THE JOHN DEMATTIES COLLECTION
Growing up in a small town in Eastern Washington, John DeMatties’ passion for the game of baseball and his inherent collector instincts converged at an early age. So too, did a work ethic that would serve him well throughout all facets of his life, including quietly and humbly building what would become one of the most eclectic and exceptional sports memorabilia collections we’ve encountered.
As a kid, John diligently gathered pop bottles and beer bottles for redemption to purchase packs of cards at the lone general store in town. His limited means enhanced the disappointment of acquiring duplicates, and added to the magnitude of every trading opportunity and chance to “flip” cards with friends. Fast forward a decade or so, and John, upon returning home from an early life adventure, would find that his mother had abided by the old American tradition of throwing away his seemingly forgotten boyhood baseball card collection.
Around 1980, while living in Forks, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula John meandered into a mall card shop. All the passion of his youth was re-ignited. Now a proprietor of a thriving business John’s collection took on new dimensions. He would later sell his “second” card collection to facilitate a budding interest in memorabilia. Along with raising a family, the hobby became a central focus in John’s life. In spite of his remote location, John loved the hobby show experience, investing in long flights and road trips driven by the thrill of the hunt. He developed lasting relationships with trusted dealers and friends such as Andy Madec, Jimmy Spence, Bill Diebold and Scott Mahlum to name a few. Nearly every year since 1996, John attended the National Convention, quietly and inconspicuously combing the aisles in search of items possessing what can only be described as the “it” factor.
The John DeMatties collection evolved to encompass items of wide-ranging value and categories, but the “it” factor is a common thread throughout. Nearly every item possesses a character element that elevates it above the norm, i.e.: a Babe Ruth signed photo that belonged to Ruth’s sister, A 1949 Bowman Jackie Robinson card owned by Jackie himself, even John’s Mickey Mantle ball is signed in rare red ink. The list goes on… As true collectors, like John himself is, peruse the following 174 Lots (356-529), “it” will be instantly recognized. Furthermore, John maintained the highest standards of authenticity. Among the hundreds of items we viewed in this multi-faceted collection, we were astonished to discover a flawless record of authenticity, setting a new precedent in our 30 plus year business history.
MUHAMMAD ALI’S FIGHT WORN ROBE VS. KEN NORTON AT YANKEE STADIUM SEPTEMBER 28, 1976 - EX BUNDINI BROWN $55,152
RARE AND EXCEPTIONAL .400 HITTERS MULTI-SIGNED BASEBALL INCL. COBB, SISLER, HORNSBY, TERRY AND WILLIAMS (PSA/DNA OVERALL GRADE 8.5) $50,137
EXCEPTIONAL TED WILLIAMS 1951-52 H&B PROFESSIONAL MODEL GAME USED BAT (PSA/DNA GU10) $30,343
CASSIUS CLAY AUTOGRAPHED AND DATED 1960 POST TRAINING WORN GLOVES $18,368
STAN MUSIAL AUTOGRAPHED 1958-60 H&B PROFESSIONAL MODEL GAME USED BAT (PSA/DNA GU9) $15,786