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Personal Effects, July 31, 2020

Question: Hey Jerry, I found this in some things out of my uncle’s estate. I know that it’s Tony the Tiger, but what is it? It’s clean and bright and dates to the 1980s or so I think. Sorry, I’m playing dealer. Tell me if it has any value to it. Thanks.

Answer: Well, maybe you should play at something else for a while, because this is the Detroit Tigers and not Tony the Tiger, of cereal fame. But you did have the right animal.

The Detroit Tigers have a long long history in the world of baseball. This Detroit, Michigan-based franchise dates back 1894. They were members of the minor league, Western League. They became a charter member of the American League in 1901. They hold the distinction of being the oldest continuous, one name, one city, franchise in the baseball league. Famous for many fine players, they are most remembered for acquiring the then 18-year-old Ty Cobb, who went on to have a long and highly successful career.

What you have is a pencil clip. You slid this on your pencil and were able to clip it onto your notebook or in your pocket. Ink pens had them so why not pencils? You’ll find these pencil clips advertising all types of sports teams and other products.

Your dating was off a tad too. This dates to the early to mid 1950s. There seems to be a lot of

collector excitement around this color too. Collectors tend to gravitate toward this earlier orange background, as opposed to the later black background. Its condition is really fresh and bright, and that only helps it.

I found a couple of these pencil clips with the iconic Detroit Tigers logo for sale online. Because of the orange color this should sell for about $25 in a retail venue. On the flip side, if this was a black background, it would be valued at about $8. Thanks for a great question.