Slightly more than $80,000 was raised in the second of two auctions featuring baseball memorabilia and fixtures from the famed Pink Pony Steakhouse and Saloon in Scottsdale, from about 360 items sold.
There were 320 registered bidders, with 215 of them bidding online, according to Don Demarest, owner of the Antique Centre in Scottsdale where the auction was held on Sept. 4.
The big ticket item of the day was the first item auctioned off: a 1960s-era team set of 8 x 10 photographs of the Tacoma Giants, a Minor League team for the San Francisco Giants that sold for $1,000.
Other items that were popular included two Pink Pony emblems that once hung inside the restaurant for $800, an autographed game-worn Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers jersey for $350, an autographed Joe Montana San Francisco 49ers jersey for $350, and an autographed bat signed by Derek Jeter went for $525.
The Mesa Historical Museum was given $5,000 from Hunt Construction Group in Scottsdale to spend at the auction for its ongoing exhibit “Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience,” dedicated to the history of spring training in Arizona. The museum spent $3,300 for about 50 items related to spring training in Scottsdale, according to Robert Johnson, project leader for the exhibit. The Mesa Historical Museum plans to establish an independent museum dedicated to the history of spring training in Arizona in three to five years.
Among the museum’s purchases were a game-worn Reggie Jackson California Angels batting helmet for $600, a game-worn Tony Gwynn San Diego Padres batting helmet for $250 and a baseball encyclopedia autographed by Hank Aaron that once belonged to former Pink Pony owner Charlie Briley, which he often referred to in the eatery once named “The Best Baseball Bar in America.”
Johnson also was able to purchase a number of caricatures rendered by Walt Disney artist Don Barclay of baseball personalities including Lou Boudreau ($275), Curt Gowdy ($190) and Tempe resident and former Baltimore Orioles player George Zuverink ($250) that once hung inside the restaurant. Overall, there were 53 caricatures that sold for a total of $1,885.
“It was a productive day for the museum,” Johnson said. “Thanks to Hunt Construction, we were able to obtain a significant number of items for the museum. And we’ll be able to represent the history of the Pink Pony well.”
The remaining $1,700 can be used to buy other items elsewhere for the Play Ball exhibit, said Mike Gausden, a vice president for Hunt Construction.