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Lot # 1099 (of 1743)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Ty Cobb Signed Check Collection (18 checks)

Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $15,275

Extraordinary collection of eighteen Ty Cobb personal checks, each dating from the 1950s and each signed by Ty Cobb on the front. This is an extremely large group of Ty Cobb checks with a fascinating provenance. These checks were purchased by our consignor, a longtime collector who is no longer active, in the early 1970s directly from William Van Buskirk of Smokestown, Pennsylvania, one of baseball autograph collecting's most legendary collectors and dealers. In the early days of the organized baseball autograph-collecting world, back in the 1960s and 1970s, William Van Buskirk was the leading dealer in early baseball signatures. Many of the most advanced collections assembled during his era were helped immeasurably by Van Buskirk. Van Buskirk almost certainly got these checks directly from the Cobb family (back in the 1960s they were readily available from the Cobb family as gifts or for a modest sum donated to charity). These eighteen checks were purchased by our consignor from Van Buskirk in 1973 for the then-princely sum of $10 each, specifically to put aside as an investment vehicle. His thinking was simply that Ty Cobb checks are a classic that are limited in number and would always be in increasing demand. They have been stored in a safe-deposit box ever since! All of the checks feature Cobb's name printed along the left border and are drawn on the First National Bank of Reno, Nevada. Six of the checks are signed in blue or black ink, while the other twelve are signed in Cobb's customary green ink. All are signed "Tyrus R. Cobb," with the signatures grading "10." One of the checks dates from 1952, three date from 1955, and fourteen date from 1956. None of the checks is related to any baseball purchases or expenses and instead are routine in nature: made out to his doctor, telephone company, utility company, etc. The most interesting check in the group is made out to Coca Cola Bottling of Palo Alto, California. Cobb was a large shareholder in Coca Cola and both he and his sons owned a number of bottling plants. All of the checks display normal bank cancellation stamps and perforations. Two display no folds, thirteen display one vertical fold, and three display two or more vertical folds. One of the checks has a small tear in the lower left corner (paper loss). Aside from the folds, the checks are in Excellent condition overall. Each measures 8 x 3 inches. This is the largest group of Ty Cobb checks we have ever offered, one that of course offers tremendous "break value," or may prove to be as wise a long-term investment vehicle for the buyer of this lot as it has been for our consignor, who has had these eighteen Cobb checks put away for the past thirty years. Total: 18 checks. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000+. SOLD FOR $15,275

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