Like clockwork, the baseball season has begun with Robert Edward Auctions’ annual massive spring catalog auction not far behind. Bidding opened Tuesday evening for the 2,649 lots offered by REA, and if the first 24 hours are any indication, collectors have spoken loud and clear about strength of the sports card and memorabilia market—and the auction’s potential to bring in some staggering dollars.
According to REA, more than 8,300 bids totaling over $3.8 million were placed in the first 24 hours. Fifty-seven lots currently have bids in excess of $10,000 while two of the auction headliners have already cracked six figures.
Rookie Cards Roaring
A PSA 5 example of Babe Ruth’s 1916 Sporting News rookie card, one of the hobby’s hottest cards, rocketed to $252,000 while a PSA 7 example of Mickey Mantle’s classic 1952 Topps card sits at $168,000.
Other notable rookie cards in the auction include a 1954 Topps Hank Aaron PSA 9 ($96,000), the only known 1916 Indianapolis Brewing Babe Ruth ($96,000), a 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax PSA 9 ($60,000), and a rare 1958-1958 Topps Hockey Bobby Hull PSA 8 ($48,000). The hobby’s highest-graded 1903 E107 Breisch Williams Christy Mathewson ($78,000) and a new-to-the-hobby 1911 T3 Turkey Red Ty Cobb in SGC 84 ($48,000), as well as a handful of 1930s Goudey Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig cards, are also drawing lots of early interest.
While top-notch trading cards usually garner a lot of attention from REA bidders, there is no shortage of high-end memorabilia including a 1958 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees jersey which jumped to $60,000 and a Los Angeles Dodgers home jersey worn by Sandy Koufax during the Dodgers’ first year on the west coast which jumped to $72,000. More than two dozen additional pieces of Hall of Fame game-used bats and jerseys highlight the auction, including bats from Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, and Ted Williams. A photograph signed by Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmie Foxx from their days as teammates in the Tour of Japan is currently at $36,000 and is expected to approach six figures when the dust settles.
“We’re extremely proud of the auction that we’ve put together, and the early results are especially encouraging about how vibrant the hobby is and how excited collectors get for an auction full of quality material,” said REA President Brian Dwyer. According to Dwyer, it was the company’s most successful opening day ever.
REA will again be utilizing the auction closing method they pioneered starting last auction in which the extended bidding period begins at 12 PM EST on Sunday, April 30 and continues throughout the day. Initial qualifying bids must be placed by 12 PM EST on Sunday, April 30.
“With all the technology available today, it’s no longer necessary to end auctions in the middle of the night,” said Dwyer. “The results of our fall auction, and the feedback we received, confirmed our feelings that collectors can monitor the auction from anywhere as they go about their day and more people awake to watch the auction leads to greater engagement and higher prices.”
Catalogs for the auction are already on their way to active bidders. REA says it once again produced a “state-of-the-art interactive, page-turning catalog,” which is available ahead of the hard copy.
For more information on the auction, including bidder registration and catalog requests, visit www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com.