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sports antique of the week archive



May 17th- 23rd 2009

Standout items 

by SportsAntiques.com



Spalding1927WanerSignCR.jpg (199471 bytes)



42 inch tall by 29 inch wide 

Die cut stand-up printed on cardstock

Sold for $13,145.00 , Oct 28, 2005 

Heritage Auction Galleries, Dallas

This sign sold in Heritage Auctions for $13,145.00 in October 2005. Now this is an exciting piece! If you click on the photo you'll see it's been framed. However it was originally designed as an easel back standup. When you frame a sign like this you protect it  from damage, but you loose it's full visual impact. Personally, I prefer to display easel back signs standing up as they were intended. We can only view this sign on our monitors, but I can tell you from experience, at 42" tall this sign would be very impressive in person. 


If you were a heavy duty Pittsburgh Pirates collector, this would most likely be your center piece, seeing it features Paul Waner. Even if you didn't know who Paul Waner was this could be a center piece. First of all it's for Spalding, king of sports equipment makers. Then you have the jumbo size, then the period illustration style that announces it's age. Then you have the fact it's a die cut standup; attributes that generally make signs more interesting and deluxe. Lastly it features a Hall of Famer, Paul Waner. 


Antique sports related advertising signs don't get a whole lot better than this. I wish I could walk into the National and find a sign this great! However, the hobby has evolved to where things of this quality are usually auctioned thru the major sports auction houses. Here we have a perfect example!


Paul Glee Waner
Born April 16, 1903, 

Harrah, OK.
Died August 29, 1965, Sarasota, FL

Pittsburgh Pirates 1926-1940
Brooklyn Dodgers 

Boston Braves 

Brooklyn Dodgers 1943-1944
New York Yankees 1944-1945

Paul Glee Waner, along with his brother Lloyd, starred in the Pittsburgh Pirates' outfield in the 1920s and 1930s. He led the National League in batting on three

occasions and accumulated over 3,000 hits in his career from 1926 to 1945. He was voted the NL's Most Valuable Player in 1927, and compiled a lifetime batting average of .333. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1952. Paul was famous for his ability to hit while hung over. He gave up drinking in 1938 at management's request, he hit only .280 - the first of only two times that he failed to hit .300 as a Pirate.  Paul had the unusual habit of doing back flips in order to sober up before playing. His nick name was "Big Poison". Legend has it he got the name from an opposing New York fan who referred to him as "Big Person" but the Brooklyn accent converted it to "Big Poison".


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