It has been a tough year for the nation because of the coronavirus pandemic. Looking forward to 2021 is a common theme, but 2020 was a good year for the sports collectibles business. The December 2020 Auction held by Mile High Card Company is a perfect example, with 710 items sold at the auction that ended Friday.
The bids brought in $3.7 million to the Colorado-based company.
“I think everyone’s pretty happy to turn the page on this roller-coaster year and looking forward to getting back to normal,” Mile High Card Company President and CEO Brian Drent said. “But one bright spot has been the increase in popularity in the sports collectibles market.
“There’s never been a better time to be a seller and there’s never been more opportunity if you’re a buyer.”
Seven items topped six-figures in sales, including the buyer’s premium. Leading the way was a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 8 card that sold for $394,228.53.
A signed Adrian “Cap” Anson game-used and signed bat from the 1880s fetched $203,578.53.
Michael Jordan was in evidence during the auction, with 143 items having something to do with His Airness.
Topping the MJ items was a 1997 Skybox Metal Universe #23 Michael Jordan Precious Metal Gems Red PSA 6 that sold for $228,313.83. The ’97 Red and Green PMG parallels are among the most popular Jordan cards ever issued.
Three other Jordan cards topped $75,000 in sales. A 1998 Skybox Molten Metal #41F Fusion-Titanium PSA 7 attracted 39 bids before selling for $92,123.21; a 1997 Skybox E-X2001 #9 Essential Credentials Future, card, numbered to 72 and graded PSA 6, wound up at $83,557.59; and a 1998 Fleer #9 Playmakers Theatre PSA 7 had 41 bidders and sold for $78,444.48.
A pair of baseball heavy hitters also brought in some big bucks.
A 1933 Goudey autographed card of Babe Ruth, with a PSA autograph grade of Mint 9, had 25 bidders and went for $183,214.65. A signed Lou Gehrig card from the same set (PSA 2/7 auto) brought in $132.764.97.
Circling back to Mantle, several of his cards were sold for five figures. A 1953 Topps card that graded PSA 8 sold for $41,513.73; a 1954 Bowman PSA 8.5 had 39 bidders and nearly tripled the previous record sale, winding up at $55.207.32; another 1954 card, from the ultra-rare Mascot Dog Food set, was a PSA 5 that sold for $84,274.68; a 1961 Topps PSA 9 set a four-year high at $14,176.98; a 1963 Topps PSA 9 reached a final price of $35,582.67; and a 1964 Topps PSA 9 netted $15,000.46.
Other key items in the December auction were a 1914 Cracker Jack #88 Christy Mathewson SGC 20 that sold for $53,043.75; a PSA 10 2000 SP Authentic #118 Tom Brady rookie card, numbered #0516/1250 that changed hands for $50,042.55. It was one of seven Brady items offered during the auction.
Among unopened material in the auction was a 1958 Topps football cello pack with a Jim Brown rookie card on top. Graded PSA 7, the pack sold for $42.558.