I’m not really a collector of baseball memorabilia (though I do collect baseball cards with my kids), but I thought this piece by John Erardi in this morning’s Enquirer was interesting:
The 50-year baseball collection of former Reds manager Bill McKechnie, who won three National League pennants and was the brains behind a fourth in the American League, goes up for auction Saturday in Louisville.
“Bill himself wasn’t a collector,” says his grandson, Jim McKechnie, “but when you’ve been in baseball 50 years and have had (managerial) success with (five) major league teams, you are going to accumulate a lot of stuff.”
McKechnie is remembered among Cincinnati baseball buffs for turning a last-place team in 1937 into a pennant winner by 1939 and a world champion in 1940, but he did similar things in Pittburgh and St. Louis. His best managerial job may have been leading the moribund Boston Braves to three winning seasons, earning him The Sporting News’ Major League Manager of the Year award in 1937, which he repeated in Cincinnati in 1940.
His stash of Reds memorabilia up for auction includes a 1940 world championship autographed baseball, a 1939 pennant and his personal Reds Hall of Fame plaque. His most valuable piece is his 1928-29 Cardinals jersey. Its value is estimated at $15,000 to $25,000 by Hunt Auctions.
The featured item in the Fourth Annual Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Auction that begins Saturday is the 1938 jersey of Lou Gehrig, estimated value $250,000- $350,000.
Read the rest of Erardi’s article; there are some interesting memories in there, including the story of when McKechnie learned that he had been elected to the Hall of Fame.