Memorabilia unveiled for FanFest 

Hunt Auctions unveiled a portion of its memorabilia collection to members of the media Thursday at AT&T Park, as a preview of the historic Major League Baseball items that will be auctioned off July 10 as part of the FanFest at the Moscone Center during All-Star week.

Among more than 200 collectibles that will be auctioned off is a signed Willie Mays Giants jersey from 1958, the first year the club played in San Francisco. That item is expected to fetch somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000.

Also on display was a Reggie Jackson home uniform from the A’s 1969 season, expected to draw upwards of $15,000. The vest design of that particular year is unique, as both the number and the A’s logo are located on the front of the jersey.

The most historic of the items in Hunt’s collection were a pair of lineup cards from the first All-Star Game, held in 1933. The cards were in the possession of Hall of Fame manager Bill McKechnie, who was one of the National League coaches for the inaugural Midsummer Classic.

In his will, McKechnie left the cards to his grandson, who was leafing through his papers years later and happened upon the antique treasures. The lineup cards are the most highly valued items to be auctioned off, with an expected worth of more than $50,000.

According to David Hunt, president of the auction house, more than 100 people are expected to attend the auction during FanFest, with thousands more predicted to weigh in online. Overall, FanFest is expected to draw anywhere from 70,000 to 100,000 people.

"It’s a great way for fans to stay involved with the festivities, even if they can’t get into the All-Star Game or the Home Run Derby," Hunt said Thursday. "There is a ton of collectibles on display that collectors, investors and fans can all enjoy."

This is the third straight year that Hunt Auctions, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, has held an auction during All-Star week. Last year, Hunt auctioned off the first home run ball hit in an All-Star Game, courtesy of the Sultan of Swat himself, Babe Ruth.

Much like the first All-Star lineup cards, Ruth’s historic home run ball was discovered by happenstance, as a relative unearthed it when rummaging through the family’s old possessions.

The unlikely finding certainly had its rewards.

"Last year, we were expecting about $300,000 for the Babe Ruth ball," Hunt said. "But we had these two collectors who really wanted that ball and they both ended up bidding over $800,000 for it. It was an amazingly exciting experience."

The Giants are hosting the All-Star Game, which will be July 10 at AT&T Park.

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Will Reisman

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