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Having a Ball With Rare Children’s Books – Former NFL Star Auctions Collection

It seems an odd combination but really why shouldn’t a professional football player collect books?

pat-mcinally-nflPat McInally did that.  In 1975, after signing a rookie contract with the Cincinnati Bengals, did he rush out to buy a snazzy car or upgrade his living accommodations? Nope – he bought a rare book collection because he wanted the edition of Winnie the Pooh it included.

A couple of years later, he took a day trip by plane from Cincinnati to the West Coast so that he could bid on two James Bond books, Casino Royale and Live and Let Die, inscribed by Ian Fleming.

Over the past 35 years, McInally has put together quite an impressive rare books collection. But  in a move to “tidy up” his collection, he auctioned off 101 of the books.

The auction which included Beatrix Potter’s personal copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit,  a first edition The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, signed copies of Winnie the Pooh, and a deluxe Harry Potter set  inscribed by J.K. Rowling.

peter-rabbit-mcinally“The hardest thing to sell is Beatrix Potter’s ‘Peter Rabbit,'” McInally said. “That was her personal copy that she had bound. No one even knew it existed until six years ago or so. If I hadn’t made the commitment to (auction house) Profiles in History to give them some unusual material, that’s the one I would have kept.”

The auction took place yesterday and you can  see the list of the books McInally parted with and the prices each sold for, on the auction website.

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