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Sotheby's to auction a monumental icon of sports & New York history: The old Yankee Stadium sign
On offer from the collection of Reggie "Mr. October" Jackson. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s New York Sale* on 1 April 2015 will offer an icon not only of sports memorabilia, but of New York City history and one of the world’s most renowned sports franchises: the monumental sign that welcomed visitors to the old Yankee Stadium from 1976 to 2008 (estimate $300/600,000**). Comprising 13 letters that each stand 10-feet tall, the sign is on offer from the collection of Reggie “Mr. October” Jackson, who cemented his legend as a New York Yankee and sports icon while the sign was installed at the famed Bronx arena. The New York Sale will be on public view in Sotheby’s New York City headquarters beginning 26 March.

The Yankees have played in the Bronx since the building of their original stadium in 1923. The look of Yankee Stadium remained largely the same until its 50th Anniversary season in 1973, when the team moved to Shea Stadium for two seasons while it was modernized and renovated. On 15 April 1976, Yankee Stadium reopened with a new façade that featured the present 13 letters, which remained in place until its closure in 2008.

During that time, the sign presided over: six of the Yankees’ record-setting 27 World Series Championships; nine consecutive AL East titles; 13 consecutive seasons with a playoff appearance; the only two ‘Perfect Games’ thrown by Yankees pitchers to-date; and their historic 1998 season when they recorded 125 wins.

After the lights were shut off at the stadium for the final time, Reggie Jackson – one of the most iconic New York Yankees and a baseball legend – purchased the sign in order to preserve this rare piece of New York City and sports history. Yankee Stadium was the stage for some of Jackson’s most iconic moments, including his three home runs in Game Six of the 1977 World Series.

Mr. Jackson commented: “I see this auction as an opportunity for a new generation to own and enjoy this icon of the Yankees and of New York City. There were a few items I wanted to purchase before the old Yankee Stadium was torn down, including my old locker and a section of the black bleachers off of centerfield. But I kept thinking about the stadium lettering, and if there was any way for me to own it. I ended up making an offer, and was thrilled when it was accepted – it’s been a privilege to own such a recognizable piece of baseball history.”

Sotheby’s New York Sale on 1 April 2015 will offer 85 items from, inspired by and celebrating New York City. The works have been selected from across the fields of Prints, Photographs, Paintings, Sculpture, Silver, Books and Jewelry as well as iconic New York memorabilia, and reflect the diversity, energy, and creativity inherent to the City that Never Sleeps.

**Estimates do not include buyer’s premium and prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.

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