Auctions, Graded Cards & Memorabilia

The high end, vintage sports memorabilia market has grown like mad over the last couple of decades and shows no sign of slowing down according to the auction house leaders and major dealers participating in Saturday’s panel discussions at the PCCE.

It was back-to-back-to-back Q&A on Saturday–as Mastro Auctions’ Doug Allen, David Hunt of Hunt Auctions, Bill Huggins of Huggins & Scott, Chris Ivy of Heritage Auctions, game used bat expert John Taube, and dealers John Brigandi, Brian Drent and Andy Madec all too the stage over three sessions.

Authentication, bidding procedures and provenance were among the topics discussed. We’ll delve a little more deeply into what was said early next week.

The auction company reps admitted their #1 goal is to get the most money for their consignors by a variety of methods which include pulling high grade raw cards from sets, having them graded and replacing them with lower grade raw cards.

They also discussed PSA grading and what impact the move to half grades will have on the set registry.

Madec said the best card he’d ever handled was a 1952 Topps Willie Mays which resides in the collection of former big league pitcher Tom Candiotti. The card was acquired at a Long Beach, California coin show–along with a 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle. Madec paid $40,000 in cash for the pair, believing they would receive high grades. The Mays received a 10–the Mantle a 9–and it proved to be a worthwhile investment.