The sale of a PSA 9 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente rookie card will continue this weekend after a legal challenge by one auction company against another.
Bohemia, NY-based Lelands had gone to court in an attempt to halt the sale, saying they had a signed, hand-written contract with the owner back in 2008, stating the card would be consigned to them once the owner sold.
According to their reports, Lelands’ attorney,William Fried, told the court that Ohio collector Brian Slusser made a written promise to sell his Clemente card collection—one of the hobby’s best– through Lelands after selling them $200,000 worth of other Clemente memorabilia. Lelands also says it paid $25,000 for the ’55—the card’s value at the time—with an expectation it would be able to sell it later. They claim the owner opted instead to consign the collection through Heritage instead.
That’s when Lelands decided to sue over lost commissions plus damage to its reputation.
Attorneys for Heritage say the scribbled contract wasn’t valid in the state of New York.
In July, Heritage sold another PSA 9 Clemente rookie for $310,700.
While New York Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla ruled the current auction, which includes six high-end Clemente cards, could continue, she did put a temporary hold on eight others scheduled for sale later this year. She also ordered Slusser to testify at an April 1 hearing on the legality of the earlier document.