It’s been a busy summer at Memory Lane. While many of us have enjoyed cookouts, ballgames, travel or a healthy dose of relaxation, the long- time Southern California auction company has spent the last few months piecing together one of the biggest catalogs in company history.
Actually, one catalog wasn’t big enough to hold it.
The company’s Fall Rarities Auction includes one book containing a treasure trove of high quality and rare vintage and modern cards, autographs and other memorabilia and another with a museum-like collection of rare vintage photographs. They’ll be arriving in customers’ homes and on computer screens shortly, with the auction slated to commence on September 25 and running through October 9.
The auction opens with a 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #53 that ranks as the highest SGC-graded Ruth Goudey card in that company’s population report, an 8.5. It carries a $200,000 opening bid and arrives on the heels of Memory Lane’s last auction, which featured the headline grabbing $4.2 million sale of a PSA 9 Ruth from the Thomas Newman Collection.
Another auction showpiece is a fresh to the hobby autographed 1934 Goudey Lou Gehrig #37. Believed to have been acquired at Yankee Stadium in 1935, the card was passed down through an east coast family and was authenticated and graded last spring. The card is one of only five PSA graded examples and was given an autograph grade of 8.
There’s also a 1933 Goudey Gehrig #92 that’s not autographed, but carries a grade of 8 from PSA, making it one of the hobby’s finest examples. In its last auction, Memory Lane sold another copy for a record-smashing $302,578.
The auction also includes a 1921 E121 Series of 80 Ruth graded PSA 7-PD that ranks as the highest graded example on either the PSA or SGC pop reports and is one of only 11 known.
Those cards represent the top of a sizeable stack of cards featuring Yankee legends. There are additional Ruth and Gehrig cards and a mix of early Mickey Mantles including a PSA 8 example of his 1951 Bowman rookie card, SGC 7 and PSA 6 copies of his iconic 1952 Topps issue. Anyone who attended the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention or saw coverage of the show will remember the 1955 Bowman cello pack that was opened on the show’s main stage. The pack surrendered a crisp, literally pack fresh Mantle and that very card, now graded PSA 9, has been consigned to Memory Lane where will also have a prominent place in the auction, with a $25,000 minimum bid.
As usual, the Memory Lane catalog includes hundreds of lots featuring high-end pre and post-War Hall of Famers, rare cards, key rookies from all sports as well as lots and sets. Virtually every decade of collecting from the 19th century to the present day is represented.
The memorabilia section includes Ruth autographs, Mantle’s signed 1953 Yankees contract (for $17,500), Bob Gibson’s 1967 Cardinals contract, a Jackie Robinson signed letter and dozens of autographed baseballs, bats and other items.
The second catalog is comprised exclusively of approximately 100 rare and historic photographs, mostly historic baseball images and mostly of the coveted Type 1 variety. The photos represent the work of some of baseball’s greatest photographers including Carl Horner, Charles Conlon, George Grantham Bain, Paul Thompson and George Burke.
There are multiple Ruth batting/portrait images, several Tour of Japan illustrations, and the iconic 1948 “Babe Bows Out” photo taken by Chunky Harris. There is a Gehrig portrait taken by George Burke, an imposing batting photo and a rare “off the field” candid image of the Iron Horse on a boat with his dog.
The Christy Mathewson Charles Conlon image is the well-known pose utilized for advertising during the era, including his famous Tuxedo Tobacco ad that is so coveted by collectors.
Type 1 photos used for two of the hobby’s legendary baseball cards are part of the sale including one that became Nap Lajoie’s 1911 T3 Turkey Red card and another that was used for Tris Speaker’s 1914/’15 Cracker Jack issues.
Pre-rookie Joe DiMaggio (S.F. Seals) and Satchel Paige (K.C. Monarchs) illustrations highlight the mid-1930s to early 1940s. Bidders can also chase what is generally considered Jackie Robinson’s pinnacle image, a 1947 rookie photo of Robinson walking into the Dodger’s clubhouse the day after he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
There are also several early Mantle images from his 1951 rookie campaign, including a spring training photo that pre-dates his first official Yankee game.
Free copies of the auction catalog, bidder registration and other information can be found on Memory Lane’s website, www.memorylaneinc.com or call 877.606.5263.