One of the rare cards in the T206 set–and another scarce variation—led the way for Heritage Auctions over the weekend.
Two T206 baseball cards that rival the famed Honus Wagner in scarcity were among the headliners in Heritage Auctions’ latest catalog sale.
An Eddie Plank card, one of about 50 that have been graded, sold for $155,350 including a 19.5% buyer’s premium. The card was one of the best examples in the hobby, authenticated in an EX-MT 6 holder by PSA. Heritage had two other Plank cards in the sale, as well. A PSA 3 copy, one of just 17 graded by PSA (four higher), brought $77,675 including the BP.
The third Plank sold was the printing error variation that left the card devoid of some color. Handcut and graded authentic, the card sold for $26,290.
Even harder to find than the Plank is a T206 Ty Cobb with a Cobb tobacco ad on back. Heritage offered one of about a dozen believed to exist. Graded just PSA 1.5, it was originally sold in the 1999 Barry Halper collection auction. The winning bid and buyer’s premium totalled $77,675.
1952 Topps high-grade collectors saw a PSA 8 1952 Topps Mantle surface in the Heritage auction. Just eleven have been graded at a higher level and the final realized price for the card hit $71,700. An SGC 50 sold for a much more affordable $10,755.
A 1951 Bowman Willie Mays rookie card, graded PSA 9 (1 of 7 at that level out of nearly 1,000 graded) sold for $65,725.
A 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth "rookie" card graded PSA 6–one of only 10 holdered–brought $38,857. It was one of several Ruth cards offered including a 1933 Goudey #144 (SGC 92) that sold for $23,900.
Other vintage baseball card sales included:
- 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews PSA 8 $26,290
- 1952 Topps near set (398/407) mid-grade $21,510
- 1972 Topps test sticker set (32/33) all PSA-graded $20,315
- 1911 Zeenut PCL Buck Weaver SGC 88 $16,730
- 1910-11 T3 Turkey Red Cabinets Cobb checklist back PSA 5 $15,535
- 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig #92 SGC 92 $15,535
- T206 Ty Cobb portrait (red background) PSA 8 $14,340
- 1958 Topps Ted Williams PSA 9 $14,340
- 1911-14 Brunners Bread Cy Young SCG 80 $17,925
- 1911-14 Brunners Bread Honus Wagner SGC 60 $11,352
- 1888 Goodwin’s Champions Cap Anson PSA 6 $11,353
Among the football cards and sets offered was a 1950 Topps Felt Backs Joe Paterno, graded PSA 8. The card showing a collegiate JoePa sold for $14,340. A complete set of the Felt Backs, graded #1 on the PSA Set Registry, brought $33,460.
Topping the game-worn and game-used item sales was a 1966 Don Drysdale Dodgers road jersey that vaulted to $44,812. A 1932 Wilcy Moore Red Sox jersey brought $14,340. After the auction closed, Heritage sold a 1961 Mickey Mantle World Series bat for $23,900.
A trio of early Muhammad Ali letters brought over $40,000 combined. The highest price went for the earliest of the three–one written just prior to the 1960 Summer Olympic games when Ali, known as Cassius Clay at the time, penned a note to a sparring partner detailing his training. it sold for $19,120.
Among the autographed items sold were a high-grade Jimmie Foxx single-signed ball, "the best in the hobby" according to Heritage. it sold for $12,547. A circa 1932 high-grade Babe Ruth ball brought $13,742.
A rare 1908 Greenville Spinners team cabinet photo showing Joe Jackson sold for $41,825 in the April sale conducted by Heritage. The publicity regarding that auction brought another one out of storage. This consignment featured a slightly different photo and sold for $23,900.
Another unique piece of sports history that brought an impressive price was a ticket stub to Jackie Robinson’s first Major League game in 1947. It sold for $11,352.
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