Four Page Written Account of 

The 27th Annual 2006 

National Sports Collectors Convention


Carlton Hendricks






awarded to

OJohn Kanuit and Jim GriffithO


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John Kanuit and Jim Griffith

Next, get ready for an avalanche as we come to the shared booth of John Kanuit of Palos Verdes Estates California, and Jim Griffith of Novato California. John, as many know, is renowned at the National. Every year it’s the same, he always has the best booth. Combined with Griffith it was even stronger, as Jim too brought powerful stuff. I think most of the helmets were Jim’s, and they were some of the best you’ll see, and in very good condition overall. Between them both they had like eight or nine top examples of football helmets which I believe all sold. That’s unheard of. Normally you’d be very lucky to find just one of the quality he had, at a show. The way they designed their booth enhanced the experience further. Flanking the front with two large glass display cases, which permitted you to see thru to the tables of great stuff inside, leaving plenty of room for people to enter and leave between them.

Let me tell ya, if you had the money, they had the stuff. For instance, they had a complete c1890 football union suit in excellent condition, best I’ve seen. There was a c1920 Spalding trophy that was clean as a whistle. That’s just a couple of items that come to mind, we’ll get to the details of everything shortly. And as the hobby goes, there prices weren’t bad at all. As they unpacked on setup day, there was frenzy; people were buying stuff like crazy. I managed to get a very rare football poster by Joseph Leyendecker for $1,100.00 in the midst of the fray. When there’s that kind of action, you’re afraid to put anything down, as it might get bought while you’re thinking about it. Alright moving along, let’s take a look at what they had.


Offered by John Kanuit


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c1900 football poster by Joseph Leyendecker, $1,200.00

First mention, an original commercial art illustration drawing of a football player designated with the name Richard M. Brown, 21” tall x 21 ½” wide, $375.00. Not sure if the players name was Richard M. Brown, or the illustrator, can’t find reference on either, but it was nice, lotta’bang for the buck! Next, a die cut advertising sign for Munsing Wear union suits featuring a caricature of a young boy running with a football, 16 ¼” x 8”, $650.00. Next was a 1939 Tri County basketball trophy, 21 ¾” tall, $675.00. Next, a pair of circa 1920’s reeded baseball shin guards, made of leather, $1,500.00. Next up, a pneumatic baseball chest protector made of canvass, $950.00. Next, a 1931 Municipal Basketball trophy awarded to Marcy Lee. 18”, $425.00. Next up was an advertising poster on card stock for Reach baseball equipment featuring a boy throwing a baseball, 24” x 16”, $2,400.00. Next, a Chesterfield cigarettes advertising sign printed on card stock, featuring New York Yankee Casey Stengel, and New York Giant Leo Durocher, 22” tall x 23” wide, $450.00. 


Offered by Jim Griffith


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c1920 Spalding Trophy

Next up was one of the best things at the show, a circa 1925 Spalding baseball trophy featuring a baseman reaching down for a catch, excellent condition, 13 ½” wide x 11” tall, $4,500.00. Ryan Sims of Anaheim Hills California bought this. Ryan told me he had been after a Spalding trophy for years, so getting it was a real coup. He said as much, it had been such a long standing resolve, his wife would tease him about choosing the more expensive wine when they were out to dinner, reminding him the money could be going toward a Spalding! Congrats Ryan.

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Next up in the Kanuit Griffith booth was a great Spalding like trophy that had a large baseball with a player on top reaching for a catch. It was un-awarded without engraving. The base had been repainted but other than that superb condition, 26 ½” tall, $1,450.00. Next up was another baseball trophy with a player on top reaching for a catch. This one was more linear in style, with vertical bats at the bottom. It was made by D&M and engraved: Champions 1929 Brownson of the Wilmington Twighlight League, 21 ½” tall, $825.00. Next at bat was a silver plate baseball trophy plaque mounted on a varnished wood backing, titled the Defenders Trophy and awarded yearly from 1924 thru 1929. It had filigree rendering at the top of a batter and catcher in play. The silver plate finish had considerable wear and needed re-plating, 19” tall x 15” wide, $850.00. Next up was a circa 1930’s die cut standup advertising sign on cardstock for Wilson football equipment. It was done in a striking art deco style that looked almost military, 27” tall x 25” wide, $750.00. Next was a cardstock broadside poster advertising a football game between San Raphael High and the Eureka Loggers, nice graphics of a player wearing a late 30’s leather football helmet, 22” x 14”, $225.00. Next were some football shin guards, made of canvass with a flat smooth surface, inside, $650.00. Next was another pair of football shin guards, also canvass but reeded style, $475.00. Next was a metal jock protector cup for $125.00, 

Next we take a look at one of the most exciting genera of the show, that of the leather football helmets Kanuit and Griffith had. There may be a little error of my reporting of the football helmets regarding the details of each, but it shouldn’t be too far off. My concentration was thrown way off throughout the show due to unforeseen circumstances. I anticipate being back up to speed from here on though.

I already stated and it’s obvious from this coverage that the Kanuit Griffith booth was essentially an avalanche of sports display antiques. Their selection of helmets is the perfect example of this. Going back thru my photos I think I count a total of nine helmets they initially offered at set up time. I wish I’d been quicker to record they're details as I saw them, as some sold before I could. It’s a jungle out there! First up was a dog ear for $850.00, next was a 7 spoke made by Schmeizer for $2,800.00. Next was a brown colored Princeton style, $3,500.00. Next was probably my favorite, a brown hard shell, no maker, $5,500.00. Next, a canvass dog ear, no maker, $850.00. Next, a black one with a Trojan style neck, $1,100.00. Last, at least that I recorded, was a tan eight spoke for $1,400.00. There were a few more that I didn’t get notes on. I speculate if there has ever been that good of a selection of leather football helmets for sale in one booth ever!

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Next in the Kanuit Griffith booth were some football shoulder pads for $450.00. Next was a 9” tall football player statue made of galvano, by P. Testi, for $1,100.00, ankle had been repaired. Saw it in the Leland’s booth later. Next up, a baseball trophy with three bats on top holding a ball, engraved: M.F.B.B.L. Championship 1916 won by The Russell Mfg. Co., 11 ¾” tall, $1,800.00. Next, a baseball shaped radio designated Official League Ball, 11 ¾” diameter, $850.00. Next, a very nice D&M baseball trophy with figural crossed bats, ball and a catcher’s mitt at the base. The cup was copper and the presentation plate on the front was extra nice. It had a figural of the D&M dog at the top and read: D&M, Presented by the Draper Maynard Co. Hopkins A&L club, Championship of Jewish Educational Alliance Senior Baseball League, 9” tall, $2,600.00. 

Next in the Kanuit Griffith booth was a very nice hockey trophy with two figural crossed sticks over the base stem, with two pucks on the base. The front read: Simonite Trophy, Community Hockey League 1932, very nice wood base, looked Canadian, 10” tall, $325.00. Next, was a child’s baseball catcher’s mask, which I bought, 9” tall, $195.00. Next was a very striking bronze relief plaque depicting a football player being tackled. It was sculpted by Jack Lincoln Lambert, who did a considerable amount of sports sculpture in the 1920’s and 30’s. 7” x 5 ½”, $675.00. Next was a rare Stevengraph depicting an American football game in progress, titled “The First Touch”. It had the all important original mat, and the frame was period and appeared original as well, 10” x 7” framed, $1,200.00. Next was a c1930’s small round silver plate tray with a lady golfer, made by Wilcox, 3 ¾” tall, $175.00. Next up was a c1930’s trophy with a large figural basketball, not engraved, made by the Homan Manufacturing Company, 9” tall, $275.00. 

Next John had a large 26 inch figural of a baseball player wearing an All Star type uniform. It was some kind advertising piece I believe, perhaps from a sporting goods store, and appeared to be made of some kind of wood composition material. I think John had it on consignment for someone, $4,200.00. Concluding our journey over the great plains of the Kanuit Griffith booth we come to a large and impressive baseball trophy made by Rogers Brothers. It had an elaborate and detailed engraving of a baseball game in progress, under the top rim. The presentation engraving on the front read: Donated to Menorah Lodge 144OOF in memory of Mrs. Aaron Breslow, unquote, 24” tall, $3,200.00. When I review the Kanuit Griffith booth photos now I see things I’m puzzled by, that I didn’t take notes on. Like that pillbox cap for instance. Future Nationals, no more unforeseen circumstances. 

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Rob Mucha of Glove Crazy, and Tom Elliot of Past Time Collectibles
Next we come to the shared booth of Rob Mucha of Glove Crazy from La Palma California, and Tom Elliot of Past Time Collectibles from Fullerton California. I think Mucha and Elliot's booth was kind of glove central for the show. Since I barely know anything about gloves, I’ll just post photos of their booth for you that do.


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c1930 Spalding football sweater, $275.00. c1950's U.S.C. basketball trophy, $350.00

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Heritage Sports Auctions
Next up is the booth of Heritage Sports Auctions of Dallas. The items in their booth were being offered in their then upcoming auction. First in their arsenal was a superb photo of the 1872 Excelsior Base Ball Club, 17 ½” x 15”, estimate, $8,000.00 - $10.000.00. Next was a signed photo of Babe Ruth, 25 ½” x 21 ½”, estimate $20,000.00-$30,000.00. Next was a very impressive signed photo of Bobby Jones standing with all his trophies displayed in front of him, estimate $10,000.00 - $20,000.00. Next was a Signed photo of Harry Vardon, 25 ½” x 19 ½”, estimate $4,000.00-$6,000.00. Next, a spectacular and very historical 1971 Championship Belt awarded to Joe Frazier for his victory over Muhammad Ali, estimate $50,000.00 - $70,000.00. Last was a pair of boxing gloves worn by Jake LaMotta from his fight with Dick Wagner , estimate $2,000.00 - $4,000.00. 


Next was the Leland’s booth. First mention was an advertising display box for Standard Base Balls, probably from the 1880’s, 9 7/8” x 12 ¾” x 3 3/8”, $auction item$. Next up was a c1930’s Bruner Woolens advertising display box with a colorful golf scene on the inside of the lid, 20” tall (open) x 28 ¾” wide x 11” deep, $595.00. Next, was a c1890 Morrill's football nose guard, $750.00. Next up was an original c1890 cast iron Dark Town Battery baseball penny bank, $auction item$. Next was a very rare Cy Young cigar tin, 5 ¼” tall x 5 ¼” diameter, $8,000.00. Next up, a very nice baseball trophy with a figural baseball mounted in the center flanked by two batters. I have an ashtray with the same batter figure and it is marked Derby, so I assume Derby did this trophy. Derby isn’t as well known as Reed and Barton and other trophy makers, but they did some very creative and nice work. The title plate was engraved: Presidents Trophy Base Ball Pere Marquette Athletic Assn. Donated by Frank H. Alfred, and each side of the base was also engraved to different teams for the years 1926 to1928, 10” tall x 10 ½” wide, $3,500.00. 

Next up, Leland’s had a die cut advertising sign for PF Canvass shoes, featuring Yogi Berra, 11 3/8” tall, $750.00. Next up was a Walter Camp memorial, University of California vs. St. Mary’s College football program. The program had a photo of Camp in his older years on the cover, had creases vertical and horizontal, $150.00. Next was an original 1962 boxing site poster for Liston vs. Patterson, 22” x 14”, $500.00. Site posters are very rare I probably should have gotten it for that price. Next up was a great photo of Jack Johnson and Stanley Ketchel squaring off in a boxing ring in San Francisco in 1909, 8 3/8” wide x 6 3/8” tall, $2,500.00. Next up, a 6 pack of Ted’s Root Beer in the original carrying carton, three full, three empty, $1,200.00. I’d never seen one of those before. Next up, a walking cane presented by boxing great Battling Nelson. Engraved on the silver cap: John Day from Battling Nelson Champion of the World 1909, unquote, 35 5/8” Tall, $1,000.00. Next up was a c1927 signed photo of Jack Dempsey swing a baseball bat, 9 ¼” x 7 ½”, $400.00. Next up was a signed photo of Babe Ruth picking out a bat while standing in a dugout, 8 ¾” x 7 ½”, $6,500.00. Last from the Leland’s booth was a huge 31” tall, c1927 Woodcliff Leasure League baseball trophy, $3,000.00. This piece provided a fun little spin for me. I bought it there at the National from David Hunt for $800.00. I carried it back to my booth where Josh Evans of Leland’s was there. Josh complimented it, and I told him I just got it from David Hunt for $800.00. Josh asked me to give him a shot at it if I decided to sell it. I told him, how about $1,500.00? and he bought it on the spot. I owned it about 7 minutes. That’s $100 a minute.


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