The hobby lost one of its most passionate collectors two years ago but later this spring, some of the baseball cards he treasured most will be shared with collectors worldwide. As part of its upcoming Spring Auction, Memory Lane will include a special standalone catalog featuring a treasure trove of high-grade 1933 and 1934 Goudey baseball cards that were among the favorites of the late Manny Gordon.
A total of 311 cards are being offered, all of them graded PSA Mint 9 or NM/MT 8. The offerings will include all four Babe Ruth cards from the 1933 set, each graded PSA 8, plus a Lou Gehrig and a Hank Greenberg rookie card, each graded 9.
The multi-million dollar collection was the pride and joy of Gordon, who rekindled his childhood interest in baseball cards in 2007 and proceeded to collect feverishly, all the while maintaining an eye on quality honed from years of working as a diamond trader in his native New York.
The entrepreneurial Gordon was well known to fellow collectors, dealers, auction houses and grading firms, not just for his interest in top quality vintage cards, but for his affable and enthusiastic nature. Sadly, he was among COVID’s first victims here in the United States, losing his life in 2020. Memory Lane calls the auction “a celebration of his incomparable life.”
While he collected many of the hobby’s most popular tobacco and gum card sets including a remarkable accumulation of high-grade T206s, Gordon’s Goudey collection is a testament to his diligence. Yet while the painstaking search to acquire hundreds of commons, minor stars and greats of the era is impressive, the headliners—cards Memory Lane has dubbed ‘The Top Ten’ –will undoubtedly get the most attention.
The group includes a rarely seen PSA 8 Ruth #53. Last year, Memory Lane sold the lone PSA 9 that belonged to another avid collector, Dr. Thomas Newman, for $4.2 million.
The other three Ruth 8s are among the best in class: the #181 is bested by only one other copy; the #14 by two and the #144 by only five.
The final price of the PSA 9 Gehrig #92 is anyone’s guess but at least, a high five-figure price tag seems likely. Last July, an 8 sold for over $300,000.
Only three of the other Gehrig card (#160) have been rated higher by PSA than Manny Gordon’s 8.
The auction also includes a PSA 8.5 of card #1, Benny Bengough, one of three Greenberg rookies at the 9 level (only one ranks higher) and two ’34 Goudey Gehrig cards in 8 holders including the ever gorgeous #37, with only three others rated higher by PSA.
Many of the cards offered in the catalog are at or near the top of the all-time highest graded examples.
The Goudey cards and the larger offering of cards and memorabilia will open for bidding on April 23 and close May 21. Registration and free catalogs are available on Memory Lane’s website.