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1955 Nellie Fox "Mighty Mites" Fan Club Pin, Membership Card, and Magazine (3)
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $705
In the field of postwar pinbacks, few are as rare as the Nellie Fox "Mighty Mites" pin! In fact, we've only ever seen one other example ever! This pin was issued only to members of Nellie Fox's fan club, The Mighty Mites, and the example presented here has been consigned to this auction directly from an original "Mighty Mite"!!! Offered here is not only a spectacular high-grade example of the most elusive Nellie Fox pin but two accompanying substantial items that are also related to the "Mighty Mites" and that provide answers to all of the questions regarding the pin's origin. This pin was not a stadium souvenir, but was issued only to members of Fox's official fan club, the "Mighty Mites." As noted, it has been consigned directly from a gentleman who was a member of that exclusive club during his youth! Included with the pin are our consignor's original 1955 membership card, featuring a small affixed portrait image of Fox, plus an original copy of the 1955 Keystone Kapers , the official magazine of "Fox's Mighty Mites." The membership card, preprinted and filled in by hand, recognizes that the cardholder is a member in good standing of "Fox's Mighty Mites" and that his membership runs from "3/16/55-3/16/56." The newsletter, which is comprised of twenty-one mimeographed pages, makes special note of the offered pin in its introductory page. In full: Dear Mighty Mites: Thank you all for your patience in waiting for this journal to be printed. We hope you will enjoy reading it. If you have any comments, good or bad, let us hear from you. Enclosed you will find a button with Nellie's picture on it. Wear it to all the games as it will identify you as a "Mite." Keep on pulling for Nellie and the Sox this year, Foxly yours, Marge [Marge Menzel, president of the club]. This club was heartily endorsed by Fox, whose brief letter of thanks for all of the support it has given both him and his family is reprinted in the publication. In addition to its backing by Fox, the club also did charitable work at a local hospital, which Fox acknowledges in his letter. As noted in the biographies of the club officers, nearly all were either high school or college students, with the club listed as the primary hobby for most. For an amateur publication, the magazine is very well done, and includes three original snapshot photos affixed to different pages. (They had multiple copies of photos made so that original glossy snapshot photos could be included with each magazine.) One pictures Fox in uniform, another pictures him and his wife, and the third pictures his young daughter, Bonnie Rae. The unique provenance of these three items is, obviously, unprecedented, with both the membership card and newsletter representing the only known examples. The fact that the pin was only issued to a small, select group of club members fully explains its rarity today. This is the ultimate example of this highly prized pin and one that has been well cared for over the years. The pin (1.25 inches in diameter) displays only normal light oxidation on the reverse and is otherwise in spectacular Near Mint to Mint condition. The membership card (3.75 x 2.25 inches) displays a few minor surface wrinkles and is in Excellent condition overall. The newsletter (8.5 x 11 inches) displays a small circular impression and tear on the cover where the pin was originally attached; it is otherwise in Excellent condition. The only other example ever seen of the Nellie Fox "Mighty Mites" pin appeared (elsewhere) at auction in 2010 and sold for $1,680. Whether this example will sell for a lesser amount because it is the second one "out of the gate" in a such a short period of time, or more because it is accompanied by two additional items (that enhance its value and explain its true year of issue and provenance) remains to be seen. That's the nature of collectibles! But whatever it sells for, we think this is a spectacular trio of items, and we doubt very much if we will ever see another example of any of these Nellie Fox items again, let alone consigned directly from an original "Mighty Mite"! Total: 3 items (pin, membership card, and newsletter). Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $705
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