Game Used Bats, Super Bowl Tickets Top Auction

Game used Ty Cobb bat A Babe Ruth game used bat was trumped by a Ty Cobb model in SCP Auctions latest catalog sale. Even Barry Bonds’ 754th home run ball saw some action.

There is plenty of demand and not nearly enough supply of game-used bats originating from the hands baseball icons.

Sotheby’s/SCP Auctions closed out their first sale of 2008 early Thursday morning after two sessions of bidding. The first saw the sale of four major vintage game used bats. A Ty Cobb brought $72, 595, but with the company’s 20% buyer’s premium tacked on, the final price was $87,114. A Babe Ruth game bat from the 1921 season sold for $79,015 with the buyer’s premium while a Jimmie Foxx 1938-39 model brought $24,216. A 1965-66 era Mickey Mantle went for $26,698.

In all, 924 lots were sold in the auction with a total of $1.7 million worth of winning bids.

One of just a few complete runs of full Super Bowl tickets from the first 41 games sold for $39,386 ($47,263 with the buyer’s premium). The group was assembled over a period of many years by an ambitious and diligent collector, according to SCP. Super Bowl ticket collectors have been growing in number and competition can be fierce for some of the harder-to-get tickets with good condition vintage stubs and fulls bringing hundreds of dollars on eBay.

SCP handled the sale of Barry Bonds’ 755th and 756th home run balls last fall. This time, it took the consignment of Bonds’ 754th, which left the yard on July 24. It brought $26,936.

Vintage baseball cards, especially those from the uber-popular 1952 Topps set drew plenty of bidders. A 1952 Topps set grading EX-EX-MT according to the catalog description sold for $45,012 even with the Mickey Mantle card having been authenticated but trimmed. A separate sale of a 1952 Topps Mantle card graded PSA 7, ended with a winning bidder forking over $31, 917 after “the juice”. PSA 7 ’52 Topps Mantles have generally held steady at between $30 and $35,000 for the past year and a half, although one did sell in a Mastro Auction last year for $39,542.

Babe Ruth autographed baseball A 1920 Miller Huggins signed photograph sold for $18,574, a record price for a photo signed by the Yankees Hall of Fame manager while a single-signed Babe Ruth autographed baseball was purchased for $22,785.

Dan Imler, Managing Director of SCP Auctions said the sale attracted an extraordinary number of “new” collectors. “Beyond our satisfaction with the strong prices realized, we are thrilled with the incredible number of bidders who participated overall,” Imler stated. “We are especially pleased with the extraordinary number of new bidders who registered for the first time. This is a very positive testament to the strength of this market.”

For complete results: SCP Auctions