December is traditionally the busiest month of the year for major sports memorabilia auctions, with a non-stop parade of events wrapping up at holiday time. Among the first catalogs that will arrive as the calendar turns to 2023 is one that will be thick with cardboard–some of it in its natural state.
The Heritage Auctions Winter Sports Card Auction will open Jan. 5 with no less than 162 lots of unopened packs, boxes and cases. The offerings will include items from the 1950s to the 2000s.
While the finishing touches are still being applied, some of the top listings will include a 1987-88 Fleer Basketball case and dozens of 1970s unopened boxes boxes of varying configurations across all sports.
Among the baseball products are three 24-count 1975 Topps Baseball cello boxes as well as a 24-count rack pack box that carries a $50,000 pre-sale estimate and a 36 pack wax box. There is a 1974 Topps Baseball wax box as well as a third series 1971 Topps Baseball vending box ($20,000+) that likely contains multiple copies of Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson, Joe Morgan, Ted Williams (Senators manager), Juan Marichal, Don Sutton, Rollie Fingers and Fergie Jenkins as well as rookie cards of Steve Garvey and Joe Morgan.
Packs in the auction cover a wide range of years including 1954 and ’59 Topps baseball and a 1968 Topps 4th series cello pack with Ernie Banks on top.
There will also be a rare 1989 Topps Doubleheaders Yankees/Mets 24-box test case ($15,000 and up).
On the football side is a rarely seen 1968 Topps Series 2 vending box ($12,000 and up), a 1970 Topps vending box ($10,000 and up), 1970s cello boxes and a 2000 Playoff Contenders unopened box ($35,000 and up).
Hockey items will include a 1979-80 Topps Hockey box with possible Wayne Gretzky rookie cards inside that carries a pre-sale estimate of $50,000 or more, two 1980 O-Pee-Chee boxes with 48 packs and a1985 OPC box (Mario LeMieux).
Basketball wax boxes include 1972-73 Topps (Julius Erving) and 1980-81 Topps (Bird-Johnson) while modern unopened up for grabs will include a 2003-04 Topps Chrome box ($30,000+) and a 1996-97 Bowman’s Best box.
The auction will include over 1,000 lots and is set to close over two sessions, Jan. 26 and 27.