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Rare 500 Home Run Club Signed Photo - From the First-Ever 500 Home Run Club Signing Show! Personalized to Legendary Promoter Bill Hongach!
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,080
Rare 20 x 16-inch photo of the eleven then-living members of baseball's elite 500 Home Run Club, taken at the first 500 Home Run Club signing show, held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1989, flawlessly signed in blue Sharpie (grading "10") by all eleven players: Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Ernie Banks, Willie McCovey, Reggie Jackson, Eddie Mathews, and Mike Schmidt. Also pictured in the photo are Bill Hongach, Mike Bertolini (both seated in front), and Pete Rose (standing far right), all of whom were the principal promoters of the show. Mike Bertolini and Pete Rose, of course, have recently been in the news relating to the release of Rose's betting records kept by Bertolini (that allegedly prove Rose bet on baseball games as a player). The show was an extremely historic event, famous to this day and in many ways with significance transcending the collecting world. This particular photo belonged to (and has been consigned directly by) the legendary Bill Hongach and, as such, each player has added the personalization "To Bill" as well as a brief salutation ("Best Wishes, "My Friend," etc). There were only a few photos taken of the 500 Home Run Club at the 1989 signing show, all of which were exclusively produced by Bill Hongach. This particular image has never been sold publicly or privately, making it one of the rarest of all 500 Home Run Club signed items. The fact that this print was a personal keepsake of Bill Hongach and is signed to him naturally gives this signed photo a unique and extraordinary significance to the 1989 500 Home Run Club show. Included with the photo is a copy of Hongach's book, The Dark Sides of Baseball (self-published in 2013), which details his life and career in the hobby, and provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes history of the first 500 Home Run Club show in 1989. The photo displays a few light surface wrinkles (nearly all of which are only visible when viewed at certain angles) and is in Excellent to Mint condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,080
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