Legacy. Passed down from generation to generation, families keep items in their collection for sentimental, historic or monetary value. This artifact originates from the estate of baseball player and manager, Don Heffner. Surprisingly, the curation of his estate has remained intact for almost a century and is ready to be part of a new legacy.
Don Heffner was a major league second baseman for 11 years with a .241 batting average (in 743 games). Highlighting the start of his career in the Majors, he was a member of the vaunted 1936 New York Yankees team. He batted in a lineup which featured the likes of rookie Joe DiMaggio and the “Iron Horse”, Lou Gehrig. The team was impressive winning their 8th pennant and beat the Giants in six games to win the ultimate trophy. Well deserved, Heffner added a World Series ring to his jewelry box. He spent four seasons with the team before going to the St. Louis Browns.
To start his professional career in 1929, Heffner spent four seasons with the then-minor league Baltimore Orioles. With the International League team, he started impressively with what the media dubbed a “Heffner Hue” for his prowess on defense. The “Baltimore Boy” remained such an important keystone that the team had a celebratory day in his honor, recounted by a newspaper article preserved by his estate. As quoted:
“Heffner who is following in the footsteps of Babe Ruth, Fritz Maisel, Butch Schmidt, Buck Herzog, Allen Russell, Tommy Thomas, Max Bishop, Bill Stumpf and other Baltimoreans who have made baseball history, will be given a testimonial by his friends and admirers.
The Northwest Baltimore boy, who has yet to reach his twentieth birthday, has been one of the outstanding performers for the Birds this year. He has played second, third and short and in each position he has turned in a sparkling piece of work. Heffner, although only a kid is considered one of the gamest players on the Orioles.”
Presented is an autographed baseball from Heffner’s collection. It is certainly an item worthy of a premium collection. The baseball was autographed by two Hall of Fame players, Ty Cobb and George Sisler. Both signed in strong blue ballpoint pen ink, Sisler autographed the sweet spot of the Hollywood Stars baseball and Ty Cobb the bottom panel below.
The baseball was originally obtained at an event attended by the family in which Heffner’s daughter received it. The ball was signed in black pen on one panel, “To Dorothy – Have you Dad sign this & you will have all the stars on it. – Fred Haney"
A newspaper article accompanies the piece recounting the provenance:
“Dorothy Heffner, daughter of the Don Heffners of Arcadia, is the proud owner of an autographed baseball given her by Ty Cobb and George Sissler of baseball fame. Dorothy accompanied her parents to the Kiwanis benefit game for crippled children, which was played in Hollywood Sunday. She and her parents were the guest of the Fred Haneys and Bobb Cobbs for the game and later for dinner at the Brown Derby where the autographed baseball was presented to her by the group of famous baseball players.”
Comes with full letter COA from JSA.