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Topps executive's collection to hit auction block

Robert Edward Auctions will handle the collection of long-time Topps executive and hobby pioneer Sy Berger when it hits the auction block next year.

The Watchung, N.J.-based company announced earlier this week that Berger’s collection will be auctioned in April 2009.

What will it include?

Most notably, more than 100 paintings used to create cards in the 1953 Topps set — including one of Hall of Famer Satchel Paige — signed player contracts and canceled checks for the entire 1957-58 Topps basketball set, signed contracts for the 1951 Ringside boxing set and many other items, according to the company.

A handful of notable 1953 Topps paintings sold at the famous 1989 Topps Guernsey’s auction — Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, etc. — and this new batch, which also includes paintings of Braves legends Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn, Dodgers legend Pee Wee Reese, Cardinals star Enos Slaughter and Negro Leagues and New York Giants star Monte Irvin.

Where would the average collector find a piece of Berger memorabilia? Why in the 2004 Topps Fan Favorites set (above) where he is found inside on a card using the 1952 Topps design. Topps also made an autographed version of his card (above), which is worth approximately $25.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

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