The market for high-grade vintage baseball cards continues to sizzle. A 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente rookie card graded PSA 9 (mint) sold for a record-setting $478,000 Saturday night while a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle also topped the half million dollar mark.
The two iconic cards were among the heavy hitters in a live sale conducted in New York by Heritage Auctions that included all higher end cards and memorabilia. Eighteen items sold for over $100,000 and the auction realized over $7.2 million in all. Prices include a 19.5% buyer’s premium.
The Clemente card smashed the previous record for the card in a PSA 9 holder set just seven months ago when another copy brought over $310,000. It’s one of 11 graded at that level. The lone PSA 10 sold in 2012 for $432,690. The card had been the subject of a court battle last week.
Mickey Mantle cards remain extremely hot.
The PSA 8 ’52 Mantle fell short of matching the $525,800 price attained in another Heritage auction in December, selling for $501,900. Three others offered by Heritage all surpassed the six-figure mark. An SGC 88 Mantle rocketed to $274,850 while an SGC 84 brought $131,450 and a PSA 6 sold for $101,575.
A 1951 Bowman Mantle rookie card graded PSA 8 sold for $137,425, breaking a record set in Memory Lane’s auction just over a month ago of $119,500 and more than six times what the same card sold for about six years ago.
A 1916 M101-5 Babe Ruth rookie card (blank back) graded PSA 5 sold for $191,200, more than double the listed value in the Sports Card Market Report. The last blank back ‘5’ sold in 2012 for $89,250. A 1933 Goudey Ruth #149 graded 8 changed hands for $119,500, an SGC 98 (gem mint) and a 1934 Lou Gehrig card realized $167,300.
Bidder interest was also strong when Gehrig’s 1934 Sporting News MVP Award was on the block. The trophy sold for $418,250.
Items from the collection of Green Bay Packers great Jerry Kramer were consigned to the auction with bidders chasing Kramer’s Super Bowl I ring and game jersey, his 1965 NFL Championship ring and other items. Kramer was in New York for the auction and addressed the live gathering beforehand. His Super Bowl ring sold for $125,475, the ’65 NFL title ring hit $35,850 and Kramer’s green and gold Super Bowl jersey was acquired for $45,410.
The 1980 US Olympic Hockey Gold Medal earned by Dave Christian didn’t meet a pre-set reserve but was listed for sale afterward for $358,500. The medal awarded to Christian’s father Bob, who played on the victorious American team in 1960 brought $50,190.
Other highlights included
- T206 Ty Cobb green background PSA 8 $155,350
- Lou Gehrig 1934 contract $155,350
- 1903 World Series program $131,450
- Mickey Mantle’s first baseball contract $119,500
- Circa 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” Original Painting by LeRoy Neiman $119,500
- 1920 Babe Ruth bat PSA/DNA GU9 $101,575
- 1955-57 Mantle bat $89,625
- 1912 Harry Hooper Red Sox sweater $89,625
- 1966 Willie Mays game-worn jersey $77,675
- PSA graded complete Super Bowl ticket collection (1-50) $54,970