From the documents that launched baseball rules as we know them to a high-grade Nolan Ryan rookie card, the most valuable sports memorabilia sold at auction in 2016 proved once again that there’s a big money market for rare sports treasures.
The top 10 highest selling items totaled well over $13 million.
Topping the list at $3,263,246 is the “Laws of Base Ball,” the group of documents written in 1856 and 1857 that framed the foundation of America’s pastime. The documents were sold last spring by SCP Auctions.
Other notable items include a 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle rookie card, graded PSA NM-MT+ 8.5, that sold for over $1 million, and a pair of T206 Honus Wagner cards.
Here is the complete list, in order of auction price realized:
- The Laws of Base Ball: $3.26 million, SCP Auctions
2. T206 “Jumbo” Honus Wagner PSA 5 (MC) $3.12 million, Goldin Auctions
3. Charles Conlon Collection of Baseball Photographs: $1.79 million, Heritage Auctions
4. 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, PSA NM-MT+ 8.5: $1.13 million, Heritage Auctions
5. 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner, PSA Good 2: $776,750, Heritage Auctions
6. 1963 Topps Pete Rose, PSA Gem Mint 10: $717,000, Heritage Auctions
7. 1916 M101-5 Blank Back Sporting News Babe Ruth, PSA NM 7: $717,000, Heritage Auctions
8. 1909 E90-1 American Caramel Joe Jackson, PSA NM-MT 8: $667,189, SCP Auctions
9. 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan, PSA Gem Mint 10: $612,359, Heritage Auctions
10. Muhammad Ali Autographed Fight Worn Gloves from “The Fight of the Century” 1971 Bout vs. Joe Frazier: $594,000, Goldin Auctions
Of the top 10 items sold at public auction, two cracked the PSA “Record Breakers” list for all-time auction records. The “Laws of Base Ball” earned the top “Baseball Document” spot, while the 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner PSA EX 5 (MC) ranks as the all-time highest selling baseball card at public auction.