There were thousands of items up for auction, but when the dust settled early Monday morning, Babe Ruth memorabilia once again rose to the top as Robert Edward Auctions closed out its fall catalog event.
Six items sold for over $100,000 and four were Ruth-related, led by a high-grade early 1920s single-signed baseball which garnered $144,000. A circa-1927 ball signed by Ruth and Lou Gehrig went for $78,000.
In all, over 40,000 bids were placed in the auction, which generated $8.37 million and drew a record number of bidders.
Ruth cards were numerous and included a 1917 Boston Store second year card, graded SGC 40 which went for $132,000. A 1916 Sporting News Ruth rookie graded Authentic went for $54,000.
Ruth was also part of a near set of signed Goudey cards that had been consigned to the auction. Three Ruth signed Goudeys were in the sale with the #181 (signature grade 7) topping the list at $132,000. The #144 Ruth went for $54,000 while #53, with a lighter signature, went for $36,000. In all, the near set of signed Goudeys sold for a combined $506,500.
Fans of unopened material saw a newly discovered 1958 Topps football wax box (24 packs) sell for $132,000–$5,500 per pack. A 1971 Topps baseball 4th series box (Aaron, Ryan, Gibson) soared to $72,000 ($3,000 per pack).
Among the iconic baseball cards in the auction was a 1952 Topps Mantle graded PSA 6 which sold for $132,000 and a rare T206 Ty Cobb with the Cobb Tobacco ad back. The PSA 1 example netted $108,000.
Unexpected issues with its IT infrastructure left some bidders and consignors frustrated during the last few hours of bidding. The auction was taken down for a short period around 9 PM Eastern time and bidding was extended beyond the normal close in an effort to accommodate those who couldn’t access the auction.
On Monday, REA made the decision to waive all shipping charges for this auction.
Complete results can be found here.
REA’s next auction is set for next spring and for the first time, the company plans to add a third auction during the course of the year.