Century-old Detroit Tigers memorabilia up for auction

Collection includes 1921 team insurance policy purchased by Frank Navin

By Roger Weber - Reporter

DETROIT - A treasure chest of Detroit Tigers memorabilia is being auctioned Friday night by DuMouchelle Galleries.

It includes autographed baseballs, bats and uniforms, even a19th-century baseball coin bank.

However, the most intriguing item is a 1921 Lloyd's of London insurance policy, purchased by former Tigers owner Frank Navin. It covered the entire team for $133,000. That's less than what current Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder is paid per game.

"If anything happened in a train crash in 1921, this policy would cover all the expenses of what was lost," said DuMouchelle appraiser Jerry Anderson.

Ty Cobb was insured for $25,000. A player named Robert Fothergill was covered for $1,800.

The documents show Navin getting a $75 dollar refund in the premium, apparently after trading away one of his players.

"This is tracking the history of the team for the year, if you think about it," said Anderson. "This is a hunk of history, even if you wanted to learn early 20th century penmanship."

The items were owned by a former Tigers executive, whose name is not being disclosed.

All of the Tigers items are expected to reach the auction block between 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Friday. Bids can be submitted in person, on the phone, or online.

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