1961-1962 Richie Ashburn Game-Used Baseball Glove - Ashburn's Last Glove!
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $4,740
This Rawlings model "TG15" pro-model glove has the distinction of being the last glove used by Hall of Fame outfielder Richie Ashburn. Ideally, it is accompanied by outstanding provenance in the form of a LOA directly from pioneer collector Paul Hill, who personally obtained it from Ashburn, as well as outstanding photo documentation. In addition, this glove has the great distinction of having been exhibited at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Following Ashburn's induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995, this glove was one of the centerpiece items borrowed for display in the Ashburn exhibit at the Hall of Fame in 1995 and 1996.
In the accompanying letter from Paul Hill, dated August 15, 1994, and typewritten upon his personal stationery, he details how he obtained the glove in 1963. In part:
It was the last home game of the season for the Phillies and Richie was coming off the field after pitching batting practice. It was his first year as Phillies announcer as he retired a year earlier after being one of the original Mets. As he was leaving the field I approached him and showed him some photos of my collection. I asked him if there was anything he could give me. He said "here take this, I won't be needing it anymore," and he gave me the glove.
Further provenance is provided by an accompanying color photo (3.5 x 5 inches) of Ashburn as a New York Met. Ashburn was only with the Mets for one season, in 1962, which was the first year in Mets franchise history and Ashburn's final season in the majors. The glove pictured on Ashburn's hand appears to be, with regard to all points of reference (and there are many including staining), the very glove offered here. Also accompanying the glove is a second photo (10 x 8 inches) of Ashburn as a member the Cubs that again shows Ashburn wearing the same exact model glove, which also may be the very glove offered here, albeit with a lot less wear. (Ashburn has inscribed the photo in blue ink [grading "10"] "To Jackie/'A Good Guy'/Best Always/Richie Ashburn.") Ashburn played with the Cubs in 1960 and 1961 and it is unknown what year this photo dates from. Obviously, if it were the same glove as that offered here in the second photo, it is understandable that at that time it would display less wear, as it dates from a period one or two years earlier than the first photo. As anyone who has ever played baseball, at any level, can attest, gloves are the one piece of equipment that players tend to use year after year and as long as they possibly can. Breaking in a glove is a long process and once a player becomes comfortable with a glove he forms a close attachment to it. Most players at the major league level, especially during Ashburn's era, probably only used only two or three gloves (if that many) over the course of their entire career. The fact that Ashburn was still using this glove in 1963 after he retired is not unusual at all and is actually what would be expected. The glove, which features a "Trap-eze" web, is extremely well worn, indicative of several seasons of use, but the model number is still legible in the pocket upon close examination. The Rawlings label on the wristband is faded and torn, and there is minor cracking to the interior leather. All of the lacing remains intact and the glove as a whole remains firm and supple. Game-used gloves from Hall of Fame players are rare, especially for those players whose careers ended before 1970. This is an exceptional example, with documented provenance and a photo match, that has had the further distinction of having once been prominently exhibited at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Included with the glove, LOA, and photos, is both correspondence and insurance policies from the Hall of Fame regarding the loan of this glove, plus a photo of the Ashburn exhibit at the Hall in which this glove can be clearly seen among the many game-used artifacts. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open).
SOLD FOR $4,740