1955 Cy Young Collection
Back in 1950, my father was the eastern regional representative from Williamsport for Little League. And we used to go to the World Series every year. I was nine years old in 1950, and Carl Stotz, who founded Little League, introduced me to Cy Young, and from that point on, I had a relationship with him. He and I would sit in the lobby of the Lycoming Hotel for the next five years and talk. In 1955, I was up there for the World Series, and I had just gotten a Brownie box camera, so I asked Cy if I could take his picture. He said, "Well, not now. Come up to my room in about a half-hour." So I went up to his room and he had gotten potato chips and pretzels and Coke and sat in the chair and I took the picture, and he signed the baseball, he signed the book and he signed two 3 x 5 Little League cards. And it's probably the last picture of him taken alive, because in November of that year he died. And he just was a gentleman.
That is just so wonderful. Of course, he was a pitcher from 1890 to 1911, the greatest pitcher by wins. Also had the most losses.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1937, the second class of the Hall of Fame. He passed away in 1955. In 1956, baseball created the Cy Young award, which is granted annually to the best pitcher, first in all baseball and then, several years later, in both leagues. And we have some wonderful items here which he signed for you and that, of course, you treasure. We have a signed baseball which... you also got a couple of other signatures on there. Including Robin Roberts, Hall of Famer. But Cy Young really stands out on that baseball. He had a beautiful old-time signature that you just don't see very often. He loved kids, and he loved doing things for them, the Little League connection, and he loved signing autographs. That's why his autograph is out there. It's not particularly rare, but it's incredibly desirable. You have a lovely book here, a Little League book, which he also signed for you. And of course your photograph of him, which shows the distinguished gentleman himself and the 3 x 5 card which he signed. They're wonderful pieces. As a collection, I would insure it for somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,000 to $7,000, and it's the type of thing that will never go down in value, because Cy Young is a name that everyone knows and will know. As long as there's baseball, there's going to be Cy Young.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.
Walt Disney | AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Coming to American Experience September 14 & 15 is the unprecedented look at the complex life and enduring legacy of one of America’s best-known storytellers – Walt Disney
Arthur & George
Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) stars as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in a three-part MASTERPIECE Mystery! adaptation of the novel by Julian Barnes. Airs Sundays, September 6-20