Some big names and big-ticket items will be offered for sale when Mile High Card Company unveils its first auction of 2021. More than 200 of the 1,600 lots will feature Michael Jordan items.
Jordan cards and memorabilia will be a key part of the auction, which begins March 15. But Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Wayne Gretzky, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Joe Namath are also prevalent.
A PSA 10 Jordan rookie card 1986-87 Fleer set leads the way. Recent sales for some of the 300+ examples that exist have pushed well past the half-million dollar mark.
Other gem-mint cards of MJ include a 1987 Fleer, and 1988 Fleer base and All-Star cards.
A 1933-36 Zeenut PCL Joe DiMaggio is among the key vintage rarities. The Yankee Clipper’s last name was misspelled “DeMaggio” on the famous “pre-rookie” card, which grades at PSA 5 and includes the coupon tab at the bottom. It would not be long before card companies got his name right.
The Mantle card up for auction is the venerable No. 311 1952 Topps, which grades at PSA 2.
In addition to a signed baseball by Ruth, two other Bambino items should command attention. The first is a PSA 8 1933 Blue Bird graded PSA 8. Another Ruth item is a 1916 photo of the Boston Red Sox pitching staff. The young Ruth would top 20 wins for the first time in 1916, going 23-12. He led the American League in ERA (1.75), starts (40) and shutouts (9).
From the postwar era comes a PSA-authenticated autograph of Jackie Robinson on his 1949 Bowman card, with the signature rating an 8.
There are also some rookie cards of baseball royalty, including a 1951 Bowman Willie Mays (PSA 8), a 1954 Topps Henry Aaron (PSA 8), a 1959 Topps Bob Gibson (PSA 9), a 1969 Topps Reggie Jackson (PSA 9) and a 1972 Topps card that includes Carlton Fisk (PSA 10).
T206 lovers will see an interesting partial set of portrait cards from “The Monster” with 129 of the 179 cards featured, all graded by either SGC or PSA. Other sets and near sets include 1949 Bowman (complete); 1951 Bowman (318/324, all PSA 8 or better); a complete graded set of 1953 Topps Baseball, the sixth best 1954 Dan Dee set on PSA’s registry along with the ninth best 1970 Topps Super Baseball set, a fully graded 1959 Home Run Derby set, a 1986-87 Fleer Basketball set with each card graded PSA 9 and the third ranked 1953 Parkhurst master set on PSA’s registry.
Additional single-signed baseballs up for grabs include those carry signatures of Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Connie Mack, Walter Johnson, Tris Speaker, Paul Waner, Roy Campanella (before his 1958 automobile accident), Negro Leagues star pitcher Hilton Smith and Jackie Robinson. There is a multi-signed baseball with the signatures of Ruth, Mack, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove and Joe Cronin.
Football stars past and present also play a big role. Namath’s “Tall Boy” rookie card from the 1965 Topps set carries a PSA 8 grade and remains a favorite 1960s football card. From the 1950s, the auction contains a 1957 Topps rookie card of John Unitas that is graded PSA 8.5.
Gem mint cards are also featured, with a 1981 Topps Joe Montana and a 2000 Bowman Chrome Tom Brady leading the way. And for recent stars, a 2017 Panini Prizm card of Patrick Mahomes graded PSA 10 is being offered.
Vintage basketball is represented by a PSA 9 copy of the 1980-81 Topps Larry Bird/Magic Johnson rookie card. There will also be a 1986 Fleer card of Charles Barkley that is gem mint.
PSA 10 examples of LeBron James’ 2003-04 Topps Chrome and Upper Deck Ultimate Collection cards as well as a PSA 10 1996-97 Topps Chrome Kobe Bryant rookie card round out the key standout basketball cards expected to see plenty of action.
A 1996 Sports Illustrated for Kids card of Tiger Woods is being offered with a BGS Black Label Pristine 10— one of only two examples—is also expected to fetch a big price.
Also up for grabs is a 1979-80 OPC Wayne Gretzky rookie card rated 8 by PSA.
There are over 300 lots of unopened material led by a 1968 Topps Baseball Series 1 wax box. Peruse the catalog and you’ll also see rack pack cases from 1978 and 1980 Topps baseball, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75 Topps, 1980-81 Topps, 1987-88 Fleer and 20030-4 Topps Chrome Basketball wax boxes, a 1986-87 Fleer Basketball pack with a Michael Jordan rookie sticker on the back, a 2017 Panini Football Contenders 12-box case, a 1979-80 Topps Hockey wax box and a 1985 Topps Garbage Pail Kids Unopened Series 1 box.
The auction will also include three art pieces of classic baseball cards made from junk wax era cards that were cut up and used to recreate them. Artists Ryan Smith and Ben Caraher made images of the T206 Wagner and Mickey Mantle’s 1951 Bowman and 1952 cards.
The auction will run through April 1 on the company’s website.