The Barry Halper
Collection of Baseball Memorabilia
Harvey Frommer's Sports Book Review
The Barry Halper Collection of
Boxed and Truly Beautiful
There are books about sports and then
there are great books about sports. THE BARRY HALPER COLLECTION OF
BASEBALL MEMORABILIA (Harry N. Abrams, three volumes, $35.00) is a great
book about sports. It is one that really belongs on every fan's bookshelf.
Based on an auction Sotheby's held
last September of more than 2,500 items owned by Barry Halper - the
greatest private collection of baseball memorabilia ever assembled - this
publication is an elegant slip-cased three-volume catalogue. The result is
a deluxe set that includes more than 1,500 color photographs of rare and
unusual items from every era of baseball.
THE BARRY HALPER COLLECTION OF
BASEBALL MEMORABILIA sports an individual description of each auction
item, very interesting historical information and the final auction price
list. The auction at Sotheby's produced a record sale of $21.8 million and
included items (all featured in flawless photos in the boxed set) like
Mickey Mantle's glove, the only signed Ty Cobb jersey, and the signed
agreement from 1920 that sent Babe Ruth to the Yankees from the Red Sox.
There are insightful essays in this
publication by Peter Golenbock, Yogi Berra and Ted Williams. One of the
volumes is purely informational about the auction. A second volume focuses
on baseball's early years and the third volume showcases the modern era
from the 1940s on. To turn the pages of this beautifully put together work
is to re-live baseball history. A sampling of a couple of the items shows
the depth and nostalgia to be found in THE BARRY HALPER COLLECTION OF
Item 2059: Pete Rose National League
Hit Record Cleats - "Pete Rose was wearing these red Mizuno cleats
when he broke Stan Musial's National League hit record of 3,630. Each
cleat has been inscribed by Rose as follows: 'Pete Rose - 8-10-81 - 3,631.
Inside each shoe is Rose's number "14" in black marker; the
cleats show heavy wear and still have red clay stuck to the bottom; in
excellent condition." $1,5000 - $2,500.
Item 276: Nineteenth Century Baseball
Catcher Figurine - "This unusual figure is probably modeled as early
baseball great Buck Ewing, who was the premier catcher of his day. Two
small holes drilled in reverse do not detract from its otherwise excellent
appearance. Height 8 1/2 in." $700-$1,000.
With its true bargain $35.00 price
tag, its splendid range of items includes 1,000 uniforms, 400 bats, 30,000
baseball cards, pins, gloves, contracts, works of art, 928 pages and 1,623
illustrations - most in full color. "The Barry Halper Collection of
Baseball Memorabilia" has so much going for it. It is a publication
to own, to pore through, to go back to again and again. A bravo to all
those associated with this project.
Book Ends: "USA Today Baseball
Weekly 2000 Insider" by Gary Gillette and Stuart Shea (Total Sports,
444 pages, $14.95) is a lode of facts, figures and opinions about the
national pastime. If you are one for baseball reference - this is the book
for you. THE BALTIMORE ORIOLES by Ted Patterson (Taylor, $22.95, 254
pages) is a trade paperback whose sub-title declares: "Four decades
of magic from 33rd Street to Camden Yards". For fans of the Os, this
is a must read. Memorabilia, stats and informative prose bring the team's
history to life.
# # #
You can reach
Harvey Frommer at:
About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath,
The Sporting News, among other publications.
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Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer are the authors of
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