One collector’s ambitious effort to piece together an all Gem Mint graded set of the unique 1980-81 Topps Basketball cards paid off late Saturday night. The 176-card set of PSA 10s, including the Magic Johnson/Larry Bird rookie card, sold for $1.44 million at Goldin Auctions.
The set was accompanied by an unopened pack, also rated PSA 10, a high-grade team pin-up insert set and even an uncut production sheet of the ’80-81 cards.
The set is known for its unique design, which features three “mini cards” that were meant to be torn apart. The Johnson-Bird rookie, which also includes Julius Erving, accounted for the majority of the set’s value. The last two PSA 10 examples of the iconic card sold for $780,000 and $861,000, also through Goldin.
That wasn’t the only big ticket item in the auction, though. In fact, three lots sold for over $1 million and eight went for more than a half million.
A BGS 8 copy of Tom Brady’s 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket Autograph card sold for $1.4 million while a 2003-04 Exquisite LeBron James Rookie Patch Autograph numbered 17/99 and graded 8.5 by Beckett, netted $1.39 million.
Two other James rookies– a 2003-04 Topps Chrome Gold Refractors rookie (#38/50) graded BGS 9.5 ($792,000) and an autographed Ultimate Collection Autograph graded BGS 10 ($660,000) were also among the top selling items.
Among the more stunning results was the $474,000 sale of the 1/1 2020 Bowman Chrome SuperFractor of Yankees teen prospect Jasson Dominguez. Graded PSA 10, the card is considered the key pre-rookie card of the multi-talented Dominguez, who was signed by the Yankees for $5.1 million as a 16-year-old in the summer of 2019.
Dominguez has only played in 49 professional games so far, all with the Class A Tampa Tarpons where he hit .258 with five homers and 18 RBI last season.
At least some bidders also remain sold on the prospects of Zion Williamson. The auction saw a copy of his 2019-20 National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph sell for $594,000–the most ever paid for one of the New Orleans Pelican star’s cards. Numbered 60/99, it carries a BGS 9.5 grade with a 10 autograph grade. The start to Williamson’s career has been plagued by injuries.
Williamson’s ’19-20 draft classmate, Ja Morant, has had a big year so far and collectors chased a BGS 9.5/10 example of his National Treasures RPA (#25/99) to the tune of $240,000–the second biggest sale of any Morant card to date.
Modern card made up the bulk of the six-figure sales and there were many.
A 2017 National Treasures “Stars & Stripes Patch Autographs” Patrick Mahomes autograph (#13/13) graded PSA 10 soared to $720,000 despite the Kansas City Chiefs’ loss in the AFC Championship game a week earlier.
Bidders stayed up until almost 1:30 AM Eastern time Sunday competing for the 1/1 NFL Shield Joe Burrow autographed rookie card from 2020 Panini Immaculate. It sold for $534,000, a record price for any Burrow card. One of two copies of Burrow’s 2020 National Treasures Red Brand Logo cards closed at $289,200.
The top selling vintage card came from soccer. A rare Pele card from 1957 sold for $486,000, making it the second most expensive soccer card ever sold and an all-time record for any soccer card issued prior to 1958.
Among the memorabilia sold was a 1997-98 Michael Jordan game-used, autographed Chicago Bulls full uniform that rocketed to $600,000, a low grade ticket to Kobe Bryant’s 1996 NBA debut that sold for over $43,000 and Muhammad Ali’s robe from his 1965 fight against Sonny Liston that went for $438,000.
All prices include a 23% buyer’s premium that’s lowered to 20% if the winning bidder pays on time and doesn’t use a credit card.
Complete results can be found here. Two more auction sessions were scheduled to conclude Sunday and Monday nights.