Highlighted by an ultra-high grade run of Mickey Mantle cards, Memory Lane’s Winter Classic Auction tallied over $2.1 million and set several hobby records when bidding wrapped up early Sunday morning.
The Empire State Collection, a remarkable run of every basic Mickey Mantle card from his career (1951-1969), sold for a combined $759,100. Fourteen of the 21 cards in the collection sold for the highest price ever recorded for their grades.
Leading the way was a PSA 7.5 (NM+) 1952 Topps #311 which soared to $199,565 and a 1951 Bowman Mantle rookie card rated PSA 8 (NM/MT) that realized $119,500, breaking the hobby record of $99,336 set just three months ago. That was just the tip of the iceberg. A PSA 8.5 1953 Topps Mantle rocketed to $95,600—more than $57,000 higher than the last record-setting tally in a Memory Lane auction less than two years ago. A 1952 Bowman PSA 9 hit $32,265, one of the eight 1968 Topps PSA 10 Mantles on PSA’s Population Report sold for $30,309.
Other cards from the Empire State Collection setting new marks included:
- 1955 Bowman PSA 9 $18,946
- 1958 Topps PSA 9 $22,366
- 1959 Topps PSA 9 $19,566
- 1960 Topps PSA 9 $22,640
- 1962 Topps PSA 9 $26,445
- 1968 Topps PSA 10 $30,309
- 1969 Topps PSA 9 $9,078
Other high-grade vintage rookie card that attracted strong interest from bidders included a 1954 Topps Ernie Banks rookie which vaulted to $47,800; a 1916 M101-5 Babe Ruth, graded PSA Authentic ($44,793), a 1911 C-55 Georges Vezina, PSA 7, ($21,171) and a NM+ 1951 Bowman Willie Mays ($13,080).
Several top grade 1935 National Chicle Football cards sold in the auction including a PSA 7.5 Bull Tosi ($11,086), a PSA 8 Luke Johnsos ($10,697), a PSA 8 Bo Molenda ($8,834) and a PSA 9 John Isola ($8,298).
Vintage Hank Aaron cards were popular with a 1956 Topps PSA 9 bringing $9,968, a 1962 Topps PSA 9 selling for $8,239 and a 1973 Topps PSA 10 realizing $5,667.
Pre-War highlights included a T206 Walter Johnson graded PSA 7 ($16,266) and a T205 Richard Hoblitzell “no stats variation”, graded PSA 4 ($9,297).
Memory Lane offered two rare Goudey window advertising displays including one from the 1933 Sport Kings set which brought $17,262 and one from the 1933 Goudey Baseball set which sold for $10,316.
Another popular item from the memorabilia category was a single-signed Harry Heilman baseball. Signed on the sweet spot, the ball sold for $20,427. A rare autographed 1955 Topps Jackie Robinson card ended at $6,264.
“This was an amazing auction,” stated Memory Lane’s J.P. Cohen. “Mantle cards are on fire but across the board, the results were a testimony to the strength of the market and a great start to the year for the hobby as a whole.”
Full results are available on Memory Lane’s website.
The company is now accepting higher end consignments for its upcoming I Own It Now catalog as well as its 2016 Spring Auction. Visit the MLI website for consignment information or call 1-877-606-5263.