Sports Collectors Daily

Historic Game-Used Items; Rare T206 Cobb Top $9.3 Million Heritage Auction

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.

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:

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.