Another T206 Wagner sale. Another record price.
The latest example of the most famous baseball card in the world sold for $1,353,625 in Mile High Card Company’s latest auction. The same PSA 2 example had sold privately for $1.2 million less than a year ago. It had sold twice at auction twice before in the last five years, realizing $657,250 through Lelands in 2014 and $776,750 via Heritage Auctions in 2016.
It’s the second Wagner sale in the last few weeks. An “Authentic” example, with trimmed borders, netted $540,000 last month.
Mile High dubbed their auction “The Event” because of the number of iconic cards being offered. One of those–the only known example of the 1916 M101-5 Holmes to Homes Bread Babe Ruth rookie card– brought in $162,850.
Another six-figure item was a 1933 Sport Kings Babe Ruth, carrying an authenticated autograph, which sold for $148,973.
The auction included two examples of one of the T206 set’s “Big Four.” A PSA 4 T206 Eddie Plank closed at $92,880 while an SGC 40 reached $79,691. Another signature card, a PSA 4.5 example of the rare 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie, sold for $45,170.
“People have been asking if I was concerned that the auction wouldn’t live up to the hype and I repeatedly told them no because we have the best collector base in the business,” stated MHCC President and CEO Brian Drent. “Golden opportunities like this don’t come often and ‘The Event’ exceeded our high expectations. We owe it all to them.”
In addition to the strong bidding on the Holmes to Homes Babe Ruth card, several other cards from that recent find also drew a crowd of bidders with the Honus Wagner selling for $19,728 and the Walter Johnson netting $17,021.
The auction also included the ninth best T206 baseball set on the PSA Set Registry, which went to a single bidder who snagged the entire collection with an aggressive bid of $167,348. Far more modern, but ever more rare was a 1980 Topps Pepsi-Cola set, all SGC graded. A prototype issue that’s virtually one of a kind, the set was broken up and sold cumulatively for $50,399. The SGC 9 Reggie Jackson card topped the group at $8,801 with Mike Schmidt (SGC 7.5) bringing$5,461 and George Brett (SGC 9.5) settling at $4,233.
Other key collections included a fully graded 1957 Topps set. Every card in the collection was graded PSA 7 and in the end, it will head to a new home at a price of $13,350. A graded set of 1965 Topps baseball (8.221 GPA) brought in $24,776 while the 17th best 1975 Topps set sold for $14,337 and the third-rated 1991 Topps Desert Shield set closed at $28,683. A graded near set (94/100) of 1955 Topps All-American football, with an 8.6 GPA, was broken up and totaled $48,549, led by a PSA 10 #36 Turk Edwards at $3,024.
Other top single card sales included a1950-51 Toleteros Josh Gibson PSA 4 ($21,221); a 1952 Topps #311 Mantle PSA 4 ($32,926) and a T206 Sherry Magie (Magee) Error PSA 2 ($15,437).
For advanced Mantle collectors, the buzz was all about the Robert Mallon collection. Mallon was Mantle’s roommate when they both began their professional baseball careers with the 1949 Class D Independence Yankees, and his 1949 Mantle autographed baseball—the earliest known dated single-signed Mantle ball, was the highlight, selling for $34,573. Another Mantle-signed ball from the Mallon collection closed at $21,400. A 1949 Independence Yankees team-signed ball sold for $11,641.
The auction also featured a 1933 World Wide Gum (Canadian Goudey) uncut sheet with three Ruth cards and a Gehrig, which closed at $54,468 and a one of a kind 1934 R310 Butterfinger signed by Ruth ($12,240).
A high-grade group of Mickey Mantle cards consigned to the sale included a PSA 9 1958 Topps selling for $27,317, a 1961 Topps #300 PSA 9 MINT taking in $10,582, a 1963 Topps #200 PSA 9 that went for $18,737, a 1964 Topps #50 PSA 9 that closed at $13,446 a 1965 Topps #350 PSA 9 that sold for $10,582, a 1966 Topps #50 PSA 9 MINT ($8,467), a 1967 Topps #150 PSA 9 MINT ($8,456) and a1969 Topps #500 “white letter” variation SGC 8.5 ($16,228).
Other single cards included a 1948 Leaf #98 Hal Newhouser PSA 7 NM that experienced a bidder battle to the tune of $6,418, and a 1990 Topps #414 Frank Thomas No Name on Front PSA 9 MINT that brought in $15,589. Notable items taking in record prices were a 1912 T-202 Hassan Triple Folder Fast Work At Third Charles O’Leary/Ty Cobb PSA 8 that sold for $17,165, a 25% jump over the previous high sale, and a 1967 Topps Wacky Packs Moron Salt Die-Cut PSA 9 MINT that landed at $5,747, almost double the previous record for any example in the entire series graded PSA 9.
Complete results and information on consigning to Mile High’s next auction in December is available on their website.