After a string of record-breaking auctions including a jaw-dropping find of vintage unopened sports and non-sports cards that made national headlines, Mile High Card Company’s final auction of 2017 launches on Monday.
“The Beer Box Find and Beer Box II really made an impact this year and we’re happy to finish off the year with a pair of items that are fresh to the hobby and simply extraordinary,” said MHCC President and CEO Brian Drent.
The two newly discovered autographed items are a 1923 handwritten Babe Ruth letter and a mint condition Jackie Robinson single-signed baseball. Both the Robinson ball and the Ruth letter are “pristine and absolutely the finest known” according to the Denver area auction house.
Obtained through a local consignor who had owned it for years, the Robinson ball has his customary “Best Wishes” greeting and signature on the side panel, triple-authenticated by JSA, SGC and PSA/DNA with the latter two grading it as 9 MINT.
The Ruth letter is one of only four known fully handwritten examples. Addressed to well known Chicago sportswriter Harry Neily, the letter serves as a thank you for a vote that helped Ruth win the 1923 American League MVP award.
The auction also includes a pair of rare, original type I photos of Ruth from the early years of his career in Boston: an Underwood and Underwood news photo and another image dating to 1919.
Another big ticket lot is the fifth rated 1911 T3 Turkey Red collection on PSA’s Set Registry. The group includes Walter Johnson PSA 5 EX, Bobby Wallace PSA 6 EX/MT, #39 Rube Waddell PSA 6 EX/MT, #23 Nap Lajoie PSA 5 EX, #42 Cy Young PSA 4 VG/EX, #19 Addie Joss PSA 5 EX, #36 Tris Speaker PSA 4.5 VG/EX+, #4 Roger Bresnahan PSA 5 EX, #87 Eddie Collins PSA 5 EX, #27 Christy Mathewson PSA 5 EX (MK), #16 Johnny Evers PSA 5 EX, #17 Clark Griffith PSA 5 EX and #80 Chief Bender PSA 5 EX.
Among the other vintage cards in the auction are those dating from the 19th century to the 1980s including an N28 Allen & Ginter Cap Anson SGC 84 NM 7, a 1908 E102 Ty Cobb SGC 60 EX 5, a 1909-11 American Caramel E90-1 Joe Jackson rookie card SGC 70 EX+ 5.5, a 1911 T3 Turkey Red #9 Ty Cobb PSA 5 EX, a 1921 American Caramel Co. E121 Babe Ruth SGC 55 VG/EX 4.5, a 1925 Exhibits Lou Gehrig rookie card PSA 4(MK) VG/EX, a 1933 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie PSA 4 VG/EX, a 1939 Play Ball #92 Ted Williams rookie SGC 92 NM/MT+ 8.5, a 1948-49 Leaf. #79 Jackie Robinson erookie SGC 84 NM 7, a1949 Bowman #36 Pee Wee Reese PSA 10 GEM MINT, a 1951 Bowman #305 Willie Mays rookie PSA 8 NM/MT, a 1952 Topps #36 Gil Hodges PSA 9 MINT, a 1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente rookie PSA 8 NM/MT, a 1956 Topps #130 Willie Mays PSA 9 MINT, a 1962 Topps #471 Mickey Mantle PSA 9 MINT, a 1964 Topps #50 Mantle PSA 9 MINT, a 1957-58 Topps #77 Bill Russell SGC 86 NM+ 7.5 and a 1981 Topps #216 Joe Montana rookie PSA 10 GEM MINT.
Top-ranked sports card sets are prominently featured once again with a 1954 New York Journal American Set Completely PSA Graded #1 on PSA Set Registry, a 1975 Hostess Master Complete Set (#1 on PSA Set Registry), a 1975 Hostess Twinkie Complete Set #1 on PSA Set Registry, a 1964 Philadelphia Football Complete Set (#1 on PSA Set Registry with Set Rating of 10.595) and a 1957-58 Topps Hockey Complete Set Completely PSA Graded #10 on PSA Set Registry. Other collections in the catalog include complete sets of 1906 Fan Craze American Leaguers, 1933 and ’34 Goudey, 1948 Leaf, 1953 Topps and 1960 Topps.
The MHCC December auction also has what the company calls “the strongest collection of signed baseballs that we’ve ever offered” with over 140 autographed balls including single-signed examples of Walter Johnson, Grover Cleveland Alexander (dated 1933), Cy Young, Paul Waner, Joe Cronin and Gabby Hartnett.
Team signed balls offered include those from the 1927 New York Yankees, 1937 All-Star Game (Fox, Gehrig and DiMaggio), 1937 New York Giants with Mel Ott, 1951 New York Giants with rookie Willie Mays, 1951 New York Yankees with DiMaggio, Rizzuto and Berra, 1961 N.L. All-Star team featuring Clemente and a 1962 All-Star Game ball with Clemente, Koufax, Mays and Aaron. Each ball is authenticated by PSA/DNA.
Mile High is accepting consignments for the Spring 2018 Auction with a consignment deadline of January 26.