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Old 07-21-2009, 02:13 PM   #1
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Default Bidding on Bob Gibson Collection Underway at Legendary Auctions

Bidding on Bob Gibson Collection Underway at Legendary Auctions

Bob Gibson was one of the most intimidating pitchers of all time, and the St. Louis Cardinals ace racked up plenty of hardware during his Hall of Fame career. Starting today, most of those awards and trophies are up for auction.

Proxy bidding got underway today at the Legendary Auctions website on 12 significant items belonging to Gibson. There will be about 60 lots in all in the company's annual summer auction, with live bidding taking place at the House of Blues in Cleveland at the end of the month. Doug Allen, president and CEO of Legendary Auctions, told the Southtown Star that he expects the full list to bring in over $1 million.

Few sports auctions feature as many eye-popping personal pieces from a single player as this one. Included in the first offerings are such treasures as a game-used baseball from Gibson's first Major League win (said to be the only one he ever kept), his 1968 National League MVP award and his World Series rings from both 1967 and 2006.

Allen said that unlike some former athletes who make bad decisions with their money when their playing days come to an end, the auction isn't motivated by financial need. Instead, it appears to be a way for the 73-year old Gibson to make things easier for his three children down the road.

"When you have three kids, how do you divide this stuff up?" Allen said to the Star. "It's a lot easier to divide money.

"(Star players) get to a point in life where they have to decide ... 'When am I going to do this? Do I want to put the money away for my family?' At some point, they're looking at a shelf (and) saying, 'What could this do for my family?' "

Minimum bids on the Gibson Collection range anywhere from $1,500 for his 1971 Gold Glove award to $50,000 for his MVP plaque. At the time this article was written, several items had already attracted bids.

Other unique baseball artifacts up for grabs in the auction include a signed letter written by Babe Ruth to a friend in 1931, a PSA/DNA Mint 9 autographed Roger Maris baseball, and a game-used jersey, hat and pants from Roberto Clemente's 1966 MVP season.

By Nick Tylwalk
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