Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cy Jones used extraordinary access to sports stars to build collection

Collector extraordinaire Cy Jones (left) was a personal friend
of many top sports figures. He's shown here in an undated
photo having dinner with Babe Ruth, who autographed
the picture "To Cy".

Coincidentally, in the same Aug. 6, 1942, issue of The Sporting News in which publisher J.G. Taylor Spink detailed the baseball photo collection of Al Scully (as presented last time on my blog), there was a short boxed item about another baseball memorabilia collection that would be the envy of any collector today.

Headlined “Tar’s Diamond Souvenirs,” the article in its entirely follows . . .

            CHICAGO, Ill.— Cy Jones of Co. 3, Naval Training School of Aviation, Chicago, has a notable collection of diamond souvenirs which he has been gathering since 1936.
Items in Cy’s collection include the uniform worn by Lou Gehrig in his last year with the Yankees, huge oil paintings of Grover Alexander and Hans Wagner, the glove used by Babe Ruth in 1927, shoes worn by Bob Feller when he struck out 18 Detroit Tigers, more than 150 autographed baseballs, 5,000 autographed pictures of diamond celebrities, programs from every World Series since 1910 and scrapbooks containing clippings on games played before the Civil War and up to 1898, and the mask worn by Mickey Owen when he dropped the third strike in the 1941 World’s Series.
Jones’ collection has been exhibited my Macy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch and Spalding’s in New York, and also was shown at the Polo Grounds, New York, in June, when it was loaned to the Navy Relief Society in connection with its All-Sports Carnival.
Cy is a resident of Brooklyn and an enthusiastic rooter for the Dodgers.

In 2010-2011, SCP Auctions featured a number of items from the Jones collection in its sports memorabilia auctions. The cataloger had this to say about Jones, “Cy Jones was an avid sports fan and connoisseur of history and popular culture, and as an employee of the famed New York Concessions conglomerate, Harry M. Stevens, Co., Jones established and maintained relationships with many famous athletes beginning in the 1930’s and continuing through the 1980’s. Those he counted amongst his personal friends were the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Sid Luckman, Babe Ruth, Fran Tarkenton, George Halas and Jack Dempsey just to name a few. Throughout his life Cy accumulated objects directly from many of the most prolific athletes of his day.”

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