen (‘10’). 7.25 x 4.25 inches. Together with the original mailing envelope (9.5 x 4 inches, Vg-Ex). 6) Val Picinich's Brooklyn Dodgers Locker Tag. The tag (3.5 inches in length) is stamped ‘Brooklyn Baseball Club’ and bears Picinich's black fountain-pen signature on the reverse (‘9’). Ex. 7) Collection of 153 Bank Checks Signed by Val Picinich. All of the checks, drawn on four different banks, date from the late 1930s and have been signed in either blue or black ink on the front by Picinich (signatures grade ‘9’ on average). All display normal bank cancellation perforations and/or stamps, and measure approximately 6.25 x 2.75 inches. In overall Excellent condition. Val Picinich, who caught three no-hitters, including the only one thrown by Walter Johnson, passed away in 1942 at the age of forty-six, and his signature today is quite scarce. 8) Circa 1931 Val Picinich Christmas Card Produced by George Brace. One interior panel of this fold-over card features a portrait photo of Picinich as a member of the Dodgers, while the other features a holiday illustration above the printed words ‘The Season's Greetings.’ This card was specially produced by legendary sports photographer George Brace. The exterior black front cover displays a light vertical line of light toning; otherwise the card (4 x 6 inches) is in Near Mint condition. 9) 1917 Official Base Ball Guide and Record of the Southern League. The eighty-page guide (4.75 x 7 inches) features portrait photos and brief biographies of all of the players in the league including Picinich, Waite Hoyt, Billy Southworth, Gabby Street, Muddy Ruel, and Jake Pitler. 10-11) 1940 Clyde Sukeforth ALS and Single-Signed Ball. The three-page handwritten letter, dated August 16, 1940, is signed ‘Clyde’ (grading ‘10’) in blue fountain pen. Sukeforth was managing a minor-league club in the Dodgers organization at the time and in his letter to Picinich he talks about the troubles his team is having that summer. 7 x 10.5 inches. Nr-Mt. The ‘Official League’ ball is signed in blue ink (‘10’) across the sweet spot. Nr-Mt. Sukeforth is best known today as the man who scouted and signed Jackie Robinson to his first pro contract with the Dodgers. Picinich and Sukeforth were teammates on Cincinnati in the late 1920s and they remained close friends thereafter. 12) 1923 Game-Used Ball. The Official American League ball is moderately soiled and bears the black ink notation ‘Last Put Out In Game � May 1st '23 � Red Sox-5 Phil-4’ written across the sweet spot. 13) Early 1920s Washington Senators Team-Signed Ball. Nearly all of the signatures on this official American League (Johnson) ball are badly faded; however, a few are still partially legible including Clark Griffith and Clyde Milan. Signatures average ‘1.’ Vg. 14) Game-Used Equipment. The equipment consists of a circa 1920s Reach first baseman's glove, two pairs of vintage cleats, and a pair of red and white stirrup sock. All of the equipment items are heavily worn, obviously from game use. The remainder of the collection includes a number of miscellaneous items including Picinich's 1915 high school yearbook (Englewood, New Jersey), Cincinnati Red pocket schedules for the 1926 and 1927 seasons, a large scrapbook filled with newspaper clippings chronicling Picinich's baseball career (1914-1929), and various correspondence, documents, and other papers relating to Picinich's private life. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $4,113
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