Sy Berger and Willie Mays have a long history of friendship that dates back to the beginning of their respective careers. As Sy recalls: One of my favorite memories in those early years was Willie Mays, back in 1951, he was just a kid and I met him in the locker room. Willie was just a nervous kid, and since it was my first trip to a big-league locker room, I was nervous, too. As Willie says, he was scared and looking for a friendly face, and I walked in. I am probably one of his best and oldest friends, and I am his representative. Not by choice, but because he said, ‘Please do this.
Given that special relationship, it's not surprising that Sy Berger's personal collection includes numerous Willie Mays signed items, including the thirteen pieces offered here. 1) Complete set of 1984 Renata Galasso Willie Mays Story cards (total of 90 cards in the set). This set was issued with an authentic Willie Mays blue-Sharpie signature on the front of every card #1 (the top card in the set as packaged) and the offered signed example grades "10." The set is in Near Mint to Mint condition. The remaining twelve items in this collection are official National League (Coleman) balls signed by Mays in blue Sharpie across the sweet spot. All of the signatures grade "10" with the exception of two (moderate bleeding, "6"). Each of the balls displays varying degrees of light to moderate age toning and is otherwise in Near Mint condition. Included with these fifteen signed items is a limited-edition Willie Mays display piece (not signed by Mays), titled "The Catch" issued by the Danbury Mint. The display features two complimentary figures of Mays making his historic 1954 World Series catch that are intended to be mounted upon an accompanying wood base. The piece displays minor surface wear and one of the hats is broken beyond repair. Total: 13 signed items (one signed baseball card with card set, and 12 single-signed balls) plus a Danbury Mint display piece (unsigned). LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. $400/$600. SOLD FOR $823
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