Two cards from a couple of obscure Topps creations each sold for more than $100,000 in the Robert Edward Auctions Spring Catalog sale late Sunday night.
One of only two known copies of the 1961 Topps Dice Game Mickey Mantle drew a crowd of bidders who realized they may never see another one for sale. The final price was $144,000 with the buyer’s premium. The card was graded PSA 1 because of a small pinhole at the top. Dice Game cards were in black and white and created as a test issue by Topps using team supplied photos, however they were never released to the general public. Only 18 cards from the set are known to exist. The back has various baseball plays that correspond with a specific number from the dice when rolled. It’s not known how Topps planned to distribute the cards if the idea had gone forward.
Another unissued rarity, the 1951 Topps Major League All-Stars Robin Roberts soared to $132,000, more that double the price of the last record sale. The card is one of three that were created but never issued inside packs of the Major League All-Stars product the year before Topps launched its first full-fledged baseball set. The other two unissued cards from the set, Jim Konstanty and Eddie Stanky, were also offered in the auction. Each sold for $45,000, setting new hobby marks.
In all, 39,182 bids were placed throughout the course of the three-week auction, which tallied $8,697,000 in sales. A staggering 146 items sold for $10,000 or more, including five that cracked six figures.
“This auction was truly an event with some amazing, once-in-a-lifetime pieces up for bid,” said REA President Brian Dwyer. “There was an extraordinary level of excitement and participation that resulted in some astounding prices.”
Six of the top-selling items in the auction featured Mantle or Babe Ruth. A rare 1916 Standard Biscuit card of Ruth, graded PSA 2, sold for $114,000. One of only two ever graded by PSA, the card was distributed in the San Francisco area more than a century ago. A 1917 Standard Biscuit Ruth (also a PSA 2) landed at $72,000 while a 1916 Gimbel’s Ruth rated SGC 30 sold for $96,000.
A 1932 Ruth game model bat, handed down to the grandson of the team’s groundskeeper at the time and graded GU 8.5 by PSA/DNA and A9.5 by MEARS sold for $114,000.
Several vintage Cracker Jack cards were in the auction, topped by the highest graded 1915 Christy Mathewson (PSA 9–$60,000), a 1915 Joe Jackson (SGC 80–$48,000) and a 1914 Cobb (PSA 5–$48,000).
Other highlights included: