It has been 64 years since George Mikan’s last pro basketball game but NBA’s first dominant big man is still making news.
One of the five best examples of the late Hall of Famer’s 1948 Bowman rookie card sold for $320,009 early Sunday morning as Memory Lane closed out its 20th Anniversary Auction. The price established a record for the grade. A PSA 10 Mikan sold five years ago for just over $400,000. Bidding was intense with the high bid jumping by more than $100,000 in the final hours of bidding.
The Mikan card wasn’t the only six-figure item in the auction, which included over 1,300 lots spread over a 390-page catalog that ranked the largest auction ever held by Memory Lane.
The top-rated 1950 Bowman football set on PSA’s Set Registry was broken up and sold card-by-card for a combined total of $225,301, while a 1951 Bowman Willie Mays rookie card graded 8 by PSA went for a record-setting $103,318. A 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card rated PSA 10 netted $103,490—the third Jordan rookie to broach the $100,000 mark this year at public auction. The Jordan was the kingpin of an all-PSA 10 set break.
The auction included several cards from early in Ty Cobb’s legendary career including the only autographed copy of his 1097 Dietsch postcard (fielding pose). Carrying an autograph grade of 8, the historic piece rocketed to $73,548. A Cobb Wolverine Postcard postmarked October 9, 1907 with a fan’s handwritten reference to Cobb’s first American League batting title, went for $31,986.
In all, the auction generated sales of nearly $3.76 million.
The auction included several rare photographs including an original Type I Underwood & Underwood image of the 1915 Red Sox pitching staff featuring a young Babe Ruth. With the caption on the back dated to the day prior to the 1915 World Series, the photo sold for $52,182.
Other highlights included a PSA 9 1963 Topps Pete Rose rookie card ($77,096), a 1921 E121 Ruth card (“Babe” in quotes version) graded PSA 3 ($58,380-record price), a 1952 Topps Willie Mays PSA 8 ($46,111), a 1938 Goudey Joe DiMaggio PSA 8 ($46,411), a 1961-62 Fleer Wilt Chamberlain rookie card ($33,586) and a 1939 Play Ball Ted Williams rookie card graded PSA 8 ($36,128).
Complete results can be found here. Memory Lane is now accepting consignments for its next auction, slated for early 2021.