Memory Lane's spring auction has opened with some high grade and rare vintage baseball cards among the 1400-plus lots.
Memory Lane Incorporated has released its new auction catalog with a wide spectrum of sports cards featured in a newly-launched auction.
Earlier the company had announced it would handle the sale of papers from the court martial of Jackie Robinson during World War II as well as a Babe Ruth home run ball, and PSA 8-graded Ruth autographed ball.
Only a handful of 1951 Bowman Willie Mays rookie cards exist in PSA 9 (mint) quality but this ultra popular card returns to the table, a year after Memory Lane sold one at auction for $93,412,50. Bidding begins at $30,000 when the auction opens April 27.
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards show no sign of slowing down in prices paid and a PSA 8 (near mint) version consigned to MLI is likely to attract significant bidding from collectors as well.
19th century cards continue to appreciate in interest across the hobby. This sale includes several popular examples including a complete 1888 Scrapps Tobacco set, an 1888 N162 Goodwin Champions Cap Anson (PSA 7), an 1887 N175 Gypsy Queen Roger Conner (PSA 3) and an 1893 Just So tobacco Jesse Burkett. These cards represent not only the dawn of the baseball card hobby but, in fact, the beginnings of the game itself on a professional level.
Early 20th century pieces include a rare 1904 Allegheny Card Company Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown graded SGC 88, a T204 Ramly William H. Dineen Square Frame (PSA 3), 1909-10 Briggs Co. Lozenge E97 Joe Kelly black and white proof (SGC 30), T205 Gold Border Christy Mathewson (PSA 7) and a T206 Ty Cobb Portrait-Red (PSA 8). The Cobb card is one of the hobby’s most historic and popular.
Few vintage card sets are as beautiful as the 1911 T201 Mecca Double Folders and two examples offered are a Mathewson/Bridwell and a Johnson/Street (both PSA 8). The auction also includes T202 Hassan Triple Folders: #129 Jennings/Cobb (Ty Cobb Steals Third) in SGC 84 (near mint) condition and a Cobb/Moriarity (Good Play at Third) graded PSA 7.
When youngsters collected the 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack sets, few players were as popular as Christy Mathewson. “Matty” embodied all that was good in sports. Bucknell graduate off the field; ferocious competitor on the diamond. Both of the Hall of Famer’s Cracker Jack cards are included in the sale: The condition-sensitive 1914 set is represented by a Mathewson card graded SGC 30 while a sensational 1915 edition graded SGC 86 (near mint plus) is likely to attract collectors of that year's issue.
A 1925 Exhibit Supply Company Lou Gehrig, widely considered to be Gehrig's rookie card, is up for grabs, having been graded SGC 50 (VG-EX). 1933 Goudey highlights include #92 Gehrig graded near mint plus (SGC 92) and a #53 Babe Ruth in PSA 7. A 1933 Sport Kings Ruth card is in the sale (PSA 7), as well as a 1933 Goudey Sport Kings Bobby Jones. Graded near mint, (PSA 8) it represents the dawning of golf’s popularity in America.
Five high grade 1948 Leaf cards include: #3 Babe Ruth (PSA 8), the rookie card of Jackie Robinson, #79 in the series, graded PSA 8, two #76 Ted Williams cards, one a GAI 9 and the other an SGC 92 and #120 George Kell (PSA 8).
Two cards from the 1953 Bowman color set are being offered in mint grade: a mint #59 Mickey Mantle (PSA 9) and a mint (SGC 96) #121 card of the Bronx Bombers’ legendary catcher Yogi Berra.
Other professionally graded and authenticated 1950s Hall of Famers in the auction include:
1953 Topps #244 Willie Mays (GAI 8.5), 1954 Wilson Franks Ted Williams (GAI 7), 1954 Topps #201 Al Kaline rookie PSA 9, 1955 Topps #47 Hank Aaron (PSA 9), 1955 Topps #50 Jackie Robinson (SGC 96), 1955 Topps #124 Harmon Killebrew (PSA 9), 1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente Rookie Card (PSA 8), 1956 Toppps #5 Ted Williams (PSA 9), 1957 Topps #10 Willie Mays (PSA 9), 1957 Topps Brooks Robinson Rookie Card (PSA 9), 1958 Topps #47 Roger Maris Rookie Card (GAI 9.5), 1958 Topps #150 Mickey Mantle (SGC 92), 1958 Topps #187 Sandy Koufax (PSA 9), 1958 Topps #418 Mantle/Aaron World Series Batting Foes (PSA 9), 1959 Topps #163 Sandy Koufax (PSA 9) and a 1959 Topps #514 Bob Gibson (PSA 9).
It's difficult to fathom how few high-grade rare regional cards are still in existence today. A number of these popular and underrated issues are also among the pages of the Memory Lane catalog including a 1954 Wilson Franks full uncut sheet, one of the most rare and desirable uncut sheets in existence.
The golden era of baseball cards produced the classic 1956 Topps set and Memory Lane is offering a complete PSA 8-graded set as well as a full, uncut sheet of 1956 Topps baseball.
Memory Lane has acquired consignments representing the 1960s era to present , highlighted by a 1961 Topps #578 Mickey Mantle All Star in PSA 10 (gem mint) condition.
Other 1960s cards include a 1960 Topps #300 Hank Aaron (PSA 9), 1962 Topps #5 Sandy Koufax (SGC 96), a stunning 1963 Topps #573 Pete Rose Rookie Card (PSA 9), several 1964 Topps Stand-ups including: Aaron, Koufax, Mantle and Mays, all in mint (PSA 9) condition as well as two key cards from the 1969 Topps set: the #260 Reggie Jackson Rookie Card (PSA 9) and #650 Ted Williams (PSA 10). There is also a rare 1969 Topps Super Mickey Mantle (#24) graded PSA 10.
Pete Maravich rookie cards continue to increase in value each year as collectors appreciate the Pistol’s life and talents. Memory Lane offers a mint condition (PSA 9) Maravich rookie from the ever-popular ‘tall boy’ set of 1970-71.
Unopened pack offerings include a 1933 Sport Kings Multi Wax Pack (graded GAI 7) and a rare 1948 Bowman Basketball wax pack.
In an election year, it would seem only proper that anyone registered to vote have the opportunity to bid on a special autographed baseball containing the signatures of former Chief Executives. Memory Lane has an historic ball signed by five U.S. Presidents from the latter half of the 20th century. The official National League baseball includes the autographs of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Bill Clinton.
Other important pieces of baseball memorabilia include a Hank Aaron game used, autographed bat, the 1966 Gold Glove award presented to White Sox infielder Bobby Knoop, a HOF signed oversized baseball with 83 autographs, a Babe Ruth signed, cancelled check authenticated by PSA/DNA and a yearbook from Mickey Mantle’s sophomore year at Commerce High School in Oklahoma. This yearbook from 1947 includes pictures of Mantle as a football and basketball player as well as his class picture. Under his class picture is a signed note to a friend including one of his earliest signatures signed, “Mick”, some 61 years ago.
1923 New York Yankees Autograph book signed by Lou Gehrig in his rookie year, as well as Babe Ruth, Miller Huggins (signed "Miller James Huggins") and the first commissioner of baseball, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, along with many others.
The Spring Fever Extravaganza auction is dedicated to the memory of Roger Cameron, Memory Lane’s Marketing Director, who passed away in January.