Infinite's 2017 Winter Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/12/2017
***A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item will be donated to Boston Children's Hospital.***

It seems entirely plausible that any glove used by Ted Williams was dear to him and used for quite a long time, as gloves used by Williams are almost nonexistent. Dozens of mighty bats belonging to Williams have found their way to the auctioneer's block, even several of his Red Sox uniforms have been offered at auction, but this was originally the first William's game used fielder's glove to ever be offered for public auction back in 2012. In the world of collectibles, there are only four known to exist. One was a gift from Williams to a Boston area doctor who still holds it in his collection, another resides at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York and one other glove resides in a private personal baseball collection.

In 1958, Williams gave the glove to his friend at the camera shop as a gift for the gentleman's son. A notarized letter from this third generation of the family recounts the provenance well. And though the family was reluctant to part with their sizable archive of personal handwritten letters, telegrams and signed photographs from Williams, color copies that are included in this lot further establish a close friendship spanning at least a decade (letters range from 1952-63), with the topics of correspondence leaning heavily toward photography and fishing.

Ted Williams gifted this glove to his one of his dearest long time friends, Frank Mason to give to his son. Ted and Frank were members of the same fishing club (Mirimichi Anglers Club) for around a decade and Frank was Ted's photography coach as Frank managed Claus Gelotte Camera Stores in Boston for around 15 years. Although they were both avid fisherman Williams alludes to being Mason's fishing coach in a signed and inscribed photograph that he gifted to Mason. Ted Williams is one of the greatest baseball players of all-time but during his time away from the sandlot his two greatest passions are known to be fishing and photography. This lot includes a notarized letter from Frank Mason's grandson, and color copies of photographs that are signed and inscribed to Frank Mason along with copies of a number of hand written and signed letters from Ted Williams to Frank Mason over the years. From 1958 through 1990, it remained in the possession of Frank Mason's son, until it was passed down once again to the grandson of Frank Mason (Lance Mason). A signed and notarized letter from this third generation owner of the family relic recounts the above mentioned provenance very well.

Further authentication documentation is offered from PSA (Taube & Eskin) as well as top glove expert Joe Phillips, who writes in part, "It is our opinion that this Wilson glove would be the type of professional glove that Williams would have normally used during the years 1955-56. It shows, from its design features, shape, and size to be the 'Model Type A2034,' the top-of-the-line Wilson gloves of this era, and bears the features of the 1955 A2034 model. Though no Wilson markings were found on this glove, we were able to determine its make from the patent numbers stamped on the back of the glove's fingers. These exactly match the Wilson patent numbers supplied from the Wilson catalogs of this era -- these patent numbers being granted exclusively to Wilson Sporting Goods. There are also the remains of the Wilson patch on the glove's wrist strap. We examined the underside of the Wilson wrist strap where "pro stock" numbers in this era were sometimes stamped and found what might be the number "3." Numbers "344A" were normally the Wilson numbers used."

The glove shows tremendous game wear, and was certainly Ted's main glove for a full season at the very least, and likely for two or three. It's clear that the history of several hundreds of games in left field is soaked into the heavily oiled leather of this important relic, and that Ted only saw fit to part with it when his trusted fielding friend had reached the absolute end of its utility. The pocket of the glove shows the tremendous wear of thousands of fly balls from the likes of Mantle, Killebrew and Kaline. As noted by authenticator Joe Phillips, this wear is so severe as to obscure the very markings on the glove. With close inspection, the number "9" can be seen written in vintage marker just to the right of the remaining Rawlings tag on the strap. In addition, the fading "LLIAMS" can be made out along the inner thumb portion of the glove. Ted's heart must have broken as a tear in the leather began to edge its way across the wristband, and we would have to assume that it was this mortal wound that forced the Red Sox legend to end the long partnership. If not for this strip of leather finally giving way after so many long summer days on Williams' hand, it's entirely possible, even probable, that Ted would have gone on using it, and the friend in the photography shop would have been given a bat or cap instead. Despite the war-battered appearance, or actually because of it, the glove displays wonderfully well. With so much of the modern game used material showing the wear of only minutes on the diamond, the tremendous Hall of Fame wear evident here is thrilling for scholars of such materials. It's safe to say that no other piece of equipment on earth shows more Ted Williams use than the glove we proudly offer here. And so the time comes to write the next chapter in the fascinating history of this sacred relic, one that began with Ted Williams slipping it onto his hand one day in the mid-1950s, punching his right fist into the pocket, and deciding he liked the way it felt. Even then, he knew it was made just for him. Letters of Authenticity from Joe Phillips/The Glove Collector, PSA/John Taube, with additional LOA from Heritage Auctions. Color copies of letters and photographs that are signed and inscribed from Ted Williams to the original owner will be included as well.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $35,544.08
Number Bids: 26
Auction closed on Sunday, March 12, 2017.
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