Ned Hanlon Major League Lifetime Silver Pass

Sold For: $1,560

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 1909

Item Year: 1930

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Lifetime silver pass issued by Major League Baseball to Hall of Fame manager Ned Hanlon. The pass reads "The National American Leagues of Professional Baseball Present This Lifetime Pass to Ned Hanlon In Appreciation of Long And Meritorious Service." The facsimile signatures of both American League president William Harridge and National League president Ford Frick appear along the base. All of the text is in relief, with the exception of Hanlon's name, which has been engraved. Produced by "Lambert Bros. Jewelers. N. Y." as noted on the reverse. Lifetime silver passes have always been highly coveted by collectors, especially those presented to Hall of Famers such as Hanlon. They are also scarce. While we do not know the precise year that the practice of issuing lifetime silver passes ended, it appears to have been in the 1950s (Clem Labine's lifetime pass, issued in 1959, which REA sold in its April 2015 auction, was not silver). Hanlon died in 1937 at the age of seventy-nine, and Ford Frick did not become National League president until 1934; therefore this pass was presented to Hanlon shortly before his passing. This is probably one of fewer than ten lifetime silver passes issued to a Hall of Fame player we have seen at auction in the past fifteen years, and only the second we have offered during that time. (Ironically, the other, issued to Roger Bresnahan, is offered elsewhere in this auction.) The pass (4.25 x 2.75 inches) is tarnished, with some of the relief lettering slightly worn. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).

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