Reggie Jackson Is Selling the Giant Yankee Stadium Sign at Sotheby’s
A big piece of Yankee history will be on offer at Sotheby’s—literally. Yankee great Reggie Jackson is auctioning off the thirteen ten-foot-tall “Yankee Stadium” letters that graced the exterior of the Bronx baseball team’s stadium until it was torn down following the 2008 season.
The sign, composed of letters made from aluminum casing with blue Plexiglas inserts, could fetch as much as $300,000–600,000 at the April 1 “The New York Sale,” among the first sales that the auction house will stream through new partner eBay (see Sotheby’s and eBay Unveil Details of New Joint Venture—Will it Work?). Despite its monumental size, the sign’s letters will not be sold individually, but as a group.
“I see this auction as an opportunity for a new generation to own and enjoy this icon of the Yankees and of New York city,” said the Hall of Famer in a statement.
The sign was installed in 1976, following the renovations to the stadium, which began following the building’s 50th anniversary season in 1973. (The stadium was built in 1923.)
When the team moved to its new home, one block north of the original, in 2008, Jackson, known as “Mr. October” for his playoff heroics during his time in pinstripes, purchased the weathered letters in order to preserve them. He also bought his locker and the section of the outfield bleachers where his historic third homer landed during the final game of the Yankees’ 1977 World Series victory.
Finding a buyer who has the room to display them all might be tough, but Sotheby’s vice chairman David Redden is optimistic. “Can you imagine them in your backyard, lit up?” he asked the New York Times. “That would be quite something.”
Yankee memorabilia (such as Babe Ruths’s $4.4 million uniform) have made waves at auction before, and have even been known to attract thieves, such as this past fall’s robbery at the the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center at Montclair State University in Little Falls, New Jersey (see Priceless Memorabilia Stolen in Yogi Berra Museum Heist).
For more of artnet News’s coverage of the intersection of sports and art see $8 Million Jeff Koons Sculpture Commissioned by Sacramento Basketball Team, Super Bowl Ad Shows Artist Magically Creating Football Painting, and Museums Bet Major Paintings on Super Bowl Win.
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