Detroit Tiger Legend Ty Cobb’s Check to Chinese Laundromat on Christmas Eve 1948 up for Auction
This is a rather unusual item to find on an auction site, but it does include a signature. In 1948, Detroit Tiger legend Ty Cobb, who had already been retired from baseball for twenty years at the time, apparently needed to get some of his laundry done in time for the Christmas holiday. He spent $5.82 for the service.
Heritage Auctions has the signed check that was made out to a Chinese laundromat from Christmas Eve that year. Along with the check framed in a leather portfolio, the item includes a photo of Cobb in action wearing his Detroit Tigers jersey and there is also an engraved plaque displaying some highlights and statistics from his Hall of Fame career during Major League Baseball's "dead-ball" era.
The Guide Value or Estimate for the item is $1,000 or higher. As of Tuesday morning, December 14, the item was going for $775. The auction will close on Saturday, December 18.
And it seems like checks signed by Cobb are an item people like to snag. In March of 2020, Heritage Auctions had another signed personal check by Cobb from 1948 was auctioned off. This one was made out to a hotel in July of that year and sold at auction for $775. Again, it is likely the signature on the checks that is the draw.
Ty Cobb, whose real name was Tyrus Raymond Cobb, was born in Georgia in 1886 which helped him earn the nickname "The Georgia Peach". He spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, starting in 1905 on a $1,500 contract. During that time, he set around 90 baseball records, some of which are still in place. With a combined total of 4,065 runs scored and RBIs, it is still the most ever by any major league player. He still holds the highest career batting average at .366) and the most career batting titles with 11 or 12 (depending on the source).
He retired in 1928, finishing the last two years of his career with the Philadelphia Athletics. Cobb is considered by many baseball historians and journalists as the best player of the "dead-ball" era, and is generally seen as one of the greatest players of all time