A 1986-87 Fleer basketball card set –every card a PSA 10–sold for $34,075 in Memory Lane’s summer auction.
A 1986-87 Fleer basketball set, painstakingly accumulated over several years by one perfection-minded collector, was the top selling item in Memory Lane Incorporated’s 2009 Summer Classic Rarities auction. The set drew 19 bids and closed at $29,000 early Sunday morning. With the buyer’s premium, the final realized price for the set was $34,075.
Fans of the 1986-87 set know it includes the first widely distributed cards of Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwan, Dominque Wilkins, Patrick Ewing, Clyde Drexler, Isiah Thomas, James Worthy and others. The issue marked the beginning of Fleer’s exclusive run on hoops cards, just as the NBA was beginning its ascent to popularity through Jordan.
The second most sought-after item in the auction proved to be something on the other end of the sports collecting spectrum. A 1915 Cracker Jack Christy Mathewson card, graded PSA 9 (mint) sold for $30,550.
The auction was ripe with dozens of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays cards. Lots 12-40 were all high-grade Mantles. Combined, they sold for over $100,000 including a 1952 Topps graded PSA 5 (EX) that sold for $18,777. A 1953 Topps Mantle graded PSA 8, landed at $11,732.
Among the Mays offerings was a 1953 Topps card, graded PSA 8.5. It sold for $25,517 while a 1951 Bowman Mays rookie card graded PSA 8, went for $12,906.
The first lot in the auction was a unique collection of a ticket stub from every New York Yankees World Series appearance and a press pin from each, dating to the 1920s. Enclosed in a case weighing 30 pounds, the piece brought a realized price of $23,500.
Several high-grade baseball card complete sets were sold, topped by a 1963 Topps that included a number of graded cards and high grade raw examples. The set sold for $17,735. A 1957 Topps set with 111 high-grade PSA cards brought $16,117.
Among the rare baseball cards sold were a 1933 Goudey #144 Babe Ruth graded PSA 8 ($17,601), two different 1934 Goudey Lou Gehrig cards each graded PSA 8 ($14,081 and $12,906), a T206 Christy Mathewson dark cap PSA 8 ($13,342), an SGC 92 1941 Play Ball Joe DiMaggio ($12,901) and a 1948 Leaf Ted Williams, PSA 9, that was purchased for $12,592.
Memorabilia lots included a collection of vintage Yankee photos from the Barry Halper collection, many autographed, that stopped at $14,942, a collection of eight 1954 Topps wax packs that will cost the winner $11,448 and create the old dilemma "to open or not to open".
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