Wrestling Memorabilia – Gone But Not Forgotten

“GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN” is a section I’ve created so that Wrestling Memorabilia Collectors (and myself) can check out the items that have passed through our collection and are now safely in the hands of other collectors.

Enjoy looking through these vintage original wrestling posters and programs, photographs and original ring worn wrestling memorabilia from such legends as  Beautiful Bobby Harmon, Ox “Doug” Baker and The Grand Wizard of Wrestling Ernie Roth.

Plus the historical Jack Pfefer Championship Belt first worn by the legendary Buddy Rogers!

BIG BOBO BRAZIL – VINTAGE ORIGINAL ONSITE POSTER!

January 5, 1957 – San Bernardino Arena

Roy Warner: Promotor

Cardboard, Measures 22″ x 14″ Red lettering over a white background. Excellent condition, light corner wear, staple hole at center, no creases, no writing, clean.

Bobo Brazil vs. Lord Carlton (2 out of 3 falls to a finish)

plus

Lord Blears vs. Sandor Szabo
Sandor Kovacs vs. Tosh Togo
The Jungle Boy (Tony Olivas) vs. Vic Christy

Gene Stanlee & Great Togo!

VINTAGE ORIGINAL ONSITE POSTER!
April 6, 1957 – San Bernardino Arena

Roy Warner: Promotor

Cardboard, Measures 22″ x 14″ Dark Blue lettering over a Yellow background w/ white edge. Excellent condition, corner wear, some surface missing at bottom, no creases, no writing. Nice photo of The Great Togo!

Gene Stanlee & Sandor Szabo vs. Shag Thomas & Great Togo (2 HR Limit)

plus

For the San Bernardino Valley Trophy!
Enrique Romero (Challenger) vs. Miguel Mosqueda (Champion)
Leo Garibaldi vs. Alo Leilani
Dr. Lee Grable vs. K. O. Murphy

At MSG – July 25, 1959 – Rocca & Perez vs. The Graham Brothers – Classic Rivalry – Original MSG poster!

In front of 19,000 fans, Rocca & Perez defeated Dr. Jerry Graham & Eddie Graham, Ricki Starr defeated Wild Man Fargo, Lewin & Curtis defeated John & Chris Tolos and The Sheik was a no-show! 

TWO ORIGINAL MADISON SQUARE GARDEN POSTERS

FEATURING: BUDDY ROGERS
THE ORIGINAL NATURE BOY!

EXTREMELY RARE and DESIRABLE!

ORIGINAL HANDBILL POSTER – BOXER vs. WRESTLER

FEATURING: JACK DEMPSEY vs. BULL CURRY

 

Buddy ROGERS and Johnny VALENTINE vs. Bearcat WRIGHT and Sweet Daddy SIKI

November 26, 1960 – Buy Your Tickets Early – This Is It! “The Best Wrestling Match of All Times” – If only we had a time machine!

Extremely rare Rogers and Valentine poster – with lots of photos! This vintage glossy paper poster measures 14 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches. It has several tiny staple holes in the corners and has 3 light horizontal fold lines.

Remember…if you want championship wrestling display material, “you gotta get rogers to fit the bill”.

RARE POSTER!

ARGENTINA ROCCA vs. ARGENTINA ZUMA

OCTOBER 10, 1959
NEWARK ARMORY, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY

Extremely rare ORIGINAL ROCCA and ZUMA poster – with lots of photos! Outstanding piece to matte, frame, and display! This was a highly successful pairing throughout the northeast territory amid spectacular hype and publicity…leave it to Jack Pfefer to deliver the goods! Under the promotional auspices of the well-respected Babe Culnan & Willie Gilzenburg.

This vintage ORIGINAL glossy paper poster measures 14 1/2 inches LONG by 8 1/2 inches WIDE. VERY CLEAN. 3 Horizontal fold lines.

Dickie Steinborn Autographed Photo

Vintage early 1960’s autographed 8 x 10 studio photo of Dickie Steinborn. The son of the legendary strongman Milo Steinborn, Dickie worked the Capitol wrestling circuit in the late 1950’s early 1960’s. From the collection of Karl Lauer of the Cauliflower Alley Club.

 

EDOUARD CARPENTIER vs. FREDDIE BLASSIE

6/12/1961 – Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena

Classy Freddie Blassie Wins the WWA World Heavyweight Title!

The only known full ticket to this historic match!

DONN and TED LEWIN

Extremely RARE Original Pinback Button Circa Late 1950’s – Large 2 1/4 inches in diameter.

DON EAGLE – LEGENDARY INDIAN WRESTLER

Here is an extremely rare vintage oversized full color silk featuring Don Eagle. This is the only example I have seen. Gorgeous Condition! Beautiful piece!

PRIMO CARNERA

ORIGINAL 1961 CALIFORNIA WRESTLING REFEREE LICENSE APPLICATION.

VERY COOL RARE SIGNED PIECE with HIS FINGERPRINTS!

PEDRO MORALES – WWWF Champion

Extremely RARE Original Pinback Button Circa 1971 – Pictured with his original WWWF Belt – Large Size of 3 1/2 inches in diameter!

COWBOY BOB ELLIS

Extremely RARE Original Celluloid Pinback Button Circa Early 1960’s – “I’m For Cowboy Ellis” – Large 2 1/4 inches in diameter.

COWBOY BOB ELLIS

Here’s an item I’ve never seen before. It’s a vintage Bandana featuring everyone’s favorite COWBOY BOB ELLIS! Very cool piece and a nice partner for the pinback button.

Autographed Program

IN BOLD BLUE BALLPOINT WE HAVE:

ARGENTINA ZUMA, RICKI STARR, TOKYO JOE, DR. JERRY GRAHAM, EDDIE GRAHAM, DON CURTIS, MARK LEWIN, MIGHTY JUMBO, ALDO BOGNI, CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE, DUKE HOFFMAN AND MIGUEL TORRES ON THE BACK. Where ya gonna find this again?

THIS ONE IS A BLAST FROM THE PAST AS WE ALL REMEMBER GETTING THE WRESTLERS TO SIGN OUR 4 PAGE PROGRAMS BEFORE AND AFTER THE MATCHES. THIS LUCKY JERSEY LAD GOT ALMOST ALL THE BOYS TO SIGN THAT EVENING.

GREAT AUTOGRAPHED PIECE, OUTSTANDING RARE AUTOGRAPHS, PROGRAM ITSELF IS ONLY IN WORN, FAIR CONDITION.

Original program from Madison Square Garden on the night Pedro Morales defeats Ivan Koloff for the WWWF Heavyweight Championship.

Ox Baker

The Real Star Of “Escape From New York”

Ox Baker’s Ring Worn Boots

Original ring worn – ring used pair of wrestling boots obtained directly from the feet of DOUG “OX” BAKER himself. Circa the 1970’s, these boots are rare historic mementos of days past when OX was feared throughout the midwest and south by opponents and fans alike. How many heads and midsections were these size 14’s introduced to?

Lots of ring use on these beautiful boots, one black pair and one blue pair, with glorious white lettering and original laces. No other wrestler put in the boot quite like OX! Each boot has been signed on the soles by OX BAKER or on the inside by OX BAKER and they are also accompanied by an original letter of authenticity signed by OX BAKER himself.

Legend has it that in the old days of cash payments OX would often ask for his cash up front. When Ox got dressed for the ring he would put his cash on the inside of his wrestling boot and then lace it up.

Ox Baker’s Ring Worn Trunks

An original ring worn – ring used pair of wrestling trunks and tights worn by the legendary OX BAKER during his heyday in the 1970s. Worn by one of the most feared men ever to step into the squared circle, these outstanding black wrestling trunks show excellent ring use and feature the dreaded OX lettering in red on both the front and the back.

Also included are the matching red and black tights which accompanied these trunks. This great ring worn outfit was obtained directly from Doug “OX” Baker and is supported by an original letter of authenticity signed by OX BAKER himself.

Ox Baker’s Ring Worn “ANIMAL SKIN” ROBES!

As above, these were obtained by me direct from Doug “Ox” Baker and come with a signed original letter of authenticity from the legendary OX BAKER himself.

BEAUTIFUL BOBBY HARMON

RING WORN ROBE

An outstanding example of ring worn attire from the 1960’s/70’s wrestler who may have been the first to use entrance music. This full-length, satin robe was obtained from Bob Harmon a.k.a. “Beautiful Bobby”. It was used very early in his career and looks remarkably like the robes belonging to the legendary Gorgeous George i.e. “The Human Orchid”. This was indeed a very costly robe to construct. It is made of high quality, very heavy, double-lined satin. It bears a large stitched and decorated orchid on the back. It is accompanied with a signed COA and a photo of the signing from Bob Harmon. On February 19, 2005, Beautiful Bobby Harmon was inducted into the Midwest Championship Wrestling Hall of Fame.

WWWF RING WORN ROBE

If you remember the WWWF of the early 1970’s, you could never forget one of the most flamboyant wrestlers to ever grace the squared circle at Madison Square Garden and the surrounding regional arenas. Beautiful Bobby danced, pranced and tippy-toed onto the scene in dashing, living color. Together with his notorious manager and buddy, The Grand Wizard, BB daintily vanquished his opponents with the “Bobby Hold”. Like me, you probably longed for the day when WWWF Champion, Pedro Morales would one day wipe the smug and self-righteous grin from the face of the Beautiful one.

Those old-school days are long gone, but the memories and the memorabilia live on!

On offer is an extremely rare Beautiful Bobby full-length wrestling robe. An incredibly gorgeous piece of ring worn wrestling memorabilia. This “Santa Claus” style full-length robe is brilliant red with soft fluffy white collar and trim. It sports the infamous and unmistakable “BB” on the back and on the two sleeves. If you recall, Beautiful Bobby only wore his few full length robes into the larger venues such as Madison Square Garden, Baltimore Civic Center and Boston Garden. It is accompanied with a signed COA and a photo of the signing from the beautiful one himself, Bob Harmon.

WWWF RING WORN KILT

Bobby was famous for his “disrobing act” prior to his match with these wrap-around kilts with full-length side zipper. He and the Grand Wizard would work the fans into a taunting frenzy as he carefully removed these kilts (worn over his “BB” trunks). These were most likely worn around St Patrick’s Day!

Cool piece of BB memories, fantastic condition, beautiful green sequined kilts with white “BB”. If you remember Beautiful Bobby in the WWWF in ’71 / ’72, then you know his ring attire.

BEAUTIFUL BOBBY HARMON WAS AHEAD OF HIS TIME. LATER IMITATED, BUT NEVER DUPLICATED.

WWWF RING WORN JACKET

A Beautiful Bobby Ring Worn & Used Gold Sequined Jacket with the trademark “BB” in black across the back of the jacket. Bobby was always color-coordinated! Again, if you remember Bobby, you remember these outfits! DOES ANYONE REMEMBER “THE BOBBY LOCK!!”

It is accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from Beautiful Bobby Harmon and an in-ring action photo showing Beautiful Bobby wearing the jacket. Cool Piece!

THE MASKED SUPERSTAR – RING WORN JACKET

Obtained direct from Bill Eadie back around 1993. I picked him and Jake “The Snake” Roberts up at Newark Airport for an autograph signing show. Bill was such a great guy!

The Superstar masks are pretty common as he makes them up often and sells them. However, jackets are unheard of and this beautiful ring-worn jacket dates back to the late 1970’s/early 1980’s, when he was a top draw everywhere in the USA as The Masked Superstar. Comes with a printed signed COA by Bill as The Masked Superstar and also a photo of me and Bill holding the jacket. Way Cool Piece!!

BOBO BRAZIL

All-time coast-to-coast fan-favorite Bobo Brazil stood 6′ 4″ and weighed 245 lbs. Born in 1924 in Little Rock Arkansas, Houston Harris later moved to Benton Harbor Michigan. He made his ring debut in 1950, retired in 1980, and opened Bobo’s Bar & Grill in Benton Harbor. Bobo passed away in 1998 at age 74.

A rare autographed photo of the master of the coco butt. Measures 5 inches x 3 1/2 inches.

ANDRE THE GIANT

A VERY NICE ANDRE CUT SIGNATURE FROM AN AUTOGRAPH ALBUM – CIRCA LATE 1970’S. It’s always an added bonus when Andre would add “The Giant” to his signature. WRITTEN IN BOLD BLACK FLAIR PEN – SIGNATURE ITSELF MEASURES a GIANT SIZED 3 1/2 INCHES X 3 1/4 INCHES – CUT PAGE MEASURES 4 INCHES X 3 1/2 INCHES.

GUARANTEED 100% AUTHENTIC FOR LIFE!

THIS WOULD BE AWESOME WHEN DOUBLE MATTED AND FRAMED WITH A NICE ANDRE THE GIANT PHOTO.

Freddy Blassie

RING WORN and AUTOGRAPHED TRUNKS

These were obtained direct from Fred Blassie at an autograph appearance signing in New Jersey. I will also include the original Fred Blassie signed contract for this engagement. So you get two historic pieces from Classy Freddy Blassie, one of pro wrestling’s true legends.

One of my all-time favorites. I’ll never forget his appearance on New York TV against Mike Pappas in 1972. This was the first time the giant “X” was used to censor the viewing of his forehead biting. Ah! the good old days, where did they go…

THE IRON SHEIK

RING WORN and AUTOGRAPHED TRUNKS

WWWF CHAMPION who defeated BOB BACKLUND! The man who was later defeated by Hulk Hogan to spawn HULKAMANIA!

OUTSTANDING PAIR OF RING WORN, USED, AND SIGNED TRUNKS! GREAT PIECE FROM A NOW MOST UNUSUAL EX-CHAMP!

RINGMEMORABILIA PROUDLY SALUTES THE GRAND WIZARD OF WRESTLING

ERNIE ROTH

ERNIE ROTH’S RING WORN WRESTLING GEAR.

THESE ARE ALL FROM THE COLLECTION OF WRESTLER BEAUTIFUL BOBBY HARMON (VERY CLOSE FRIEND OF ERNIE ROTH.) THEY ARE ACCOMPANIED WITH A SIGNED LOA FROM BOB HARMON a.k.a. Beautiful Bobby!

THE GRAND WIZARD’S RING WORN JACKET AND RING WORN CAP FROM HIS WWWF DAYS AS MANAGER OF SERGEANT SLAUGHTER – AS SEEN IN THE ABOVE PHOTO which is also included –

During this engagement, Slaughter used to refer to The Grand Wizard as “The General” – hence the medals and bars on his colorful sports jacket and the stars on the brim of his hat! A great memory of a ring legend.

GRAND WIZARD RING WORN JEWELRY

THESE LETTERED BROOCHES WERE WORN MANY TIMES ON THE COLORFUL SPORTS JACKETS WORN BY THE GRAND WIZARD.

THE GRAND WIZARD AS ABDULLAH FAROUK

MANAGER OF THE ORIGINAL SHEIK

RING WORN HANDCUFFS WORN BY THE GRAND WIZARD AS ABDULLAH FAROUK WHEN HE WAS HANDCUFFED WITH THE OPPOSING MANAGER IN A SMALL CAGE AT RINGSIDE IN COBO HALL. Again, these are all direct from the Beautiful Bobby Harmon Collection. They come with a letter of authenticity from Bobby.

THE GRAND WIZARD AS ABDULLAH FAROUK HEADGEAR

THE GRAND WIZARD AS ABDULLAH FAROUK RING WORN WRESTLING HEADGEAR FROM HIS ONLY WRESTLING APPEARANCE AS TAG TEAM PARTNER OF THE SHEIK.

RING WORN AND USED ORIGINAL

ABDULLAH FAROUK/GRAND WIZARD CAPE/JACKET

DIRECT FROM THE COVER OF WRESTLING WORLD – THE ORIGINAL ABDULLAH FAROUK RING WORN CAPE/JACKET. This dates to the period when he was the manager of the Original Sheik. Sold with the Wrestling World magazine and a signed certificate of authenticity from his pal Beautiful Bobby Harmon.

ERNIE ROTH AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO FROM ERNIE LADD

Vintage 8 x 10 original George Napolitano photo – FRAMED. Beautifully inscribed and signed by Ernie Ladd in bold red marker “From Ernie To Ernie Best Wishes, Ernie Ladd”.

GRAND WIZARD RING WORN CAP & BOWTIE

GRAND WIZARD RING WORN TURBAN

MANAGER OF CHAMPIONS

GRAND WIZARD RING WORN SPORTS JACKET

PLAQUE FOR THE GRAND WIZARD

THIS IS THE ORIGINAL WWF HALL OF FAME PLAQUE PRESENTED POSTHUMOUSLY TO ERNIE ROTH AS THE GRAND WIZARD OF WRESTLING IN 1995.

ALSO INCLUDED IS THE ORIGINAL 1995 HALL OF FAME PROGRAM, AND THE ORIGINAL VHS TAPE WHICH WAS SENT TO THE HOME OF BEAUTIFUL BOBBY HARMON WITH THE PLAQUE. (THE ORIGINAL MAILING LABEL and the original shipping box are also INCLUDED). A unique one-of-a-kind piece summing up the historic career of the greatest manager of all time.

Original Signed Typed Letter

Ernie Roth – “The Grandest Wizard Of Them All”

Letter from Ernie Roth to the late Terry Justice concerning a subscription to his monthly wrestling publication. Great content as only The Wizard could write. EXTREMELY RARE SIGNATURE! Needs to be framed and proudly displayed.

World Champion

Jim Londos

Christos Theofilou [1897–1975] better known as “The Golden Greek” Jim Londos, was one of the most popular stars wrestling offered during the Great Depression years.

Jim Londos was born Christos Theofilou in 1897 in Argos, Greece as the youngest of thirteen children. At age thirteen he ran away from home and eventually ended up immigrating to the United States. Working whenever he could, Theofilou took several odd jobs including cabin boy, construction jobs and posing nude for figure drawing classes. He landed a job as a catcher in a carnival acrobatic act. It was during this period that he was exposed to professional wrestling and began training.

Londos’ first matches would be as “The Wrestling Plasterer” Christopher Theophelus, a gimmick that saw him coming to the ring in overalls. After a number of years, he dropped this in favor of wrestling under the name Jim Londos and being a no nonsense wrestler.

To compensate for his initial lack of technical wrestling ability, which to his credit improved vastly over the years, Londos was well known for his good looks and his well muscled physique. He capitalized on this by having himself matched up against the ugliest opponents he could find. This promotional tactic worked very well and Londos became one of the most popular wrestlers in the 1930s and early 40s.

Londos retired in 1946, but resurfaced in 1951 to wrestle Primo Carnera. He spent the remainder of his life working for charitable organizations. His favorite charities dealt with Greek war orphans of the Second World War.

JIM LONDOS vs. RUDY DUSEK

NEW YORK COLISEUM

Main Event: Jim Londos vs. Rudy Dusek – also Danny McDonald vs. Hans Steinke, Ernie Zeller vs. Orville Brown, George Calza vs. Bull Komar, Eli Fisher vs. Will Rauta and special attraction! Dick Shikat vs. Tiny Roebuck. Original 4 page oversized program/poster from the New York Coliseum – 1934. Open it measures 17″ x 12″. Outstanding poster like center with very large lettering with 2 large photos. Extremely rare. Excellent cond. An outstanding display piece when opened & framed as a poster.

JIM LONDOS vs. KOLA KWARIANI

AT CONEY ISLAND STADIUM, BROOKLYN NEW YORK

Main Event: Jim Londos vs. Kola Kwariani – also George Calza vs. Dr. Ralph Wilson, Sergei Kalmikoff vs. Joe “Toots” Mondt, Norton B. Jackson vs. Fred Caroni, Stanislaus Zbyszko vs. Vanka Zelezniak. Original 4 page oversized program/poster from the Coney Island Stadium – 1931. Open it measures 17″ x 12″. Outstanding poster like center with very large lettering with 2 photos measuring 5″ x 4″. Extremely rare. Excellent cond. An outstanding display piece when opened & framed as a poster.

Jim Londos Autographed Photo

Here’s one of the earliest Jim Londos studio photos I’ve seen and its autographed as a bonus. A very rare 8 x 10 beauty.

Jim Londos Poster

A rare original Jim Londos onsite poster. Excellent condition, cardboard, 22 inches x 14 inches. A great display piece!

JIMMY LONDOS (World’s Champion) vs. STANISLAUS ZBYSZKO (Former Champion)

WORLD’S HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
FEBRUARY 27th, 1931 – Miami, Florida
Original Letterhead for their Historic Match

Jim Londos vs. Everett Marshall

Wrestling Program

November 19, 1934 – Madison Square Garden-New York City

Main Event: Jim Londos vs. Everett Marshall, also Gino Garibaldi vs. Carl Pojello, Alphonse Bisignano vs. Frank Bronowicz, Hans Kampfer vs. Pat O’Shocker, Dr. Henry Fields vs. Wee Willie Davis, Sandor Szabo vs. Herman Hickman, and Tor Johnson vs. Tex Morgan. To A Finish – No Curfew – No 11 O’Clock Time Limit. An extremely rare 4 pager from New York’s Madison Square Garden. Cardboard, measures 11″ x 7″.

World’s Heavyweight Championship

Jim LONDOS vs. Everett MARSHALL

Chicago Stadium Wrestling Program – February 28, 1935

Main Event: Jim Londos (Greece) vs. Everett Marshall (Colorado) for the World’s Heavyweight Championship – One Fall, Ninety Minute Time Limit.

Also: Bobby Bruns vs. Jack Zaravich, Joe Rogacki vs. Hans Bauer, Olaf Oleson vs. Baby Zaharias, Ray Steele vs. Tommy Marvin, and Jim McMillen vs. Mehmet Yousif – NICE 24 page program from the historic Chicago Stadium, features excellent photos and wrestling info, plus some outstanding period advertising. Wonder what happen to that beautiful stadium organ?

Jim Londos vs. Everette Marshall

Philadelphia Convention Hall Wrestling Program – December 15, 1933

Main Event: Jim Londos vs. Everette Marshall, plus Dick Shikat vs. Paul Jones, Jack Umberto vs. Jim McMillen, Harry Fields vs. Dick Lever and Fred Grubmier vs. George Zaharias. Rare oversized 4 pager from Ray Fabiani in Philly, 12 inches x 9 1/2 inches.

JIM LONDOS vs. ORVILLE BROWN

Original program for the World’s Heavyweight Championship

June 5, 1935 – Navin Field, Detroit, Michigan.

 Excellent condition – cardboard – unscored – 4 pages – measures 9.5″ x 6.25″ – also features a very early Louis Thesz, Ray Steele, Lou Plummer, Bobby Bruns, Jim McMillen…Orville Brown stuff is rare and desirable.

ED DON GEORGE vs. JIM LONDOS

Official Program For World’s Heavyweight Championship

Fenway Park, Boston – July 18, 1934

Excellent condition – cardboard – unscored – 4 pages – measures 10″ x 7″ – also features Nick Lutze vs. Henri DeGlane, Hans Steinke vs. Boris Demetroff, Everett Marshall vs. Fred Carbone. Panther Joe Malcewicz vs. Ernie Dusek and others.

JIM LONDOS vs. JOHANNES VAN DER WALT

WRESTLING PROGRAM December 15, 1937 – St. Louis MO

This go was billed as one fall to a finish for the British Empire Heavyweight Wrestling Championship. A crowd of 6,835 saw Londos defeat Van Der Walt in 50 minutes. The pair went 3 hours for a draw in London only one month earlier.

Incredible, as it also features a 21 year old LOU THESZ vs PAT McCLARY.
ALI BABA vs. HARDY KRUSKAMP
RUDY DUSEK vs. YOUNG FRANK GOTCH

Also, it has some great photographs including a full page photo heralding the coming of future champ “Steve Crusher” Casey, who would go on to defeat Thesz for the belt in 1938.

A rare fountain pen ink blotter, heralding the World’s Championship Match between champion Ed “Strangler Lewis and challenger Stanley Stasiak – May 8, 1924.

The Strangler retained his diamond studded belt when Stasiak was disqualified after winning the first fall. Stasiak was accused by the referee of stepping on Lewis’s neck and striking him after throwing him to the mat after 15 minutes of the 2nd fall. The first fall lasted nearly 1 hour when Stasiak pinned Lewis. Lewis was loudly cheered and Stasiak booed as they left the ring.

JIM LONDOS vs. RAY STEELE

Original Full Ticket – Wrestling Championship Of The World

YANKEE STADIUM, June 29, 1931 

JIM LONDOS and MICKEY WALKER

A nice Boxing-Wrestling crossover piece. This is Jim Londos with a headlock on Mickey Walker and Tony Canzoneri acting as referee. Champions all!

JOE STECHER – “THE SCISSORS KING”

WORLD CHAMPION

Born April 5, 1894 in Dodge, Nebraska, Joseph James Stecher, was a natural athlete who declined a Phillies major league baseball contract to wrestle. He perfected the scissors body lock to work with an arm bar to gain the fall or constrict his opponent into submission. When Frank Gotch retired, Joe pinned Charles Cutler (who had won an elimination tournament) in 17 minutes on July 5, 1915, to take the World Title (just 3 years after his first match).

JOE STECHER vs. GLEN WADE

A rare Original program for April 6th, 1931 at the Convention Hall in Camden, New Jersey.

In addition to the 2 out of 3 falls Stecher-Wade main event, Pinky Gardner took on Clevio Massimo in the semi-final bout. Very good condition, spine split, clean, unscored.

JOE STECHER Newspaper

July 1925 edition of THE NATIONAL WRESTLING NEWS

16 pages of nationwide wrestling news and commentary. Oversized – measures 12″ x 9″. Contains photos and articles.

Very scarce – a low survivor rate as they were produced on lightweight paper.

Joe Stecher vs. Paul Bowser’s UNKNOWN! March 11, 1925. – Stecher thought he was wrestling Jake Brissler, an old touring companion. However, Jake entered the ring then was whisked away and Malcewicz, sitting at ringside in coat and trousers, stripped off to reveal regulation trunks. Stecher promptly backed through the ropes and back to the dressing room, wanting no part of The Utica Panther.

Joe Stecher vs. Panther Joe Malcewicz – January 23, 1930 – Malcewicz won the 1st fall in 18:50 with Stecher winning the 2nd in 22:03 and the 3rd in 6:31.

JOE STECHER BUTTON

Extremely Rare Original Pinback Button – measures 1 3/4 inches in diameter – circa early 1920’s – Mfd. by The Lodge Supply Co. Omaha, Neb.

HENRI DeGLANE POSTER

Original on-site poster for the World’s Championship.

Outstanding cardboard poster, measuring 22″ x 14″ and featuring a great photo of Champion Henri DeGlane. Beautiful condition! Also features future champion Jim Browning and Greek Champion Bill Demetral. Nuff said!

GUS SONNENBERG PHOTOGRAPH

WORLD CHAMPION

On January 4, 1929 before 20,000 fans at the Boston Garden, Sonnenberg faced Ed Lewis in a return match. Gus shocked the wrestling world by defeating the “Strangler” to win the world’s heavyweight championship.

A rare signed photograph of Gus Sonnenberg in wrestling pose, 8 x 10, inscribed to Bob Burroughs, black fountain pen ink.

Original FULL Ticket – ED “STRANGLER” LEWIS vs. “SCISSORS” JOE STECHER – World’s Championship Wrestling Match – New Coliseum Arena, St. Louis, Mo. – February 20, 1928. – Won by Ed “Strangler” Lewis – ON OFFER IS A VERY RARE & DESIRABLE FULL UNUSED TICKET FROM THIS EVENT. A RARE $25 COST PRESS ROW RINGSIDE TICKET – SOLID, STRONG TICKET, ONE BARELY NOTICEABLE SURFACE CREASE, NO FOLDING, NO WRITING, HAS SOME SLIGHT SURFACE LOSS and SOILING.

It was St. Louis promoter Tom Pack who finally signed the match for Feb. 20, 1928. In front of more than 7,500 fans, the Mayor of St. Louis, two State Senators, the Circuit Judge, the City Registrar, twenty city officials of Evansville, Ind., more than fifty newsmen, two wirer services, and most of the major wrestling promoters in the nation, including Jack Curley, Julius Siegel, Paul Bowser, Ed White, and Ray Fabiana. Special trains arrived from such cites as Hannibal, Mo. Kansas City and Chicago and the price for a ringside seat was $25. The gate ended up at $65,000. Offers for a national radio broadcast were turned down by the promoter Tom Pack and overtures from film companies were refused, because the high powered lamps would produce too much heat.

The match was billed as 2/3 falls to a finish. The first fall saw both men wrestling defensively, with Lewis slightly the aggressor. Most of the fall saw the wrestlers standing, but Lewis did take Stecher down a few time but no real holds were applied. Unlike in past matches, Ed was more willing to mix, with Stecher waiting for Lewis to make a mistake. Neither wrestler received much punishment. Things seemed to speed up at the two hour mark and the end came unexpectedly. At two hours, sixteen minutes, and 32 seconds, Lewis put Stecher into an arm lock and body block for the pin. After a rest period, the two returned to the ring and Stecher surprised everyone by pining Lewis using the identical hold in fifty-six seconds. The third fall took twelve minutes and fifty seconds, with Stechers legs over the edge of the ring and over the ropes, Lewis used another body hold and arm lock to pin Stecher. At no time during the match was Lewis’s headlock or Stecher’s scissors a factor.

The next day Tony Stecher protested the finish of the third fall, due to Joe’s feet being in the ropes, and also claimed Joe was pined by a fast count in the first, but no one was listening or cared, least of all Joe who announced his retirement and return to his farm and grain business in Nebraska a rich man.

JIM LONDOS vs. JIM BROWNING

Original program for the World’s Heavyweight Championship – June 25, 1934 – Madison Square Garden Bowl, Long Island, New York. This was the historic title unification bout.

Excellent condition – cardboard – unscored – 4 pages – also features Dick Shikat, Ernie Dusek, Everett Marshall, Abie Coleman, Joe Savoldi, Sandor Szabo, Dr. Karl Sarpolis and George Bothner will referee the main event!

ORIGINAL TICKET FOR JIM BROWNING vs. “JUMPIN” JOE SAVOLDI

WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE WORLD

HELD AT YANKEE STADIUM ON JUNE 12, 1933

MANY THANKS TO TIM HORNBAKER ON JIM BROWNING – “But how would he fair in the long run? In the following months, thousands witnessed their local champion beat Sam Cordovano, Rudy Dusek, Nick Lutze, and Sammy Stein before Curley set-up the next big event, again – the biggest show of his career – on June 12, 1933 at Yankee Stadium.

Browning was going to tackle the rising star, Joe Savoldi, who only two months earlier got a sneaky win over Londos in Chicago, in a benefit for the Free Milk Fund. A mammoth turnout was expected, but when bad weather crossed the ball field, and rain toppled to the mat, the 6-7,000 fans in attendance scurried for cover.

The disappointed promoter, Curley, watched as Browning lifted Savoldi’s title after 1-hour, 58-minutes of grappling, taking the bout by decision. The audience booed when Browning was named the winner, thinking that the two men were evenly matched – and it should have been a draw.”

THE JACK PFEFER / BUDDY ROGERS BELT

Obtained directly from the family of Pfefer associate and wrestling promoter Tony Santos.

This is the belt worn & used by Buddy Rogers back in the late 1940s and early 1950s when he worked with promoter Jack Pfefer.

I believe it was initially worn by Dave Levin (The Jamaica Butcher Boy) as evidenced by the center plate. The side plates indicate Buddy Rogers was awarded the belt on July 21, 1947 in Tulsa Oklahoma (and several times later!) and Billy Darnell was awarded the belt on October 26, 1948 in San Diego California. It remained in the Pfefer stable and was later worn by: George Bollas, The Demon, Bozo Brown, Tom Marshall, The Indian Nature Boy, Hoppalong Rokko, The Jungle Boy (with Moolah) and finally (?) The Amazing Zuma.

DUNCAN C. ROSS PHOTO

This is an extremely rare and beautiful original oversized mounted photograph of Duncan C. Ross.

It’s from the historic John Wood Studios of New York and noted as such on the mount,

It’s circa 1887.

Overall it measures 11 inches x 14 inches. The mount has a light stain on the right edge and foxing on the reverse otherwise excellent condition. The photograph itself is crystal clear, in near mint condition and shows, the acclaimed all-around athlete, Ross wearing his Championship Belt. Click on the image for a hi-def view.

Ed “Strangler” Lewis

Here’s a nice oversized photograph of “Ed Strangler” Lewis. It measures 14 inches long x 11 inches wide.

Lewis inscribed and signed this one to George Barton in 1926.

Toots Mondt

​Here’s a great oversized photograph of Toots Mondt. It measures 14 inches long x 11 inches wide.

Toots Mondt inscribed and signed this to Jack Dempsey on St Patrick’s Day in 1937.

Jack graciously displayed this in his famous restaurant in NYC.

JOE “TOOTS” MONDT

Here’s a very young Joe “Toots” Mondt – An 8 x 10 from Riley Studios – This has been autographed by Toots – The photo itself is only in fair condition, but a very rare and early photo and signature!

Frank Gotch Photograph

An oversized mounted studio photograph of Frank Gotch. Sykes Studio in Chicago. Overall measurements are 14 inches x 11 inches. The photograph itself measures a delightful 9.5 inches x 7.75 inches…and Yes, it is inscribed and signed by Gotch.

“To Mr. and Mrs. Arthur F. Wagner, with best wishes from Frank A. Gotch”

However, he signed his name on the mount “from Frank A. Gotch”. Its faded, but readable. “Oh why couldn’t he have signed his name on the photo portion instead of the mount….” oh well…still an outstanding and rare Gotch piece.

Frank Gotch

​Here’s a nice large, mounted, vintage photograph of Frank Gotch, Farmer Burns, and Joe Carrol Marsh. Overall the mount measures out at 13.5 inches x 11.5 inches, it has edge wear at the top and a horizontal crease and corner crease at the bottom. The photograph itself is crystal clear and measures 9.25 inches x 7.5 inches and is in near-mint condition. The studio is Solberg of Decorah, Iowa.

A rare image of a very young Frank Gotch, in 1901. Together with his mentor Farmer Burns and his early agent/manager Joe Carroll Marsh. This original came from the family of Joe Carroll Marsh.

FRANK GOTCH SIGNED and INSCRIBED BOOK

Rare as Hens Teeth are signatures of the legendary Frank Gotch and as such they are prized among Gotch collectors. Here is an inscribed and signed copy of his book.

This original 1913 edition is inscribed to his sister and brother-in-law, “Merry Christmas, Mr. & Mrs. Charles Kurth, from brother F. A. Gotch”

DUNCAN C. ROSS

Here’s Duncan Ross again, this time with his pal Captain C. Daly on a cabinet card. Circa 1888, and most likely from the John Wood Studios (although unaccredited). Cool piece as it shows what I believe is the collar & elbow wrestling jacket.

Ad Santel

Born Adolph Ernst in 1887, Santel stood around 5′ 9″, weighed in at 180 lbs, and was one of the best light heavyweights of his era. He wrestled in various legitimate catch wrestling tournaments throughout Europe against wrestlers of mixed styles. Between 1914 and 1921, Santel fought regularly in mixed martial arts contests against the best practitioners and proclaimed himself World Judo Champion.

Presented here is an original 8 x 10, Hartsook Studio, fight posed photograph, which has been inscribed, signed, and dated by Ad Santel in 1919, in bold fountain pen ink. Extremely rare and desirable.

Rudy Dusek

A rare oversized photo of Rudy Dusek. Inscribed and signed by Rudy in 1933.

It measures 20 inches long x 16 inches wide.

Tom Jenkins Button

“Strongest On Earth”

Do you wear the Tom Jenkins Shoe? Rare Original Pinback. Still has the rear paper copyright insert showing Union Label and the maker Stearn & Co., Cleveland Ohio. (Tom Jenkins was born in Cleveland in 1872) Circa 1905 – measures 1 1/4 inches in diameter.

William Muldoon

Rare Original Pinback

Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, NJ, July 21 1896

Circa 1896 – measures 3/4 inches in diameter.

“Scissors” Joe Stecher

Extremely Rare, Original circa 1915-1920 Brass Watch Fob!

This is only the second one of these, I’ve seen in over 35 years of wrestling collecting!!

FRANCISCO AGUAYO a.k.a. CACTUS PETE BROWN

THE FIRST MEXICAN NATIONAL CHAMPION.

Here is his Original Presentation Belt from 1925. The center plate is inscribed and was given to him by a Mexican Society in Chicago, IL on September 16, 1925. It is accompanied with the original wooden presentation case with a protective glass viewing pane. It is very large and measure 31 inches long end-to-end. The center plate measure 9 inches high x 8 inches wide. Some of the side plates need to be re-attached to the leather backing. One-of-a-kind wrestling artifact from the early days of professional wrestling.

Ed “Strangler” Lewis

HEALTH BUILDER

Extremely Rare, Original CHEST EXPANSION EXERCISER circa 1946!

“Late in the year {1946}, he attempted to market a rubber exerciser called the Strangler Lewis Health Builder. It resulted in another nothing. Lewis claimed he sold a million of the Health Builders, but also admitted he was broke”. Thanks; Steve Yohe – Wrestling Classics

JOHN PESEK

“The Nebraska Tigerman”

Known for years as the policeman of the Ed “Strangler” Lewis camp, the most independent man in wrestling, and its greatest enforcer didn’t get his world title until 1938 at the age of 44.

Born in Ravenna, Nebraska in 1894, this was also his home until he died in 1978. Discovered, trained, and befriended by World Champion Clarence “The Octopus” Eklund. Lewis, Stecher, and Londos kept Pesek “at arms-length” via The Trust and used John to defeat talented challengers such as Armas Laitinen, Jack Taylor, Marin Plestina, Charles Hansen, and Olympian Nat Pendleton. In 1929, he toured Australia & New Zealand, going 47-0 and beating both Ad Santel and Jim Browning. His career at a close, Pesek was known to state with pride; “No one ever got behind my back.”

Very likely, the greatest scientific wrestler ever to have donned a pair of tights, John Pesek passed away in 1978 at the age of 84.

This is an extremely rare autographed photo of John Pesek. It is inscribed to referee Bert Potts.

Ad Santel

Born Adolph Ernst in 1887, Santel stood around 5′ 9″, weighed in at 180 lbs, and was one of the best light heavyweights of his era. He wrestled in various legitimate catch wrestling tournaments throughout Europe against wrestlers of mixed styles. Between 1914 and 1921, Santel fought regularly in mixed martial arts contests against the best practitioners and proclaimed himself World Judo Champion.

Presented here is an original 8 x 10, Hartsook Studio, fight posed photograph, which has been inscribed, signed, and dated by Ad Santel in 1919, in bold fountain pen ink. Extremely rare and desirable.

Jess Westergaard (Jess Reimer)

The Giant From Des Moines

Top contender for the American Catch as Catch Can Wrestling Title in the early 20th century. Many consider him a Champion by virtue of his defeating Henry Ordemann on January 7, 1913, in the Minneapolis Auditorium. Managed by Emil Klank, Westergaard stood 6′ 2 and weighed in at around 220 lbs.

Presented here is an original vintage photo of Jess Westergaard circa 1913. Measures 9 1/2 ” x 5 1/4″ – Sepia Tone.

EARL CADDOCK vs. ED “STRANGLER” LEWIS EVENT TICKET

“FOR THE FINAL WORLD’S CHAMPIONSHIP”

DES MOINES COLISEUM, IOWA – FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 1918

THIS IS THE FIRST AND ONLY EXAMPLE OF THIS TICKET I HAVE SEEN IN 35 YEARS OF COLLECTING.

“Caddock wrestled rings around Lewis although he was, once again, unable to pin a larger contender. But the champion was so far ahead on points that referee Ed Smith quit keeping score after two hours of the 150 minute match. Only once was Ed able to secure his headlock and it was broken with ease. Every other hold Lewis applied was broken at Caddock’s will and half the time the champion would reverse the move to end up behind the challenger.

Lewis took no chances and stayed on defense except for about 15 minutes of the entire two and half hour match. Four times it seemed the champion was about to take a fall but Ed’s superior weight helped him break away.

Whenever the two were on the mat, Caddock was always behind. The match was a Caddock show from start to finish. Caddock claimed he was the undisputed heavyweight wrestling champion. Gate was $22,000.” SPECIAL THANKS TO STEVE YOHE FOR THIS INFO!