If you missed out on the autographed 1933 Goudey cards from the Uncle Jimmy Collection, you’ve got another shot to snare some others. A group of four different signed Goudey Ruths from a private East Coast collection have made their way to market. The quartet, encompassing all four of Ruth’s appearances in the landmark gum card set could bring more than $1 million.
“In the hierarchy of baseball, there’s Babe Ruth and there’s everyone else,” smiled Bill Goodwin, President of Heartland Sports Cards and Memorabilia, the St. Louis, Missouri-based sports memorabilia company that is offering the cards in an on-line auction. “Ruth signed many baseballs during his life, but finding his autograph on baseball cards represents an absolute rarity.”
All of the signatures have been authenticated by PSA. Card #149 carries a PSA 7 autograph grade and bidding has already surpassed $150,000.
“Interest has been significant, to say the least,” added Goodwin. “There are a number of veteran collectors whom I know that are waiting until near auction’s end to jump into the bidding, as well as investors who are building substantial sports cards portfolios, given the skyrocketing returns we’ve seen lately.”
The six signed Goudeys from the Uncle Jimmy Collection netted a New Jersey family who inherited them from an uncle nearly $3 million, a testament to the burgeoning interest in sports cards, especially rare or high-end material.
“The market seems to have no top end right now,” Goodwin said. “People are looking for alternative investments. And when you get to the level of the legendary T206 Wagner card, signed Babe Ruth cards, and Mickey Mantle rookie cards, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to speculate how high prices will climb. Based on recent sales, it’s not unrealistic to think these Ruth cards could sell for $300,000 each or even higher.”
The signed Ruth cards may be the top attraction in the auction, but there’s plenty more where they came from including a legal document carrying the exceptionally rare written signature of Joe Jackson. While “Shoeless Joe” signed baseballs and bats, commonly signed by his wife, have surfaced over the years, few items genuinely signed in Jackson’s slow, shaky scrawl are known.
Dated March 6, 1916, the voucher is for a $75 payment to the “Savannah Reality Investment Co., Ga. Toward the mortgage on his newly purchased $10,000 home in Savannah, GA. Chicago White Sox secretary Harry Grabiner prepared the voucher for Jackson to sign.
About 30 years ago, a few Jackson vouchers were purchased from his youngest sister Gertrude. Several had severe bank cancellation holes directly through Joe Jackson’s signature, but this one escaped the punch-hole damage and the autograph earned a PSA “Mint 9” grade.
The auction also includes dozens of lots centered around vintage baseball cards including a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle graded PSA EX-MT 6 (current bid $97,437), as well as a 1952 Topps Willie Mays, a high-grade 1953 Topps Mantle, a 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig, a 1933 Goudey Sport Kings set break and other rarities featuring Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Frank “Home Run” Baker, and Cy Young.
Bidding continues through Saturday, March 13 at Go-Heartland.com.