Photo courtesy Heritage Auctions
Robert Fraser is giving up his favorite living room decoration – the 1912 Red Sox World Series trophy – but it wasn't easy for auction houses to convince him to let it go.
"I was heartbroken," Fraser said. "I loved having it on display in my living room."
Fraser, 52, is expected to be compensated handsomely when it will be auctioned at the National Sports Collectors Convention Aug. 2 in Baltimore. The current bid, via Heritage Auctions, is $90,000.
But Fraser, who said he paid Bruce Garland a $74,000 finder's fee, including commission, for the trophy in 2007, said it could sell for up to 10 times what he paid.
"All you need is a few people," Fraser said.
Heritage Auctions estimates the 14-inch silver trophy will sell for at least $300,000.
According to Fraser, Garland bought the trophy from the family of Jake Stahl, the manager of the 1912 Sox.
Another trophy that was produced in 1912 went to Jimmy McAleer, the team's then co-owner. That trophy has never been located, according to Heritage Auction's Chris Ivy, and could have been melted during the Great Depression.
"It's a one-of-a-kind item," Ivy said. "It's a priceless item."
Asked if the Red Sox would get involved in the bidding, Ivy responded, "I'd be surprised if they didn't."
The Red Sox have a replica of the trophy on display in Fenway Park. The Red Sox defeated the New York Giants four games to three in the 1912 World Series.
"I think Robert's timing is phenomenal," Ivy said. "The fact that this is 2012, 100 years from Fenway's opening."
This piece is on the cover of Heritage Auction's Platinum Night catalog.
The trophy was also the subject of a resolved dispute in New Jersey. A judge said that vintage baseball memorabilia collector/dealer Peter Nash had acted "in bad faith" and has no legal claim to the trophy.
Fraser is an agent for Terrie O'Connor Realtors in Saddle River, NJ.
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Matt Pepin, Boston.com sports editor
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer