A handwritten Babe Ruth letter sent to a sportswriter in 1923 sold for $88,780 as Mile High Card Company wrapped up its final auction of 2017 early Friday morning.
The brief, one-page letter was penned by Ruth to a Chicago sportswriter as a thank you note for his vote in the MVP balloting and a promise to “keep right on trying” so the influential Harry Neily wouldn’t regret his vote. It is one of only four known handwritten Ruth letters known to exist.
A PSA/DNA 9 rated Jackie Robinson single-signed baseball gave the Ruth letter a run for its money before selling for $80,525 incuding the buyer’s premium.
A key feature to the December auction was the breakup of the #5 PSA Set Registry rated 1911 T3 Turkey Red collection, which netted a total of $97,739 that included strong sale prices for Walter Johnson PSA 5 EX ($6,938), Bobby Wallace PSA 6 EX/MT ($6,158) and #39 Rube Waddell PSA 6 EX/MT ($6,094). Several other T3’s set new records for prices realized including #15 Kid Elberfield PSA 5 EX ($5,746), Wee Willie Keeler PSA 5 ($3,683), Johnny Kling PSA 6 EX/MT ($3,630) and Rube Manning PSA 6 EX/MT ($3,630). A #9 Ty Cobb PSA 5 EX that was independent of the collection sold for $18,613.
Vintage card collectors flocked to a 1925 Exhibits Lou Gehrig rookie graded PSA 4(MK) that sold for $47,472 and a rare 1933 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie PSA 4 VG/EX that claimed $38,752. Other key cards included an 1887 N28 Allen & Ginter Cap Anson SGC 84 NM 7 that sold for $10,150, a 1908 E102 Ty Cobb SGC 60 EX 5 that changed hands at $11,180, a 1921 American Caramel Co. E121 Ruth SGC 55 VG/EX 4.5 that received heavy bidding before settling at $20,697, a 1933 Goudey #92 Lou Gehrig SGC 80 EX/NM 6 that sold for $5,418, a 1939 Play Ball #92 Ted Williams SGC 92 NM/MT+ 8.5 that brought in $20,046 and a 1948-49 Leaf Jackie Robinson rookie card SGC 84 NM 7, hammered down at $12,593,
There were over 140 autographed baseballs in the auction, each authenticated by PSA/DNA with single-signed examples of Walter Johnson ($8,611), Grover Cleveland Alexander ($10,496), Cy Young ($12,282) and Paul Waner ($11,621) leading the way.
Top-ranked sets were prominently featured once again with the #1 rated set of 1964 Philadelphia Football (Set Rating of 10.595) receiving heavy action that resulted in a $47,553 sale price. Other sets sold included a 1933 Goudey ($25,587), a 1934 Goudey ($14,023) and a 1948 Leaf Baseball ($26,867).
MHCC is accepting consignments for the Spring 2018 Auction. Call (303) 840-2784 or visit the company’s website for more information.