Auctioneer Press Release Fine Estate, Inc.

Rare, 1937 Rockola World Series Coin-Op Leads Fine Estate, Inc.’s, Spring Auction

Mar 24,2021 | 10:00 EDT By Fine Estate, Inc.

Babe Ruth memorabilia and single-owner Americana & Political collection vie for top-lot honors

(March 23, 2021) – A fully-working, 1937 Rockola Rock-Ola 1937 World Series Baseball Arcade Game took top lot honors in Fine Estate, Inc.’s March 21 auction, soaring past expectations to sell for $34,375, more than three times expectations. The coin-op collector favorite, rarely seen at auction in near mint condition, was just one of the high-end lots of sports and Americana memorabilia to dominate the auction’s nearly 300 lots. 

Lot 251, Rockola Rock-Ola 1937 World Series Baseball Arcade Game. Sold $33,000

“We were really pleased to see strong bids for a single-owner collection of Americana, including rare pinback buttons,” said Martin Codina, owner of Fine Estate, Inc. “High-end sports memorabilia performed especially well and we were delighted to bring these rarities to market for our clients.”

 A crisply-signed Spalding “King of the Diamond” ball autographed by both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig  –  a collector’s dream acquisition – sold for $17,500. The ball features steel tipped fountain pen signatures and is a strong example of a ball of this type. A stunning example of a Ted Williams H&B Game-Used Bat sold for $17,500, against a $6,000 estimate. 

Lot 241, Babe Ruth Lou Gehrig Signed Spalding Baseball JSA. Sold $16,800

A unique framed display of bats featuring Babe Ruth, Jimmy Foxx, and Mel Ott, which hasn’t seen the auction block in years, ended at $8,125. The first is a Louisville Slugger Babe Ruth 40 B.R. baseball bat, a Louisville Slugger Jimmie Foxx 40 J.F. baseball bat, and a Mel Ott Rawlings brand Mel Ott Model baseball bat. All three are accompanied by clipped signatures and a check signed by Ruth.

Lot 77, Large Group of 80 Early Socialist Political Buttons Including Debs. Sold for $3,600


A rare selection of women’s suffrage memorabilia capped off an exemplary, single-owner collection. An early purple-hued “Votes for Women” suffrage cloth sash sold for $9,375 after 43 bids. A second purple-hued sash, sporting a patriotic bow, brought $8,125, 16 times its pre-auction estimate. A near-mint yellow and white sash sold for $6,875, against a $500 estimate. 

Leading single pinback buttons and curated groups was a rare and vibrant button depicting the Ku Klux Klan. The 9-inch button was offered as a single lot with two Klan tokens and sold for $4,062, blowing its $500 pre-auction estimate out of the water. An instant collection of 80 early socialist political pinbacks ended at $3,750. Three additional lots of pinbacks and political ribbons outperformed: A group of 75 Lyndon Johnson presidential campaign memorabilia sold for $3,437, a group of 94 Black Panther-themed pinbacks, spanning the 1960s-70s, also sold for $3,437 and a grouping of memorabilia relating to Father Coughlin, which featured a rare 9-inch button, also ended at $3,437, against a $400 estimate.

“This single-owner collection was carefully curated over decades,” Codina said. “There was much pre-auction chatter among collectors, particularly about the stunning condition of the collection.”

Additional highlights include: 

 - A total of 16 bids drove the auction price of a 1938 Babe Ruth-signed baseball to $5,312

- A wonderful Wurlitzer 1015 Bubbler 78rpm jukebox, sporting plenty of eye-appeal, sold for $4,687

- An unusual group of 1920s-30s Labor Defender Labor Herald Newspapers, the group offering 56 unique editions, sold for a surprising $1,750, against a $300 estimate.

Fine Estate, Inc.’s is seeking consignments for its next auction, which will be announced shortly. Each auction offers worldwide bidding. For more information, contact auctioneer Martin Codina at 415-235-7238 or

By Fine Estate, Inc.