Hundreds of vintage single cards and sets, autographs from baseball’s biggest icons and rare photographs are among the items in Memory Lane’s Summer Auction, set to launch July 28.
One of the hobby’s hottest rarities, a 1916 M101-5 Babe Ruth blank back rookie card, will lead off the catalog. Rated in Fair condition, the card will open with a $25,000 minimum bid. Collectors of high-grade T206 cards will have the chance to bid on one of the hobby’s highest graded Red Portrait Ty Cobb cards. Only two others on PSA’s Population Report grade higher.
Signed Mickey Mantle cards have seen a dramatic increase in interest and realized prices over the last couple of years. Memory Lane will offer a signed 1951 Bowman Mantle rookie card in the auction, one of only 17 ever examined by PSA/DNA. Recently uncovered in a collection located in a small Connecticut town, the card carries an autograph grade of 9.
Collectors of vintage cards will see issues from the 19th century to 2018. Among the pre-War highlights is an 1889 Old Judge Ed Delahanty rookie card rated PSA 5.5, the highest graded example in the hobby. Another “highest graded” opportunity comes in the form of a 1909 E-101 Christy Mathewson, graded PSA 5.5. Two high-grade near sets, both rated among the hobby’s best will be for sale: a 139 Play Ball collection with a weighted GPA of 8.55 and a 1938 Goudey Heads Up grouping with an 8.08 GPA. The auction includes dozens of 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack cards as well.
Mantle cards and other post-War stars include a 1952 Topps Mantle (PSA 6), a 1953 Bowman Color Mantle (PSA 8.5), a 1956 Topps Mantle (PSA 8.5), PSA 8 and 7 examples of Clemente and Koufax rookie cards, a high-grade 1958 Hires Root Beer set, a 1954 Bowman Ted Williams PSA 8 and a 1955 Topps Jackie Robinson rated PSA 9.
Fans of unopened product will have their pick from several lots including a 1952 Topps wax pack (GAI 9) and a 1967 Topps Cello pack with Clemente on the front.
Among the more unusual autographed pieces is an oversized baseball with autographs of Yankee players and coaches that was collected by Billy Martin in the 1950s as an engagement gift to his girlfriend. More traditional pieces include a wide selection of signed Hall of Fame plaques, including some early black and white versions. Cy Young, Mel Ott and Nap Lajoie are among them. There are also numerous signed checks including those endorsed by Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson and Jackie Robinson, along with single-signed baseballs from Ruth and Jimmie Foxx (PSA/DNA 8) and a collection of 24 high-end 500 Home Run Club baseballs including those signed by Aaron, Williams and Mantle, a 1951 Yankees team-signed ball and a hand-written letter from Ty Cobb to a Sporting News employee with content related to former baseball great Harry Heilmann.
The auction includes a pair of early career jerseys from Pro Football Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Walter Payton and other game-worn and game-used material.
Photo collectors are not forgotten with several Type 1 offerings including period images of Ruth, Gehrig and other Hall of Famers.
The auction opens Saturday, July 28 and will close Saturday, August 11. Some of the items will be available to preview at Memory Lane’s booth just inside the entrance to the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland August 1-5. Free auction catalogs will be available as well.
Registration is available now on Memory Lane’s website.