Size: 7/8" diameter
Notes: First Yankees World Series championship! Entire WS held at brand-new Yankee Stadium. Gehrig's first season, though he was denied eligibility in postseason play by McGraw. First in a long line of similarly themed and designed press pins for the Yankees. Dieges & Clust copyright. Threaded post reverse.
Barrie Sullivan Press Pin Collection
The hobby lost a true original when Barrie Sullivan passed on in 2014. It's hard to believe that over 5 years have already gone by since the influential collector and mentor to many said his goodbyes. Here was a man who ate, slept and breathed baseball; who was there on the front lines of the emerging memorabilia industry in the early 70s; who attended the very first National Sports Collectors Convention in 1980; and who proudly showed off some cards to his beloved wife Sandy on their first date! Barrie caught the baseball bug as a kid in Boston, worshipping the Red Sox and Teddy Ballgame. He spoked and flipped the cards of his favorite players and also sent away for their autographs. Later, after serving in the Army, becoming a lawyer and moving to Colorado, Barrie expanded his collecting taste to game-used jerseys, game-used equipment and, as seen here, World Series press pins.
This is easily one of the finest press-pin collections ever assembled, let alone ever offered at auction. It surely would've delighted another press-pin pioneer that we lost in recent years, Jim Johnston, who literally wrote the book on press pins and thus contributed to their rise in popularity and value. Here's how Jim framed the collecting sector and its history in James Beckett's 1980s price guides: "The first press pin dates to the 1911 World Series where the press box, then as now, was intended to be a limited-access area. Nevertheless the forceful Giant manager, John McGraw, had a history of violating that domain with his entourage of Irish cronies...[T]he Athletics anticipated the problem. The club ordered and dispensed a very visible lapel pin to writers with legitimate credentials. The idea was adopted by subsequent Series participants, and with the exception of the 1918 Cubs, each host in the World Series since 1912 has issued a press badge. Though early on distribution of press pins was a requisite encumbrance, their intent today has become a symbolic gesture of welcome to the media."
Barrie, Jim and other hobby luminaries may have left us, but their legacies remain strong in an elite collection such as this, which Barrie dutifully compiled over several decades. "He just loved a touch of greatness," said Kerry Sullivan of his brother's passion for collectibles and for the national pastime. Likewise for those of us who knew Barrie and were touched by his greatness.