Rare Pre-War Baseball Memorabilia Headed to Auction

Step right up, sports fans and memorabilia collectors! The auction world is buzzing with excitement as one of the most significant collections of pre-war baseball memorabilia is about to hit the auction block. Presented by Paul McInnis Auctioneer, this auction isn’t just any collector’s meet—it’s a heartfelt homage to the past with a visionary eye toward the future, as all proceeds are earmarked for the University of New Hampshire Scholarship Fund.

Imagine a collection so vast and historic that it captures the essence of baseball from an era gone by. This isn’t a fantasy but the reality of the Harry W. O’Brien Collection. The late Harry W. O’Brien of Manchester, New Hampshire, left behind a trove of collectibles, a legacy initiated by his father, Daniel, amid the echoes of World Wars. This collection is not just extensive; it’s a panoramic view of sports history through memorabilia.

The highlight reel of this collection is sure to set hearts racing quicker than a fastball. Picture this: over 300 T206 tobacco cards glinting in the auction spotlight, featuring no less than 48 Hall of Famers. Giants of the game like Christie Mathewson and Cy Young appear, lending their legendary aura to the cardboard treasures up for grabs. But wait, there’s more—complete sets of 1911 T201 Mecca Folders and 80 Goudey cards from the 1930s featuring none other than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

The offerings don’t stop at baseball. The auction blocks will also showcase 1910 T218 Mecca boxing cards with the indomitable heavyweight Jack Johnson, along with a rich assortment of vintage non-sports cards that paint a broader picture of the collectibles realm. These relics not only narrate the tale of a sport but of shaping societal legends through collectible items.

Adding to the intrigue, the collection boasts high-grade 1940s comics starring Superman and Batman. These caped crusaders from the Golden Age of comics are set to fly high, with bidders likely poised to engage in a superhuman struggle to claim them.

It’s worth noting the unique appeal of this auction, stressed by Paul McInnis himself. The rarity, pristine condition, and historical significance of these items make this event a landmark auction. Many of these pieces have been tucked away, unseen by the public eye, and are only now surfacing to cast their nostalgic spell on the world.

For those who cherish physical pieces of history, the auction also offers rare ticket stubs from monumental events, including one from the inaugural game at Fenway Park in 1912. These aren’t just tickets to a bygone game; they’re invitations to revisit monumental moments in sports history.

Scheduled for a live virtual webcast on May 4, 2024, the Paul McInnis website will become a digital auction house where history, rarities, and charitable giving converge. With over 500 lots up for grabs, this event is more than an auction; it’s a festival celebrating the rich tapestry of sports and collectibles. Pre-bidding is already underway, offering a head start to those eager to own a piece of this exclusive collection.

As the gavel readies to strike, reflecting the unstoppable march of time, the Harry W. O’Brien Collection stands as a testament to preserving the past and investing in the future. Through this auction, bidders have a unique opportunity not only to claim a piece of history but also to contribute to the education of future generations, turning personal passion into a community benefit. Happy bidding to all, and may the best collector win!


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