SGC has handed out its “Pristine 10” grade to only one of the more than 2,000 submissions of Michael Jordan’s rookie card. That lone copy generated a flurry of late bids before selling for a record price of $420,000 early Sunday, including the 20% buyer’s premium. It’s the most ever paid for a Jordan rookie card and roughly four times more than the final selling price of any non-autographed Jordan rookie card sold at auction.
The card had carried a pre-sale estimate of $100,000 and up.
Heritage received the card on consignment and opted to have SGC examine it.
“The Michael Jordan rookie card came to us ungraded, and we knew it was special from the very first moment we saw its condition,” said Chris Ivy, Heritage’s Director of Sports Auctions. “The SGC Pristine 10 Gold Label grade represents the best of the best, and that was reflected by the world-record price.”
Jordan rookie card values have soared in the wake of “The Last Dance.”
- Check out the hottest Michael Jordan cards on eBay here.
The first of a two-session “Platinum Night” sale conducted by Heritage Auctions included hundreds of high-end sports cards and memorabilia items. Seventeen lots sold for $100,000 or more.
A new record price for a PSA 10 Jordan rookie card was also set at $111,000, topping the previous mark of $96,000 for one sold at auction just three months ago.
A Mickey Mantle bat used in the 1958 World Series and later signed by the Yankees great sold for $288,000. The bat had been matched to use in Game 5 of the series against the Milwaukee Braves, but could have been used throughout the hard-fought series, in which New York avenged their 1957 loss to Milwaukee. A signed Mantle jersey dating to his final season of 1968 failed to reach the reserve price and was listed for sale Sunday at $990,000. It had been projected to reach $1 million or more.
A copy of Joe DiMaggio’s earliest baseball card, issued by Zeenut candy during his Pacific Coast League days with the San Francisco Seals in the 1930s, zoomed to a new record price at $240,000. The PSA 5 example is the best of three surviving cards that still carry the coupon tab at the bottom.
Babe Ruth’s signed 1934 Yankees contract–one matching newsreel video of Ruth inking what would be his last contract with the team–sold for $234,000.
Two Ty Cobb items reached six-figure prices. A 1923-25 Ty Cobb model bat given to fellow Hall of Famer Joe Sewell sold for $228,000 while an autographed T206 Red Portrait card, originally signed for a Philadelphia area school teacher friend, went for $192,000.
Other sales included:
- 1986-87 Fleer Basketball set (all PSA 10) $186,000
- 2003-04 LeBron James Upper Deck Ultimate Collection (# to 250) BGS 10 $180,000
- 1970-71 Bobby Orr game-used jersey $150,000
- Muhammad Ali boots from 1975 Ali-Frazier III fight $150,000
- 1933 Lou Gehrig signed Yankees contract $138,000
- Josh Gordon’s Super Bowl LIII ring $138,000
- Autographed 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card $132,000
- 1984-85 Star Company Michael Jordan autographed rookie card BGS 9/10 auto $96,000
An autographed 1956 Sandy Koufax jersey projected to potentially reach $1 million also fell short of its reserve as did a 1996-97 Michael Jordan Bulls jersey pegged at $300,000 or more.
Session II was scheduled to finish with live bidding on Sunday night.
Sign up to get SC Daily headlines in your email here.