Unopened baseball card boxes from the 1950s and 60s, high-grade sets and singles and a run of mint cancelled checks from the first Hall of Fame class will be up for bid later this month.
When its auction kicks off this month, Memory Lane Inc’s full-color auction catalog will feature some items never before sold publicly, collections that have taken years to put together and rank among the finest known and some one-of-a-kind rarities.
Over 1,000 lots will be featured in the December Hidden Treasures Auction. Some are leaving private collections for the first time.
Among the featured items is a 1948 Bowman George Mikan Rookie Card, graded PSA 10 (Gem Mint); the only one ever to reach that standard. The card is from the famous collection of former Major League pitcher Tom Candiotti, who has amassed some of the best quality vintage sports cards of all-time.
The bespectacled Mikan was one of the first post-War era superstars of sport, a Hall of Famer in the making when this card was being pulled from bubble gum packs. The minimum bid for what was recently tabbed one of the hobby’s top 20 cards of all-time is $50,000.
Also featured in the auction is an amazing run of ten checks, each featuring the signature of a legendary Baseball Hall of Famer and all grading at the “9” or “10” level by PSA/DNA. Included is a super-scarce Christy Mathewson personal check dated just prior to Christmas 1924, the last holiday season Bix Six would ever see. His death from tuberculosis in 1925 was a shock to the country considering how he had once been the picture of athleticism in leading the famed New York Giants to World Series victories. The college-educated Matty was exceptionally popular with fans and writers who covered his phenomenal pitching exploits with the artistic prose it deserved. The Mathewson check is a “10”—one of just a handful of his authenticated pieces to reach that plateau—and includes the note included by his widow in response to a collector asking for something—anything—signed by her husband some 20+ years after his death.
The other signed checks in the lot include Honus Wagner (10), Walter Johnson (10), Babe Ruth (10), Hank Aaron (10), Ty Cobb (10), Jackie Robinson (10), Reggie Jackson (9) and Stan Musial (10). The first five members of Baseball’s Hall of Fame are all represented in this grouping, which will be sold individually.
Vintage sports card boxes that have survived years of storage are among the most popular and rare items any auction can have. They have survived the temptations of curious card archaeologists and unfailingly create unbridled excitement from bidders who can’t resist their allure. Is there a gem mint rookie card hiding inside? Collectors who browse the MLI Hidden Treasures Auction will find a run of 1950s and 60s unopened boxes including ‘50s Bowman and a Topps box from each year, 1956 through 1960.
MLI will offer two amazing baseball card sets in this sale, both of which are among the best professionally graded collections in existence. A 1959 Topps set that ranks #3 on the PSA Set Registry is offered and it includes a large quantity of ‘9’ (mint) examples. There is also a 1961 Topps graded set.
Another lot that will likely generate interest from sports historians is a lot of 30 letters from Peck & Snyder Sporting Goods dating from the 1860s. Peck & Snyder was among the first sports-oriented companies ever to operate in the United States and collectors will recognize the brand as having produced the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings trade card. The 1869 Peck & Snyder card generated headlines last year when MLI sold the one discovered in a California antique and collectibles shop that was featured on the Tonight Show.
Aucton catalogs are also available free of charge by mail Bidding will be available online at MemoryLaneInc.com and by phone (877-606-LANE). The full auction catalog will also be available online through Zmag, enabling collectors to browse its pages in virtual fashion.
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