A razor-sharp Willie Mays rookie card has been a magnet for deep-pocketed vintage card collectors in Memory Lane’s current auction which closes tonight.
One of the centerpieces of any 1950s card collection would be a 1951 Bowman Willie Mays rookie. Find one in nice shape and you’re lucky–or have plenty of disposable income. Find one that merits a PSA 9 and you’re probably looking at Memory Lane’s April auction.
The mint graded Mays rookie offered in the sale has passed $50,000 with the closing date still almost a week away.
The Mays card is just one of many high-grade cards, sets, packs and autographs that are up for bid in the 1,113-lot auction that features items from every major sport. In addition to one of the best-known examples of a Mays rookie card to hit the market, Memory Lane is also offering the only 1949 Bowman card of Duke Snider to ever receive a grade of 10 from PSA. It stood at $14,000 as of Friday morning.
Memory Lane is also offering a rare, single-signed Lou Gehrig baseball with a dark, bold sweet spot signature. The ball was given to 15-year-old Ed Stark in May 1937 at a father-and-son dinner in Flushing, N.Y. Gehrig was the honored speaker and guest at Troop 1’s Annual Father and Son dinner. This Father and Son dinner was Troop 1’s 16th Annual dinner and over the years had built up a reputation for having famous speakers attend. In addition to Lou Gehrig in 1937, the Troop had also hosted Babe Ruth, and many other famous personalities like Frank Buck, Ed Wynne, Amelia Earhart and a number of Supreme Court Justices.
Gehrig dined with the boys and their fathers before he spoke. After Gehrig’s speech, a young Ed Stark was given this ball by Gehrig in recognition of his "perfect scout meeting attendance record," three years in a row. This ball has been in 85-year-old Ed Stark’s family ever since.
Ruth is just one of the legendary names who appears on another of the high-profile items in this auction: a 1934 Tour of Japan ball signed by Ruth, Lefty Gomez, Jimmie Foxx, Moe Berg and others. All the signatures are very legible, written in dark ink and authenticated by PSA/DNA with Ruth on the sweet spot. The ball arrives in its original box with vibrant colors and Japanese writing on it. This unique collectible has been in Ms. Akutsu Haruyo’s possession for the past 73 years … ever since she purchased it for Ruth to sign.