Mantle. Ruth. Cobb. Wagner. The old standbys were still golden in the latest major sports card auction.
Once again, a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card was among the major stars in a sports card auction. One of Mantle’s most popular and desirable issues from the ultra-tough high number series was offered in PSA 7.5 grade by Memory Lane, Inc. The card sold for $42,300 including the 17.5% buyer’s premium. The auction closed in the early morning hours of Sunday.
Mantle and Babe Ruth items paced the Historical Classic Rarities auction with a 1933 Goudey Ruth #149 graded PSA 8 generating 22 bids before selling for $34,075.
Ruth hit his final three home runs as a member of the Boston Braves in 1935. The man who caught one of them and had the Babe sign it—and his program from that day—sold those items last year. This auction was noteworthy, too, as the ticket stub the man saved from that afternoon went on the block. It sold for $5795.
One of the hobby’s most rare cards, the 1933 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie, graded PSA 6, realized $29,375. Bidders also found a number of early 20th century cards including a 1909 E102 Honus Wagner, graded PSA 6.5, which sold for $18,149. Another E-series Wagner, the 1915 American Caramel, graded PSA 5, sold for $12, 274.
A pair of Ty Cobb cards also drew five figure bids with a 1909-1911 T206 Sweet Caporal Cobb portrait (green background) selling for $14,517 and a 1914 Cracker Jack Cobb fetching $12,274.
The 1932 US Caramel trading card set includes icons from other sports including golfing legend Bobby Jones. A PSA 8 Jones card offered by MLI landed at $15,799.
Memory Lane had a large number of PSA 10 (gem mint) cards in the auction, led by a 1967 Topps Tom Seaver rookie card which sold for $18,467. A PSA 9 Seaver rookie brought $3686 in the same auction. Other PSA 10 rarities included a 1956 Topps Luis Aparicio ($10,801) and a 1972 Topps Thurman Munson ($5454).
Among other post-War vintage cards were a 1952 Topps Willie Mays, which sold for $11,157 and a 1953 Topps in the same NM/MT grade, purchased for $13,449.
Some one of a kind modern era cards were sold including a 2008 Upper Deck Legendary Cuts Babe Ruth Hair Cut Signature 1-1 at $12,274. Two cards featuring John F. Kennedy signatures from the 2007 Upper Deck Historic Cuts program were also on the block. One dual cut autograph card featuring the signatures of JFK and Marilyn Monroe fetched $5725 while another featuring the late President and his wife Jackie, went for $3779.
Perhaps the most coveted 1960s NFL rookie card is the 1965 Topps Joe Namath “tall boy” and MLI offered two in the auction. A PSA 8 sold for $7377 while a ‘7’ fetched $3439. One of just 23 autographed Michael Jordan rookie cards presented in last year’s Upper Deck products, sold for $6622.
Vintage hockey cards were represented by a 1951 Parkhurst Gordie Howe (PSA 8) which reached a final realized price of $11,061.
Highlighting the baseball memorabilia section was a 1971 Willie Mays game-used bat. The authenticated Adirondack model graded a lofty PSA/DNA 10 and sold for $12,274.
The #1 lot n the sale, a 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth rookie card generated 44 bids and a high of $186,500. The buyer’s premium would have pushed it over $200,000, but the bid did not match the reserve price on the card, which had changed hands two years ago for $199,750 in a sale conducted by another auction company.
Memory Lane’s next auction will take place this summer.