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  1. #1
    To hell with all of 'em Chris's Avatar
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    Sep 2000

    Skippers Last Stand : Billy Martin Auction

    This makes me sad
    http://www.nydailynews.com/2001-11-2...t/a-133436.asp





    Skipper's Last Stand
    Billy Martin auction

    By RALPH R. ORTEGA
    Daily News Staff Writer



    he estate of the beloved and fiery Billy Martin is opening its doors to the highest bidder, offering up more than 150 of his personal Yankees mementos — including the driver's license he was carrying the night he died.




    The estate of Billy Martin being put up for auction includes his driver's license which lists Yankee Stadium in the Bronx as his address ...
    Among the other items being put on the auction block by Jill Martin, widow of the five-time Yankee manager, to pay off creditors: memorabilia from his playing days for the 1950s dynasty Yankees, his final Yankee contract as an adviser and his pinstriped uniform — No. 1, which has been retired.

    Martin's T-shirts are the cheapest items for sale, expected to draw bids of up to $50 each, while his 1977 World Series trophy may go for as much as $30,000.

    Other personal belongings being offered include a pair of well-worn cowboy boots, Martin's eyeglasses, wedding tuxedo and golf clubs.

    But the one item that will surely generate sparks — just as Martin did throughout his playing and managerial careers — is the driver's license he carried when he was killed in an alcohol-related crash on a snowy Christmas night 12 years ago outside his home near upstate Binghamton.

    "I wish I could have kept it," Jill Martin said of the license, which listed her husband's address as Yankee Stadium.


    ... one of his World Series rings that was made into a pin and ....
    A spokeswoman for the Sotheby's auction house, which is conducting the sale, said it expects the license to fetch $700 to $900. Bidding on the items closes Dec. 11.

    Not all of Martin's fans are comfortable with the auction. Some called the sale of the license insensitive and grotesque.

    "Who would want it?" asked Brian Gibbs, 39, of Brooklyn, who said he had attended Martin's viewing. "I could see having his glove, or bat. But his driver's license? After the way he died? That seems kind of crazy."

    Martin's debts have to be paid under a judge's order.

    "Unfortunately, Billy wasn't a rich man," said Jill Martin, his fourth wife and executor of his estate.

    Martin, a drinker who often brawled on and off the diamond, played for the Yankees when they were perennial champs.


    ... a photograph of the late Yankee manager standing with Mickey Mantle outside hotel in midtown.
    As a highly successful manager, he developed a love-hate relationship with owner George Steinbrenner, who hired and fired him four times before his death.

    Martin left once on his own, in 1978, after he said rightfielder Reggie Jackson and Steinbrenner "deserve each other. One's a born liar — the other's convicted." Martin made the comment after fierce feuding with the star slugger and the owner, who pleaded guilty in connection with illegal political campaign contributions.

    When Martin's pickup truck ran off the slippery hilly road the evening of Dec. 25, 1989, he was hoping to return for a sixth run as Yankee skipper.

    Bill Reedy, Martin's friend and drinking buddy, originally told authorities that he had been driving, later contending he had said that to save Martin from a DWI charge.

    When Reedy changed his story, he said he had been trying to cover for the combative Martin to protect his chances at getting the manager's job back.

    Jill Martin, who battled over her husband's estate with his son from another marriage, said she was reluctant to let go of the belongings.

    "Maybe we'll get lucky and one person will buy up a lot of those things and keep them together," she said.

    The son, Billy Joe, could not be reached for comment.


  2. #2
    Citizen
    Winger03's Avatar
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    Jan 2001
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    Frederick County, Maryland
    Like Jill said in the article, I hope someone buys up a lot of the items so they can stay in one place.

    Billy brought a lot of fire back to the team, and was key in their return to glory in the late 70's. I often wonder what type of role he would have with the organization today.
    --Jim


  3. #3
    Old School Baseball Gehrig's Avatar
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    Jan 2001
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    Long Island
    "Some called the sale of the license insensitive and grotesque."

    Yeah...Items such as this is just plain....I can't even come up with words other than the ones already used...
    "Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president" ~ Theodore Roosevelt
    UACC: Universal Autograph Collectors Club

  4. #4
    R-I-P, Mr. Nelson Mandela Jersey Yankee's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
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    Formerly Brooklyn & Joisey; now just right behind you ... BOO!!!
    Gehrig, with the way he died in an auto accident, I liken the sale of his driver's license to Diane Munson selling Thurm's pilot's license, which thankfully has never been done. Some things just go beyond words and simply are too far off limits.

    If he hunts, sell his guns, I'd even forgive selling his rings, but nothing related to how he met his final fate.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get upget up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  5. #5
    NYYF Legend

    Sixty one's Avatar
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    Sep 2001
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    Raritan, New Jersey
    This is so sad to think that his widow has to sell his personel things to pay off debts. He led a dynamic, controversial life and I often wondered why no one has ever mentioned making a movie about his life. This could be a way to pay off his debts and not have his family auction his personel effects.

  6. #6
    NYYF Legend

    b-ball-lunachick's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
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    New Jersey
    It's very sad to me that it has come to this for his wife. I can't even imagine what that must feel like to have to sell a loved one's possessions to stay afloat...

    I can't judge her for selling anything as I'm sure it's the last thing she'd want to do...as a matter of fact, if I was wealthy or won the lottery tomorrow, I'd buy up everything, save a t-shirt or two and give everything back to her...

    I wish her the best...
    "Happiness is...a thumb and a blanket."

  7. #7
    To hell with all of 'em Chris's Avatar
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    Sep 2000
    Originally posted by Jersey Yankee
    Gehrig, with the way he died in an auto accident, I liken the sale of his driver's license to Diane Munson selling Thurm's pilot's license, which thankfully has never been done. Some things just go beyond words and simply are too far off limits.

    If he hunts, sell his guns, I'd even forgive selling his rings, but nothing related to how he met his final fate.
    I know it's semantics but Billy wasn't driving the night he was killed

  8. #8
    Old School Baseball Gehrig's Avatar
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    Jan 2001
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    Long Island
    Originally posted by Chris


    I know it's semantics but Billy wasn't driving the night he was killed
    Very true...and that @sshole who was driving tried to pull a fast one...

    When the legendary New York Yankee died in a truck accident on Christmas day in 1989, his surviving fellow passenger, Bill Reedy, claimed that Martin had been behind the wheel. Dr. Baden's autopsy, however, revealed the truth behind the legend.
    "Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president" ~ Theodore Roosevelt
    UACC: Universal Autograph Collectors Club

  9. #9
    Paulie's # 1 Fan # 21 Forever's Avatar
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    Apr 2001
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    Rochester, New York
    This is so sad.Billy was a tough cookie and a great manager.Behind that gruff exterior was he a big teddy bear though, at least when it came to children.When my son was 3 yrs old, Billy was here for a sports dinner.The next day my mom took Nick with her to the airport for something and, lo and behold, they bumped into Billy Martin. Billy took the time to talk to them and to give Nick an autograph.Before he left, he gave Nick a hug! When Billy died Nick cried. To this day, that autograph is one of Nick's most prized possesions!

    My heart goes out to his wife and I hope someday she can get some of his possesions back. Maybe some good hearted soul will buy them and let her keep some of them.

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