High-end game-used memorabilia and some iconic sports cards helped push Heritage Auctions’ latest catalog tally to $9.3 million. The auction, which closed with two sections on Saturday and Sunday nights, set several records across game-used jerseys, bats, and rare sports cards.
Kept in a closet for decades by the Wisconsin man who’d received it as a young boy waiting for autographs in 1954, the only known Hank Aaron game used rookie bat sold for $132,000 – nearly quadrupling the previous top price for an Aaron gamer. Likewise, a rookie era Mel Ott bat more than doubled the former record when it realized $168,000 including the buyer’s premium. A Johnny Unitas jersey Heritage says was photo-matched to the 1959 NFL Championship game narrowly topped the standing record for postwar NFL models, selling for $96,000.
Rare and high-grade trading cards remained red-hot, with a card from the Lucky 7 find of T206 Ty Cobb cards with Cobb Tobacco backs (PSA VG+ 3.5) leading the way at $408,000. The card was the second highest graded card from the remarkable 2016 discovery of seven examples of the rare card.
A Stan Musial (1948 Leaf rookie card graded PSA Mint 9) set a new mark at $312,000, and a Joe Namath (1965 Topps #122, PSA Mint 9) followed close behind at $264,000, also the most ever paid for a mint Namath.
Among the headliners in the autographed memorabilia section was the $78,000 sale of a signed example of Mickey Mantle’s 1952 Topps card. A PSA/DNA Mint 9 single-signed Babe Ruth baseball also set a record in that grade with a final tally of $228,000 – the highest price paid for a Mint 9 example.
Other notable results included:
- $400,800: 1920-22 Babe Ruth Game Bat with Polo Grounds Bat Exhibition Provenance, PSA/DNA GU 10
- $246,000: 1936-38 Lou Gehrig Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9
- $168,000: 1902 W600 Sporting Life Honus Wagner Street Clothes Type 1 PSA VG+ 3.5
- $144,000: 1903 World Series Game 8 Program
- $120,000: 1953 Mickey Mantle World Series Bat, PSA/DNA GU 10
- $90,000: 1934 Jimmie Foxx Bat with Family Provenance, PSA/DNA GU 9
- $66,0001973 Tom Seaver World Series Game Worn & Signed Mets Jersey
- $57,600 1923 New York Yankees Team Signed Baseball with Lou Gehrig
- $43,200: 1948 “The Babe Bows Out” Pulitzer Prize-Winning Original Photograph, PSA/DNA Type 1, believed to be the actual first print used for newspaper publication
Heritage has a full slate this spring with major auctions set April 19-20 and May 10-11. The latter will include a PSA 9 autographed Mickey Mantle rookie card. To learn more these events and more, visit Heritage Auctions’ Sports Online Portal.