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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/2/2013

Yogi Berra entered 1955 riding high. The previous season, though his team failed to win the pennant, Berra had been awarded the American League Most Valuable Player Award. It was the second time he’d been so honored and a testament to his standing as one of the games most dominant players. All throughout the ‘55 campaign, New York battled Cleveland and Chicago for the pennant. The tight race squeezed unbelievable numbers out of the Yankees players: Mantle and Bill Skowron had their best seasons to date and Whitey Ford, Tommy Byrne and Bob Turley reeled off win after win to keep the Yanks on top. But there was one player who did more than anyone else to keep New York in the race, catcher Yogi Berra. Besides timely hitting, power when needed and unrivaled expertise behind the plate, the veteran Berra led his younger teammates by example became in essence Casey Stengel’s co-manager. By the time the dust settled on the ‘55 season, the Yankees clinched the pennant and Berra was again awarded the highest honor a ball player can receive, the Most Valuable Player Award.


As we see all the time with World Series rings, Gold Glove Awards or World Series trophies, copies are frequently made and presented to team officials, family members, friends and agents. But such is the exclusivity of the Most Valuable Player Award that one, and only one, can be made for each recipient. It’s a policy that Dieges & Clust, makers of the award since it changed from a pocket watch to a plaque in 1946, diligently adhered to. The only exception in the history of the award was six plaques: one each of Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Mickey Mantle, two Roger Maris (1960 and 61), and this resplendent 1955 Yogi Berra. Proud of the craftsmanship and skill poured into each MVP Award, Dieges & Clust displayed these six plaques in the lobby of their New York City offices. When the company was purchased by Balfour in the 1970’s, the six awards were taken down and each entered private collections. Exactly the same as the only other one in existence, which presumably hangs on Mr. Berra’s wall, this plaque is as breathtakingly attractive as an award can exhibit. Measuring 16” in diameter, the striking black lacquered wood has a Sterling silver octagonal plaque with “Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award” in raised letters around the perimeter of a baseball diamond. A 10K gold bust of Kennesaw M. Landis is mounted on two ribbons bearing “1921” and “1944”, his reign as baseball’s commissioner. Below Landis, raised letters proclaim “Most Valuable Player American League” with “LARRY BERRA” engraved in a bronze nameplate. Berra’s team “NEW YORK YANKEES” is inscribed below. A gold baseball mounted on two crossed bats reveals the year “1955”. On the Sterling silver baseball diamond’s home plate is the green & white enameled logo of the Baseball Writers of America, the organization charged with awarding the most coveted award in the game. The back of the award has the original Dieges & Clust metal tag below a gold-colored suspension ring. The condition of the award is choice; a few very slight dings fail to mar the impressive nature of this plaque. The black lacquer shows only slight storage wear and very minor paint flaking. The Sterling silver is clean and bright.


We cannot stress the historical significance of this award. As only one is made for each recipient, they very rarely appear in the hobby, and when one does surface, it’s an extra special occasion. Joe DiMaggio’s personal 1947 award brought $245,000 in 2006; we would estimate it at more than double that today. And, as a Final example of the value of significant trophies, Paul Hornung's Heisman re-issued trophy (one of four) sold last year at a whopping $173,000. Now, Goldin Auctions has the distinct honor to offer a Yogi Berra 1955 American League Most Valuable Player Award.

Yogi Berra 1955 American League Most Valuable Player Award
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $36,098.50
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Saturday, November 2, 2013.
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