In 1931, Jackie Mitchell — a 17-year-old woman — struck out New York Yankees sluggers Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig during an exhibition game against the Chattanooga Lookouts at Engel Stadium.
Dan Creed, of East Ridge, has the famous pitcher’s autograph and an original photograph of Ms. Mitchell signing a contract with the Lookouts just days before the Yankees’ stop in Chattanooga.
On Thursday, he found out how much his collection is worth — between $700 and $1,000. Mr. Creed mostly focuses on baseball gloves but has recently expanded his collection to include his hometown team.
“When you’re into collecting, (you’ll take) anything to feed the addiction,” he said.
As part of the three-day “Antiques Roadshow” shoot in Chattanooga, Mr. Creed and another baseball fan were invited to AT&T Field for a special segment on minor league baseball memorabilia. “Roadshow” host Mark L. Walberg and collectibles expert Philip Weiss discussed selected pieces during the film shoot.
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“Antiques Roadshow” will be at the Chattanooga Convention Center on Saturday. In addition to the baseball shoot, the show also will tape segments on carved walking canes and Civil War-era cannons. The three, one-hour episodes taped during the show’s stop here will air in winter 2009.
When it comes to baseball memorabilia, items belonging to or commemorating record-setting players or minor-leaguers who went on to greatness in the majors are among the things collectors seek, Mr. Weiss said.
Andy Broome, who grew up on Signal Mountain, owns tens of thousands of pieces of baseball memorabilia. He said some of his most cherished items are the jerseys, baseball cards and photographs relating to the Lookouts.
“Looking back now, I realize that that was old-time baseball at its best,” he said.
Over the years, his cache has expanded to include the Lookouts Old Mill cigarette cards and a 1955 uniform worn by Don Grate, who once held the record for the longest baseball throw: 423.5 feet, or 63.5 feet farther than a football field.
A lifelong baseball card collector, Mr. Broome now evaluates vintage baseball cards for Dallas-based Beckett Media, a leading expert in collectibles.
Mr. Weiss appraised Mr. Broome’s 8-by-10 autographed photo of Harmon Killebrew wearing his Lookouts uniform at about $100. Mr. Killebrew, a baseball Hall of Famer who played for the Lookouts in 1957 and 1958, went on to hit 573 home runs in his 22-year career in the major leagues.
Chattanooga welcomed crews from the PBS series “Antiques Roadshow” on Thursday. While in town, in addition to the appraisal show at the Chattanooga Convention Center on Saturday, crews will film segments at AT&T Field, the Chickamauga National Military Park and the Walnut Street Bridge. Watch a behind-the-scenes video of the segment filmed at AT&T Field.