Summer Premier Auction 2020


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/28/2020

PLEASE NOTE: Autographs are authenticated by PSA/DNA as "Authentic"; photo itself is authenticated by PSA/DNA as "Type III".

Beginning in the late 1950's, as far as basketball was concerned, there was the Boston Celtics and there was everybody else. The team’s founder and owner Walter Brown, who was instrumental in forming the National Basketball Association, assembled a front office, coaching staff and roster of players that became the model franchise in all of professional sports. Red Auerbach, always eager to light up a cigar on the bench, developed the ultimate winning culture with his talented squad of Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Tommy Heinsohn, Frank Ramsay, Sam Jones and Arnie Risen – all of whom would eventually join their beloved Hall of Fame coach with plaques in Springfield, MA. In a 13-season stretch (1957-1969), Boston won eleven NBA titles, an unprecedented run in the history of sports, college or pro.

Presented here is an amazing 1957-58 Boston Celtics vintage team photo signed by all eleven players plus Auerbach and Walter Brown. It originated from the personal collection of center Arnie Risen, the former Rochester Royals star who served as Russell’s backup in his final NBA season. In the back row (from top left) is Lou Tsioropoulos, Jim Loscutoff (wore #18 in games), Jack Nichols, Russell, Risen, Heinsohn and Jones. The bottom row pictures Ramsay, Andy Phillip, Brown, Auerbach, team trainer (only one not to sign), Cousy and Sharman. The autographs are consistently done in blue ink ranging mostly 7-8/10 in our book, with the four most significant – Russell, Cousy, Brown & Auerbach – conveniently looking the nicest.

The black and white photograph, measuring 7-3/4” by 9-7/8”, presents in exceptional condition (essentially Mint) with sharp corners, straight edges and no creases or surface issues whatsoever. The blank white back has some yellow/brown toning on the upper right. PSA/DNA has labeled it a Type III photo dating to the late 1950’s shortly after it was snapped. The story of how it was procured is worth mentioning. Tim Gallagher – whose massive autograph collection is well-documented in this auction (Part 2) and our spring auction in May (Part 1) – sought Arnie Risen’s signature through the mail in the late 1990’s. After forgetting to comply and feeling bad about it, Risen more than made up for his gaffe by sending Gallagher this team-signed, Springfield-worth gem instead. The letter of correspondence between the two is included, as is the original envelope used by Risen to send it.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $5,530
Number Bids: 10
Auction closed on Friday, August 28, 2020.
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