Collectors paying record prices for rare high-grade vintage trading cards have another opportunity to dive into the market. Goldin Auctions has opened its 2017 Great American Trading Card Auction with 100 lots of vintage and modern cards on the block.
In the inaugural event last fall, more than 20 new record prices were established including the T206 Jumbo Wagner selling for $3.12 and a modern-day basketball record sale price of $312,000 for a 2003-04 Upper Deck LeBron James 1/1 “Ultimate Logos” Autographed Logoman Rookie PSA 9.
The 2017 edition has 12 high-grade original Mickey Mantle cards, five of Babe Ruth, five featuring Willie Mays, four of Michael Jordan, two Wayne Gretzky cards and a dozen lots focused on football greats.
Bidding on a PSA 9 1952 Topps Mays had already touched $200,000 by Monday afternoon. It’s one of just nine cards graded at that level among more than 1,700 on PSA’s Population Report. A 1916 M101-5 Babe Ruth rookie card (blank back) graded SGC 70 (EX+) had reached $180,000.
Here’s a look at some of the other key cards in the auction:
Lot #2 – Early 1900’s Rare Rube Waddell Signed Cabinet Card – Signed on the back on December 25, 1909 – with a robustly inked “GE Rube Waddell” example – the card carries the added notations, “Merry Xmas” and “Happy New Year.” Since Waddell died at age 38, very few of his autographs exist today.
Lot #31 – 1948 Bowman #36 Stan Musial Rookie Card PSA Mint 9 – Among more than 1,400 copies graded by PSA, only one rates higher.
Lot #48 – 1954 Topps #94 Ernie Banks Rookie Card PSA Mint 9 – Among more than 3,200 copies recorded in PSA’s census reporting, just two examples have rated higher. Bidding had reached $49,000 by Monday.
Lot #33 – 1951 Willie Mays Bowman #305 Rookie Card PSA 8– Among more than 1,400 copies recorded on PSA’s Population Report, just nine examples have been placed at a higher, unqualified tier; none has been graded Gem Mint 10. The current high bid is $36,000.
Lot #58 – 1956 Topps #135 Mickey Mantle Gray Back PSA Mint 9 – Among a total of more than 5,600 copies recorded by PSA, just four examples have been placed at a higher tier.
Lot #77 – 1968 Topps Milton Bradley #177 Nolan Ryan Rookie Card PSA Mint 9) – This is one of just two examples at its tier (with none graded higher) among a total of more than 225 copies recorded in PSA’s census reporting. To complement a new “Win-A-Card” trading card board game, Milton Bradley contracted with Topps to print special versions of a number of that company’s 1968 baseball and 1967 football cards.
Lot #79- 1969 Topps #25 Lew Alcindor Rookie Card PSA Mint 9 – One of over 2,000 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar rookie cards graded with no 10s.
Lot #89 – 1984-85 Star #101 Michael Jordan Signed Rookie Cards BGS Mint 9/BGS 10 (JSA/UDA) –Encapsulated and graded MINT 9 by BGS, with signature graded “10” by Beckett. Although BGS does not keep Population Report figures for “signed” #101’s, the current Population Report for the MJ #101 card shows just 34 BGS 9’s (with only two examples graded higher).
Other lots include a 1952 Topps SGC 80 Mickey Mantle, a 1986-87 Fleer basketball wax box (36 packs) and a 2003-04 LeBron James Exquisite auto numbered 23 of 75. The card is accompanied by the original 2003-04 “Exquisite Basketball Collection” wooden box from which it left the factory. A congratulatory statement from Upper Deck appears on the card’s reverse side, which auction officials say attests to the signature’s authenticity, verifies the origin of the card’s “patch” component, and serves as the COA.
Bidding continues through April 1 at GoldinAuctions.com.