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    Early 20th-Century Lesley Nunamaker Baseball Collection

    Appraised Value:


    Appraised on: July 10, 2004

    Appraised in: Omaha, Nebraska

    Appraised by: Simeon Lipman

    Category: Sports Memorabilia

    Episode Info: Omaha, Hour 1 (#904)

    Originally Aired: January 24, 2005

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 3 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Baseball, Ticket, Lifetime Pass, Medal, Memorabilia
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $25,000

    Related Links:

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    Tracking down the origins of a lone dated cufflink from an obscure corner of baseball history — and its connection to the sad story of shortstop Ray Chapman

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    Appraisal Video: (3:59)


    Appraised By:

    Simeon Lipman
    Collectibles, Sports Memorabilia

    Appraisal Transcript:

    GUEST: My great-great-uncle, Lesley Nunamaker, played professional baseball from 1911 till about 1920 with teams like the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, St. Louis Browns and Cleveland Indians. And this is some of his stuff.

    APPRAISER: And you've done research on your great-great-uncle.

    GUEST: Yes, I have, looked it up on the Internet to find out little things about him, some records he's had and some really neat stuff.

    APPRAISER: Yeah, yeah, he seemed like a real neat guy. Here we have a couple baseball magazines from the time. They actually picture your great-great-uncle. Here's one right here. And then here's one right here. He was one of the best pinch hitters of his day. He was also a great catcher. He is a well-known ballplayer, and this is his bat. Now, there was a player named Jack Theis, he played in 1920. This bat says "Theis," it doesn't say "Nunamaker." Now, back then, if they felt a bat that felt right, they'd say, "Do you mind if I take that bat? "I'll send it back to Louisville Slugger and maybe they'll make me one." It's very possible that's what this means. You have a ticket stub from the 1915 World Series, Boston Red Sox versus the Philadelphia Phillies. This is for game one in Philadelphia-- and, uh, actually the Phillies won that game. Here we have your great-great-uncle's lifetime baseball silver pass. We have interesting cufflinks, actually in the shape of a baseball, and engraved on it says "8-23-20." Now, he played for the Cleveland Indians in 1920. August 16th of that year, Ray Chapman was killed. He was the player who got hit in the head by Carl Mays. He died a day after he was hit. It was a terrible tragedy. And on August 23, 1920, the Cleveland Indians were in Boston. They played a double-header. Now, why that's engraved with that date I'm not quite sure. Perhaps they played, like, a charity game for the Chapman family. That we're going to have to research a little more. Here we have two more cufflinks. One is a championship cufflink from the 1912 Red Sox and one is from the 1920 Cleveland Indians. And finally we have a 1912 Boston Red Sox championship medal, and this was awarded to your great-great-uncle. And if we turn it around here, we'll see it's also been engraved with his name. Now, the 1912 Red Sox were a particularly important team.They'd just moved into their new ballpark, Fenway Park,and they christened it well. They won 105 games and they beat the New York Giants to win the World Series. It's probably one of the most important of the Boston championships. So, you have wonderful pieces here. This piece right here, this ticket stub's probably worth about $1,500.

    GUEST: Really?

    APPRAISER: The lifetime pass is probably worth about $800 to $1,200.

    GUEST: Yeah?

    APPRAISER: This piece, we're not quite sure what it is, but it's worth at least $500. These two are wonderful, these two little championship cufflinks. They're probably worth at least $3,000. But the coup de grace, as they say, is this piece right here. This is remarkable. I know of a couple in existence. I've never seen one outside of the Hall of Fame or outside of a historical society. Now, the players got diamonds in their championship medals. This one, the diamond has been removed. The good news is that that can be replaced.

    GUEST: Sure.

    APPRAISER: Okay? But this medal can never be replaced. And looking at the whole collection here, I would insure this for no less than $25,000. It's truly a remarkable collection of things, and what a wonderful thing to have in your family-- it's just amazing.

    GUEST: Yeah... that's wonderful. It's just great. What's that one worth?

    APPRAISER: That's probably worth, you know, 20 grand.

    GUEST: $20,000? Ah, I got a tear in my eye.

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