Well-monitized collectors sent prices for some post-War vintage baseball cards out of the ballpark early Saturday morning as hundreds of graded rookie cards from the collection of former major league player Dmitri Young were sold at auction. Spanning several decades, the PSA Gem Mint 10 collection included several cards that were the lone examples at the grade level including a 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente that sold for $432,690 and a 1954 Topps Hank Aaron that brought $357,594. The winning bid on the Clemente card set a record for a post-World War II card.
The auction ended at about 5 a.m. east coast time. All told, the cards sold for more than $2.4 million.
Prices include a 20% buyer’s premium added on by SCP Auctions, which is handling Young’s collection and hundreds of other pieces of rare sports memorabilia that close Saturday night. Included in the latter group are such artifacts as a 1920-era Babe Ruth Yankees game jersey, a cap Ruth wore in the 1930s and the cap that sat atop Bobby Thomson’s head after he hit the pennant-winning home run for the New York Giants in 1951.
Young’s rookie card collection included everything from a 1948 Bowman Stan Musial ($129,850) to a 1993 Upper Deck SP Derek Jeter ($24,450). The only 1963 Topps Pete Rose rookie card grading ’10’ brought $157,365.
Young says he’ll use the money to fund a foundation aimed at helping children. An avid collector, Young began buying cards several years ago with the help of Dave Bailey, a mutual friend of former Detroit Tigers’ teammate Robert Fick, often breaking cases of modern product in hopes of finding perfect looking rookie cards to submit for grading. Occasionally, when he received only a ‘9’, Young would re-submit, hoping a PSA grader bump the card to a 10.
The auction proved that one point on the scale of high grade vintage cards can be worth thousands or even millions of dollars.
Not all of the cards in Young’s collection required a large bankroll. Many of the modern era rookies sold for less than $50 each, which was expected since numerous other examples already exist. His vintage stash more than made up for it.
The prices paid will likely bring more widespread attention to the vintage card market, which could boost other high grade cards.
You can see PSA 10 graded vintage cards currently being offered on eBay by clicking here.