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MSG to host Yankee Stadium auction

September 26, 2008 3:51:00 PM PDT
Yankee Stadium is quiet now, but memories from the famed venue and the superstars who took the field can be yours. Championship rings, baseballs and even letters written to Babe Ruth are up for grabs...for a price.

Fans said goodbye to Yankee Stadium last Sunday, and now, after 81 years, more than 400 pieces of Yankee memorabilia are being readied for the auction block.

"If you're a Yankee fan, you love the Yankees, you want to have something that's a part of history," Arlan Ettinger said.

Ettinger, the president of Guernsey's, is putting together the auction of Yankee treasures from the stadium and the players.

"There's something magic that not only baseball, but no other team in sports has," he said. "We have 26 championships. It's like America's team."

Items up for auction include the architectural plans for the original stadium, signed baseballs, prized photos and the first known World Series trophy.

Another is a letter from Mickey Mantle to his then-fiance Merlyn in 1951, just one month after arriving in New York City. In it, he talks about the new clothes he sees in the big city and his Yankee roommates. And he writes, "I love you more than anything in the world, and I wish you were here."

They are words that every woman wants to hear, and they are handwritten by the Mick.

A picture of Phil Rizzuto that hung in the House That Ruth Built is also available as well as the document that may well have been the reason Ruth got that house. In a 1918 letter, the Red Sox promise their pitcher, George Ruth, a whopping $2,000 bonus if he can win 30 games. But then the Sox sent Ruth to the outfield, and he left the team for New York. The rest is history.

Every artifact up for auction carries a story, some carry historical significance and some carry much more.

"The Stadium: A Remarkable Baseball Auction Featuring Artifacts Relating to Yankee Stadium and the Many Great Teams That Played There" will be held on Saturday, October 18 at Madison Square Garden. And even though the pieces of memorabilia may fetch a pretty penny, it won't cost you anything to attend and simply take it all in.

There are two sessions. The first is from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., and the second is from 6 p.m. until the auction concludes.

For more information, visit Guernseys.com.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Jamie Roth

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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