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Barry Halper Collection of Baseball Memorabilia [Paperback]

Peter Golenbock , Yogit Becca
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1 2000
"This is a collection of holy icons and sacred documents, amassed by one of the game's high priests. This is no mere 'baseball memorabilia.' It is baseball's heritage."

-Peter Golenbock Last September, Sotheby's held an auction of the greatest private collection of baseball memorabilia ever assembled-the Barry Halper Collection. With most of the nearly 2,500 items selling above the high estimate-including the 1920 signed agreement selling Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees ($189,500), the only signed Ty Cobb jersey ($332,500), and Mickey Mantle's glove (purchased by Billy Crystal for $239,000)-the sale earned a record-breaking $21.8 million. This spring, in time for baseball season, Abrams is proud to offer Sotheby's elegant, slipcased three-volume catalogue of the Barry Halper Collection at a special low price. Originally sold by Sotheby's for $80.00, this deluxe set includes more than 1,500 color photographs of the finest, rarest mementos from every era of baseball, each individually described, a wealth of anecdotes and historical information, and the final auction price list. This is the ultimate dream book for any baseball fan. Three volumes, slipcased. 1,623 illustrations, 1,573 in full color, separate price list, 8 x 10 5/8" PETER GOLENBOCK is a best-selling sportswriter whose books include Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-1964 and Wrigleyville: A Magical History Tour of The Chicago Cubs. YOGI BERRA and TED WILLIAMS are both members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. SELBY KIFFER is senior vice president of the Department of Books and Manuscripts, Sotheby's New York.



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Product Description

From Amazon

"By pursuing his avocation with the ferocity and determination of Ty Cobb stretching a two-base hit into a triple, Barry Halper assembled the world's largest and most significant private collection on baseball, an achievement that should be ranked with the great American collections of the American century...." This quote from Sotheby's auction catalog underscores the importance of Barry Halper, not only to the sports-memorabilia world but also to baseball history. During a 50-year stretch, Halper gathered over 100,000 items from the great game, including a 1912 World Series program signed by "Smokey" Joe Wood and President Woodrow Wilson, a ticket stub from the Lou Gehrig memorial game, and Mickey Mantle's 1956 Triple Crown Trophy. The entire legendary lot was offered in two separate auctions in 1999: one live at Sotheby's New York headquarters and the other via the Internet at http://www.sothebys.amazon.com.

The handsome, slipcased catalog includes three volumes highlighting the event. The first two contain over 2,000 photographs (most in color), plus detailed descriptions and estimated auction prices of the items; the items are divided into 16 sale sessions arranged chronologically and by theme. The third volume examines the history of baseball and includes a timeline of the sport's past as well as essays written by Yogi Berra, Ted Williams, and others. An essential resource for bidders, this catalog also makes an outstanding addition to any sports fan's library. --Andy Boynton


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
Only one word describes the catalog set.....INCREDIBLE. As a life-long baseball fan, collector, dealer, etc, this set of catalogs, pictures in beautiful crystal clear color, many of the artifacts of America's National Pasttime. Many people were upset at Halper for breaking this collection up. Contratry to that opinion, I believe breaking the collection up allowed SO many people to share in the history of the game. Five million dollars worth of collectibles were purchased by MLB for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Twenty two million dollars worth were auction in the Sotheby's auction and an unknown amount on amazon.sothebys.com. These catalogs contain relics from every facet of the game......baseball cards dating back to the 1880's.....team and individual photos dating back even farther.....uniforms, bats, balls, gloves from nearly every hall of famer......personal trophies like triple crown, Cy Young, MVP and so much more. Nowhere will you find such a book that illustrates why Baseball is woven through the fabric of America than this catalog. The lot descriptions are carefully crafted to be both a history lesson and a thought (and pocketbook) provoking snapshot of baseball. Never again will there be such a collection amassed. No one has the access to players and probably the funds to acquire such a collection....you get a glimpse at everything important about baseball. Everything good about baseball.....you forget about the strike of 1994, you forget about the high paid cry babies of today and remember the guys that played the game for one reason.....the love of the game. There was team loyalty, work ethics, and so much more that baseball and America as a whole is sometimes seriously lacking today. Spend the bucks.....you won't regret it......
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This is the Hall of Fame of baseball memorabilia, without equal. Halper had put together a collection of almost every baseball-related item that could be collected, and these catalogues display most of that collection, including lots of items that you never would have thought even existed. The pictures of the items are terrific, and are worth the price just by themselves. But in addition, this post-auction printing also includes the final bid prices for items in the auction, so it seves as an excellent "price guide" for rare and unusual material - memorabilia you certainly won't find in Beckett's guides or other more generic price references. And, for those of us that think of some of the final bid amounts in terms of hefty mortgages rather than hobby expenses (e.g., $305,000 for a Lou Gehrig jersey!) the book is great fodder for dreams, however unattainable they may be...
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Collection Of Dreams June 26 2000
By A Customer
Well, I may never make the trip to Cooperstown but this book may substitute for that trip for the time being. What a wonderful collection of baseball memorabilia! There are things that are here that I never knew existed. A lot of the things such as advertising or toys show the true impact that baseball has had on American culture. Mr Halper is a true lover of baseball and this catalog was also put together carefully with a lot of love and very meticulously. This makes a great reference book (I use it to help verify authenticity of autographs) and fascinating reading. There's even a picture of what may be the first baseball ever made.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful pictures and attention to detail Dec 31 2000
This is an incredible reference, especially for uniforms. The pictures and detail are amazing, and you can generally tell what people thought was real, and what people did not from looking at the prices. The attention to detail in the descriptions is really helpful in identifying stuff today. I wish there were more photos, and sometimes I wish there was an acknowledgement of some of the controversey surrounding some of the items. I really am in awe of the folks who put together this beautiful book, and the incredible pictures. I think this is a great starting point for anyone collecting seriously.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Pictoral History of the Artifacts of the Game Aug. 16 2000
By Harold T. Boblitt - Published on Amazon.com
Only one word describes the catalog set.....INCREDIBLE. As a life-long baseball fan, collector, dealer, etc, this set of catalogs, pictures in beautiful crystal clear color, many of the artifacts of America's National Pasttime. Many people were upset at Halper for breaking this collection up. Contratry to that opinion, I believe breaking the collection up allowed SO many people to share in the history of the game. Five million dollars worth of collectibles were purchased by MLB for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Twenty two million dollars worth were auction in the Sotheby's auction and an unknown amount on amazon.sothebys.com. These catalogs contain relics from every facet of the game......baseball cards dating back to the 1880's.....team and individual photos dating back even farther.....uniforms, bats, balls, gloves from nearly every hall of famer......personal trophies like triple crown, Cy Young, MVP and so much more. Nowhere will you find such a book that illustrates why Baseball is woven through the fabric of America than this catalog. The lot descriptions are carefully crafted to be both a history lesson and a thought (and pocketbook) provoking snapshot of baseball. Never again will there be such a collection amassed. No one has the access to players and probably the funds to acquire such a collection....you get a glimpse at everything important about baseball. Everything good about baseball.....you forget about the strike of 1994, you forget about the high paid cry babies of today and remember the guys that played the game for one reason.....the love of the game. There was team loyalty, work ethics, and so much more that baseball and America as a whole is sometimes seriously lacking today. Spend the bucks.....you won't regret it......
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars To bad most of it is fake. July 24 2011
By Jason Eggert - Published on Amazon.com
I have had this book collection for years. I bought it as Costco about 8 to 10 years ago. It is truly amazing to see everything this man had collected. Unfortunately it is now come to light that most of it is fake. He made it up, stole it, or paid people to lie about it for him. Turns out he was the Barry Madoff of Sports Collectables. He even fooled the MLB Hall of Fame (they ended up returning most of the 7 million dollars worth of bogus stuff they bought) and Billy Crystal paid over $230,000 for a bogus Mantle glove. Sad.
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable for the true baseball memorabilia collector April 26 2000
By John J. Juliano - Published on Amazon.com
This is the Hall of Fame of baseball memorabilia, without equal. Halper had put together a collection of almost every baseball-related item that could be collected, and these catalogues display most of that collection, including lots of items that you never would have thought even existed. The pictures of the items are terrific, and are worth the price just by themselves. But in addition, this post-auction printing also includes the final bid prices for items in the auction, so it seves as an excellent "price guide" for rare and unusual material - memorabilia you certainly won't find in Beckett's guides or other more generic price references. And, for those of us that think of some of the final bid amounts in terms of hefty mortgages rather than hobby expenses (e.g., $305,000 for a Lou Gehrig jersey!) the book is great fodder for dreams, however unattainable they may be...
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful pictures and attention to detail Dec 31 2000
By A music fan - Published on Amazon.com
This is an incredible reference, especially for uniforms. The pictures and detail are amazing, and you can generally tell what people thought was real, and what people did not from looking at the prices. The attention to detail in the descriptions is really helpful in identifying stuff today. I wish there were more photos, and sometimes I wish there was an acknowledgement of some of the controversey surrounding some of the items. I really am in awe of the folks who put together this beautiful book, and the incredible pictures. I think this is a great starting point for anyone collecting seriously.
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Halper's collection Aug. 5 2005
By Professor Rowe - Published on Amazon.com
The pictures are indeed magnificent, however, I must demur about the accompanying text which does not provide appropriate, tightly written or in some instances, historically accurate information.
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