Lot 21. Rare 1937 Pittsburgh “Pirates” (Steelers) Team Photo with HoFers Rooney and McNally. When the Pittsburgh football team joined in the NFL in 1933, it was known as the “Pirates.” In that era, a football team commonly adopted the same nickname as its city’s baseball team. To distinguish the two teams, local media often referred to the football team as the “Rooneymen.” In 1939, owner Art Rooney decided that a name change was in order. He enlisted a newspaper to promote a “name-the-team” contest. From the entries, Rooney selected “Steelers,” which was suggested to recognize Pittsburgh’s steel mill heritage. With future Hall of Fame player Johnny “Blood” McNally as the head coach, the Pirates won four games and lost seven. They defeated the Philadelphia Eagles and Brooklyn Dodgers to open the season, but then lost five consecutive games, all but one by seven points or fewer. McNally is seated next to Rooney in the photo, which is an 18.5” x 13” black & white offset print matted and framed to 25” x 19”. Several vertical creases run from top to bottom in the print near the center, and several other creases are nearby. Apparently the photo was folded sometime during the past 84 years. The photo is well focused, and players are easily identifiable. A seldom-seen piece of early Steelers memorabilia. In fact, this is the only VINTAGE copy we have seen.
Winning Bid $630
Lot 22. Joe Greene Autographed 1974 Limited Edition Print from a Merv Corning Painting. Only 500 of these prints were issued, including this #6. Greene’s pencil signature below the 15” x 11” print is gem mint 10. The lithograph is professionally matted and framed to 22.5” x 19”. Greene was elected to the College Hall of Fame in 1984, and to the Pro Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1999, “The Sporting News” ranked him 14th on its list of Football’s 100 Greatest Players. In 13 NFL seasons, he was selected for the Pro Bowl 10 times, and named the league’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1969, its Defensive Player of the Year in 1972 and 1974, and its Man of the Year in 1979. Corning is widely recognized for his paintings of football players and old airplanes, but his subjects were far more varied. Andrew Wyeth was his favorite painter, and the realism and detail in Corning’s paintings reflect Wyeth’s influence. His painting of Greene presents a reflective figure, rather than “Mean” Joe, and seems to capture Greene as he has said he would like fans to think of him: “I just want people to remember me as being a good player and not really mean. I want to be remembered for playing 13 years and contributing to four championship teams. I would like to be remembered for maybe setting a standard for others to achieve.” Nm-m print with a strong, unimprovable autograph.
Winning Bid $100
Lot 23. Jim Finks Beautifully Autographed 1954 Bowman Football Card #62. After playing quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1949-56, Finks became a highly successful NFL administrator and executive. Under his leadership as general manager, the Minnesota Vikings won 11 division championships and four Super Bowls. Subsequently in Chicago, his personnel moves helped to transform the Bears into a dominant team of the 1980s. And in New Orleans, he led the Saints to their first winning season in 21 years in the NFL. He twice was named the NFL Executive of the Year – in 1973 in Minnesota and in 1987 in New Orleans. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1995, a year after cancer claimed his life. Finks’ autograph stands out boldly, mint 9, on the Bowman card, which shows corner wear and a couple of very light creases. Very nice example of Finks’ autograph.
Winning Bid $285
Lot 420. Scarce 1961 Jay Publishing Pittsburgh Steelers Set of 12. With Bobby Layne, John Henry Johnson and Buddy Parker on these cards, the set could almost be mistaken as a Detroit Lions issue! Even with this trio, Pittsburgh ended the season at 6-6. Here is the complete list of cards: Carpenter ex-m, Dial ex, Derby ex+, Johnson nm+, Layne ex-m+, Lipscomb ex-m, Mack ex-m, Mautino vg-ex, Michaels vg, Parker ex, Pottios ex-m and Tracy ex-m.
Winning Bid $152
Lot 431. 1979 “Pittsburgh Press” Steelers Notebook Near Set – 53 of 56 Posters Plus the Special Binder. Most of these 5.5” x 8” black & white posters were neatly trimmed from the pages of the newspaper. All the stars are here – Blount, Bradshaw, Greene, Ham, Harris, Lambert, Shell, Stallworth, Swann and Webster, and also Coach Noll. The missing posters are of Moore (coach), Moser and Riecke. Almost all of the posters are free of creases. Somewhat more than half have the black border all the way around; the others are missing the border along one side or in a section of the side. All have three punches to fit into the binder. The Lambert poster has six punch holes and a tear at one of them; the Woodruff poster has tears at two of its three punch holes. The binder is nm-m. As a bonus, there are four posters that have the full black border and are unpunched: Cole, Noll, Pinney and Webster.
Winning Bid $168
Lot 440. Autographed Biography of Brady Keys, Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Back. Published in 1999, “The Brady Keys, Jr. Story” is subtitled “Overcoming Adversity by Staying Within the Blessing.” Latrina M. Patrick wrote this inspirational book. Keys’ autograph, personalized to “Fred,” is mint 9 to gem mint 10 on the title page. The softcover book, a fourth printing, is vg+ to ex with 190 extensively illustrated ex-m pages. Keys played for the Steelers from 1961 -67 and had one Pro Bowl appearance. With support from Steelers’ owner Dan Rooney, he became the first black American to own a national fast food franchise, All Pro Fried Chicken, which was eventually bought out by Kentucky Fried Chicken. When he retired from the business in 2002, he owned 11 KFC franchises. Keys died in 2017.
Winning Bid $10
Lot 441. Bobby Layne Nicely Autographed Pro Football Hall of Fame 8” x 10” B&W Photo. An All-American quarterback at the University of Texas and a three-time NFL champion in Detroit, Layne is a member of the Pro and College Football Halls of Fame. He also was an excellent pitcher for the Longhorns and set numerous university and Southwest Conference records. He helped the Lions to capture NFL titles in 1952, 1953 and 1957. “The Sporting News” rated him 52nd among Football’s 100 Greatest Players. Layne was the first quarterback to master the two-minute drill. Teammate Doak Walker called him “the greatest two-minute quarterback ever.” He died in 1986. His autograph is mint 9 on an nm-m photo.
Winning Bid $121
Lot 444. Pittsburgh Steelers Memorabilia – 2 Swann Autographs, Programs, Tickets – and a Coin. Lynn Swann, the Hall of Fame wide receiver, placed a mint 9 signature on the back of a 3.5” x 6.5” ticket from the 1999 Mario Lemieux Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament. The ticket has creases that do not affect the presentation of the autograph. Above his signature, he wrote “Peace!” Swann also signed a page in the program for the event. This autograph is nm-m 8 to mint 9. Swann is in the Pro and College Football Halls of Fame. A third autograph is by John Banaszak, a solid performer at defensive end for the Steelers from 1975-81. The Defensive Player of the Game in Super Bowl XIII, he signed an NFL educational brochure above his image. The autograph is mint 9; the brochure is folded horizontally and has multiple creases. The autograph displays very nicely. Eight of the nine other items are for the Steelers’ final game at Three Rivers Stadium on Dec. 16, 2000, or their first game at Heinz Field on Oct. 7, 2001. Two programs for the closing game against the Washington Redskins are ex to ex-m, while one ticket is vg-ex, and the other is ex. In the inaugural game at Heinz Field, the Steelers defeated the Bengals, 16-7. A program for the game is ex-m+; one ticket is vg-ex, and another is ex. An Inaugural Season coin accompanies the program and tickets. It and the surrounding holder are nm-m to mint. The coin was created for distribution at what was supposed to be the Steelers’ first Heinz Field game – on Sept. 16 vs. Cleveland. That game and all NFL games that day were postponed because of the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S. by Islamic extremists. This collection also includes a 2005 Steelers yearbook, which pictures Heath Miller, the Steelers’ best draft pick of the season, and Nate Washington, signed as an undrafted free agent. The 2005 Steelers, with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, won Super Bowl XL. The 184-publication is nm-m.
Winning Bid $83
Lot 446. Y. A. Tittle Boldly Signed B&W 11” x 14” Iconic Photo by Morris Berman. The photo by the “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette” photographer captures the bloodied, dazed and dejected New York Giants quarterback on his knees in a Sept. 1964 game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. On a play that resulted in an interception returned for a touchdown, Tittle had just suffered a concussion and a cracked sternum. Pittsburgh won the game, 27-24. The signature Tittle placed on the nm-m photo is large and gem mint 10. He had a Hall of Fame career with the San Francisco Giants before being traded to the Giants in 1961. Tittle retired after the 1964 season. With Jim Brown, Andy Robustelli, Norm Van Brocklin and the late Vice Lombardi, Tittle was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971. He died in 2017.
Winning Bid $30
Lot 464. 8 Signed Photos with a Pittsburgh Connection –1 Baseball and 7 Football Autographs. All of the photos are color 8 x 10s, nm-m or better. The lone baseball signer is Pedro Alvarez, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ third baseman from 2010-14 and their first baseman in 2015. In 2013, he led the N.L. in home runs, was an All-Star and received a Silver Slugger award. His autograph is nm-m 8 to mint 9. All but one of the football autographs are by Pittsburgh Steelers. The exception is LaVar Arrington, a star linebacker for the Washington Redskins. A linebacker and running back during his senior year at North Hills High School near Pittsburgh, Arrington was one the nation’s top players. He was named the 1996 “Parade” National Player of the Year, the Bobby Dodd National High School Back of the Year, the “Gatorade” Player of the Year and “USA Today” Pennsylvania Player of the Year. Subsequently at Penn State, he was a two-time first-team All-American and, in 1999, received the Butkus, Bednarik and Lambert Awards. His autograph is strong on a partially dark background, nm 7 to nm-m 8. Steelers’ autographs are by: Cam Heyward, one of the team captains and a four-time Pro Bowl selection at defensive end. Earl Holmes, a linebacker, 1996-2001. Chris Hoke, a defensive lineman, 2001-11. Carnell Lake, a four-time Pro-Bowl safety, 1989-98. And Shaun Suisham, the Steelers’ 2010-15 placekicker with holder (and punter) Jeremy Kapinos (2010-12) in two different photos. The Steelers’ autographs are nm-m 8 and better. Heyward’s is mint 9 to gem mint 10. The signed photos are accompanied by an 8” x 10” color photo of the 1972 Pittsburgh Pirates team. Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell are in the photo.
Winning Bid $25
Lot 494. 8 Pittsburgh Area Football Banquet and Testimonial Programs and 2 Letters to Chet Smith. Smith was the highly regarded sports editor of the “Pittsburgh Press” from 1931-66. Three Curbstone Coaches Awards Banquet programs are in this collection, for Jan. 1961, Dec. 1961 and Jan. 1964. Each year, this organization honored Pittsburgh Steelers and college and high school players and coaches. The programs are vg with extensive notations in two of them. Individuals honored include Mike Ditka, Dick Hoak, Art Rooney, Big Daddy Lipscomb, Pete Dimperio, Buddy Dial and Myron Pottios. Smith was the toastmaster at all three of these events. The letters to him are from, in 1947, Thomas J. Herbert, the Governor of Ohio, and, in 1958, Charles Alvin Jones, Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. (Their signatures have not been authenticated.) Smith was the toastmaster at other events represented here. The other programs honor: 1. 1945, Mt. Lebanon Wildcats, undefeated in eight games, Smith as toastmaster with Pie Traynor participating, vg, extensive notations. 2. 1946, Lt. Richard J. Pitzer of Langley High, Connellsville High and Army’s 1944 and 1945 undefeated teams, vg-ex. 3. 1947, Springdale High School, W.P.I.A.L. Class A champion, vg+. 4. 1949, Lou Kusserow of Glassport and an All-American at Columbia, vg-ex. 5. 1968, Louis Nemec, Penn Hills football coach, vg. Also, a Pittsburgh Builders 1953 program; a flyer for a 1940 surprise birthday party for Lawrence J. Fagan, “Pittsburgh Press” city editor, 1930-60, and Curbstone Coaches membership cards for 1969 and 1970.
Winning Bid $10
Lot 499. 8 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers Large-Format B&W Photos with Swann, Bradshaw, Greene, Etc. Five of these offset-print photos are 11” x 14” including a caption and are mounted on 12” x 15” white foam board. They appear to be from original negatives. One has a facsimile signature of Harry K Frye, award-winning photographer for a Pittsburgh area newspaper, “The Beaver County Times,” from 1964-90. It is likely that all five photos represent Frye’s work. 1. Dec. 14, 1974 game, Lynn Swann runs to evade Bengals defenders after catching a pass from Terry Bradshaw. 2. Dec. 27, 1976, Franco Harris and Terry Bradshaw head for the sidelines after Harris scored in an AFC Division Playoff Game. 3. Jan. 5, 1979, Portrait of Lynn Swann in a Steelers game vs. Houston. The following four photos are from a 1976 Playoff Game between the Steelers and Raiders. 4. Jan. 4, 1976, Terry Bradshaw being helped off the field in an AFC Division Playoff Game vs. Oakland. 5. Jan. 4, 1976, Joe Greene carrying Lynn Swann off the field after also being injured on the same pass that resulted in Terry Bradshaw’s injury. The following two photos are 8.5” x 11” with captions and appear to be from the same source as the five above. 6. Jan. 4, 1976, Franco Harris breaks through the center of the Raiders’ line. 7. Jan. 4, 1976, Coach Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw watching fourth-quarter action. These seven photos are nm or better. 8. Undated 11” x 14” photo printed on glossy paper, Denver’s Craig Morton unleashing a pass under pressure for the Steelers’ L. C. Greenwood and Steve Furness, ex-m, apparently from an original negative. Excellent Steelers photograph collection.
Winning Bid $152
Lot 510. Nov. 20, 1955 Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Football Program. These Browns repeated as NFL champions, and the Steelers were one of their regular-season victims, 44-14. The 36-page program is vg+ to ex. It has a full-page photo of head coach Paul Brown. Players pictured include Otto Graham, Frank Gatski, Len Ford, Fred Morrison, Chuck Noll, Dante Lavelli, Lou Groza and Jim Finks.
Winning Bid $30
Lot 512. 3 Detroit Lions Programs – 1956 vs. the Rams and Steelers and 1958 vs. the 49ers. The Lions won the Oct. 14, 1956 game with Los Angeles, 24-21. The 56-page program is vg+ to ex with photos of players for each team, including Bobby Layne, Leon Hart, Lou Creekmur, Yale Lary, Jack Christiansen, Joe Schmidt, Bob Boyd, Crazy Legs Hirsch and Norm Van Brocklin. December 9, 1956 vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers, a 45-7 victory, 56-page program with player photos for each team, including Ernie Stautner for Pittsburgh, and many car advertisements; vg-ex. And Nov. 16, 1958 vs. the 49ers, a 35-31 win, 38 pages, photos of Tittle, Nomellini, St. Clair, McElhenny, Perry, Brodie, Rote, Lary, Karras, Christiansen, Morrall and others; vg+ to ex.
Winning Bid $30
Lot 513. 4 Pittsburgh Steelers Programs, 1956-60, vs. the Cardinals, Redskins and Giants. Three are for home games. The earliest is for a Nov. 25, 1956 game at Comiskey Park against the Chicago Cardinals. Pittsburgh lost, 27-38. The 32-page vg+ to ex program pictures such Cardinals as Woodley Lewis, Stan West, Joe Childress, Gern Nagler, Lindon Crow, Dave Mann, “Night Train” Lane and Ollie Matson. Unlike the Cardinals’ program, the Oct. 4, 1959 “Official Bicentennial Souvenir Program for the 1959 Steelers” shows numerous Pittsburgh players, including Len Dawson, Jack Butler and Ernie Stautner. Tom Tracy and Ray Mathews are in a full-page photo. And some Redskins are also presented. The 136-page program, vg+ to ex with the staples removed, has substantial information on Pittsburgh area football and other sports history. The Steelers lost to the Redskins, 17-23. The Dec. 13, 1959 program, also for the Bicentennial, is for a game with the Cardinals, which Pittsburgh won, 35-20. This program has a few photos of contemporary Steelers and otherwise largely replicates the edition for the Oct. 4 game. It does offer four pages of Steeler alumni, including Jim Finks, Bill McPeak, Elbie Nickel, Whizzer White, Bill Dudley, Johnny Blood McNally, Lynn Chandnois and coach Jock Sutherland. There also is a page titled “Steeler Games of ‘59” with five action photos. Vg+ to ex, 136 pages, Bert Bell on the front cover. The Oct. 9, 1960 program, with 34 pages, is vg+. Pittsburgh lost to the New York Giants, 17-19. The program has a large photo of Bobby Layne and his son with Tom Tracy.
Winning Bid $35