The result of an auction is probably sending scores of collectors to their 1979 Topps sets and unopened packs, hoping there might be a fifth Ozzie Smith rookie card that could earn the favor of a PSA grader. The latest Mile High Card Co. auction closed early Friday morning with a PSA 10 copy of the most valuable card in the 1979 Topps set selling for a whopping $20,852. It is believed to be the highest price ever paid for a 1970s rookie card.
One of just four out of some 4,500+ submissions to ever be given the ’10’ designation, the Smith rookie card generated 20 bids. The final bid was $17,523 and the buyer’s premium pushed the realized price past $20,000.
The last three selling prices for PSA 10 Ozzie Smith rookie cards ranged from $6,483 to $7,850 between October of 2008 and July of 2010.
Like many cards from the 1979 Topps issue, the Smith rookie card is notorious for being poorly centered. The average selling price for conditions across the board is only around $30 (you can check current eBay listings here). Even higher grade 1979 Topps sets, with a typically off-center Smith sell for $125-175.
While they frequently turn up on the list of most watched eBay baseball cards, only a small number of PSA 9 Smith rookies have been sold there in the last 90 days according to research by Sports Collectors Daily, with winning bids between $379 and $504 for examples without qualifiers.
Among the other items sold in the auction:
- 2nd best 1954 Bowman Master Set (266 cards including 40 variations) on PSA Registry $83,650
- 1909 T204 Ramly Eddie Plank PSA 8 $40,825
- 1957 Topps Johnny Unitas Rookie PSA 9 $27,2096
- 1955 Topps All-American football set (4th best on PSA registry) $25,273
- 1909 E90-1 Joe Jackson rookie card SGC 40 $23,500
- High grade 1979 Topps autographed Thurman Munson card $17,780
If you have cards you’d like to get graded, PSA is offering six free grades by joining the Gold Collector’s Club.