The world’s top collection of mainstream Hank Aaron baseball cards is about to go on the auction block.
Memory Lane Inc. will offer the group of 25 cards that encompass Aaron’s record-smashing career as part of its Spring Rarities Auction, set to open Saturday, April 23. The collection includes a PSA 9 Aaron rookie card that will carry an opening bid of $50,000. The top rated Aaron Basic set on PSA’s Registry, the collection includes 23 9s and two 10s from 1954-‘74. Each card will be sold individually.
Also in the auction are 20 cards from the second rated Willie Mays collection on the PSA Registry including PSA 8 examples of his 1951 Bowman rookie and 1952 Topps cards. The remaining 18 cards are all graded 8, 8.5 or 9.
Dozens of high-grade examples of some of the most valuable rookie cards ever made are among the offerings including Johnny Unitas, Wayne Gretzky, Ernie Banks (all PSA 9), Bobby Orr, Roberto Clemente, Joe Namath and Jim Brown (all PSA 8).
A PSA 9 1948 Leaf Babe Ruth is also among the headliners, marking the first time in over a decade that such a high-end example has been offered at public auction. The card is one of just four at that level with no 10s in the Population Report.
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle values continue to climb and the auction includes a PSA 5 example of his ultra-popular first Topps card.
Pre-War card collectors will find over 100 different high-grade 1915 Cracker Jack cards including NM/MT examples of Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Nap Lajoie, Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers. A rare 1887 Kalamazoo Bats card of baseball pioneer Harry Wright is on the block as well as a 1911 Sporting Life Cabinet of Honus Wagner, 1934 Goudey Lou Gehrig (mint), blank back and Lenox back T206 Ty Cobb cards and a 1932 U.S. Caramel Cobb (PSA 8). There are dozens of cards from various sets including T206, Turkey Red, Hassan Triple Folders, Sporting Life, DeLong and Diamond Stars.
An all-PSA 10 complete 1986-87 Fleer Basketball set including the Michael Jordan rookie card should draw plenty of attention with prices soaring for not only the Jordan but other cards that have proven scarce at the 10 level.
Numerous unopened vintage packs and boxes, including a 1952 Topps pack, will be offered as well as sets and partial sets of some classic vintage issues, all in higher grade.
Heading the memorabilia category is a 1918 Babe Ruth Type I Charles Conlon photo. This 6 ½” x 9 ¾” image of the young Boston Red Sox slugger was featured in the 1990s book, “Baseball’s Golden Age”, which featured some of Conlon’s greatest photographs. Another vintage photo, taken at the 1931 World Series, includes autograph of Ruth, Connie Mack, John McGraw and Nick Altrock.
The auction also has a single-signed, inscribed Ruth ball from the 1940s authenticated by PSA/DNA with a photo of the consignor’s parents and Ruth at the New Jersey prize fight where it was obtained. There is a 1929 Yankees team signed ball with 22 signatures, a Walter Johnson single-signed ball and signed cancelled checks from Cobb, Wagner and Jackie Robinson.
Bidding will continue through Saturday, May 7 at MemoryLaneInc.com. To register or receive free auction catalogs, visit the company’s website or call 1-877-606-5263.
Memory Lane is also accepting consignments for its next I Own it Now catalog, due out later this spring.