A quartet of 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth cards sold late last week for over $500,000. They were part of the fifth best set on PSA’s Set Registry, which was broken up and offered card-by-card at auction. In all, the cards in the set netted over $1.17 million.
Goudey’s 240-card set featured four different Ruth cards and the collection sold by Heritage Auctions included all four with grades of PSA 8 (NM/MT). All set new record prices. The #53 Ruth card sold for $191,200, the #149 for $155,350, the #181 hit $83,650 and the #144 brought $71,700.
Also sold were two copies of the #160 Lou Gehrig, with an 8.5 fetching a record $89,625 and an 8 selling for $53,755.
A PSA 8 Nap Lajoie brought $119,500 while the #1 card in the set, Benny Bengough, sold for $40,630.
A rare uncut ’33 Goudey sheet went for $95,600.
“Clearly we’re on the vanguard of a new hobby paradigm,” said Chris Ivy, director of Sports Auctions at Heritage. “Our international bidding clientele is rewriting the record books for high-grade Registry sets.”
Hunt Auctions also offered a collection of 1930s cards that had been pasted in albums at the time of issue. The Lajoie card, which carried a tell-tale #106 written in pencil on the front, sold for $21,331. Intentionally left out of the set, the #106 card was sent to frustrated collectors who wrote to Goudey in the 1930s and asked about the missing number from their set.
A near set of ’33 Goudeys from the albums sold for $10,184. They were consigned by the original owner’s family.
Hunt’s Internet/Phone auction also saw the sale of an SGC 60 1952 Topps Mantle for $71,559 and a 1986-87 Fleer basketball wax box for $34,133.
Proof that any ’52 Mantle—even if it looks like it’s gone through the washing machine—will sell for a good chunk of change can be found with this current eBay auction.
A 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax graded PSA 8.5 caused some eye popping last week when it ended at over $65,000.
The 1959 Topps Bob Gibson rookie was issued in the last series that year and has been notoriously tough to find in high-grade slabs. A PSA 9 sold last week for over $30,000. Now, there’s one listed for a little less.
One of the 19 PSA 10 1980-81 Topps Larry Bird-Magic Johnson rookie cards is being offered this week and has already soared to a new record price and the auction won’t close for a few days. Five years ago, you could have bought one for $8,000-$9,000.