The world record sale price for a post-war baseball jersey jumped by $550,000 as Heritage Auctions’ “Make Offer to Owner” program recently closed a deal to sell Jackie Robinson’s 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers Rookie Jersey for $2.6 million. The jersey originally sold for $2.05 million in Heritage’s “Heroes of Sport” auction in November 2017.
“The winning bidder in November is one of the savviest collectors we know,” explained Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions for Heritage. “He’s a believer that if you buy the best of the best, there will always be somebody out there willing to pay more. That philosophy really paid off for him here.”
Heritage’s Make Offer to Owner program (MOTO) has put over $25 million in the pockets of winning bidders since its 2009 roll out. The $550,000 increase in value of Robinson’s rookie jersey is the service’s single largest transaction.
The program set a record in 2017 as single-year sales surged to more than $10 million. Clients who enroll in MOTO have the opportunity to bid on items in select auctions within 72 hours after the conclusion of the sale for all items that have been in inventory for more than 30 days. Those who make an anonymous offer to will have their information transmitted by Heritage to the lot’s owner, who then has the option of accepting or rejecting the offer, or presenting a counteroffer for the MOTO client’s consideration. Heritage retains 10 percent of the total price as a commission and waives all credit card and/or PayPal fees. Transactions are managed through HA.com, which protects the privacy of all parties.
Heritage Auctions’ MOTO program spans 40 categories of fine art and high-end collectibles. Recent transactions include:
* $202,000: Brooks Robinson’s Personally Owned, 1964 American League Most Valuable Player Award. The MOTO sale marked a bump of nearly 24 percent over the original auction price.
* $186,420: Robert Crumb’s Complete Sketchbook of Original Art, circa 1970, saw a 24 percent increase over the original sale.
* $135,000: The Finest-Graded Sporting Life Cabinet Card Featuring Honus Wagner, circa 1902-1911, a 35 percent windfall for the winning bidder
* $125,000: T206 Piedmont Walter Johnson Portrait, PSA Mint 9, circa 1909-11, a 61 percent increase in value
* $120,000: 1986 World Series “Last Out” Baseball from The Gary Carter Collection, with MOTO delivering the owner a 61 percent return
* $110,000: Honus Wagner’s Game Used Decal Bat, PSA/DNA GU 8, circa 1905-10, an eye-watering 119 percent increase for the owner
* $110,000: 1932 U.S. Caramel Babe Ruth #32 Baseball Card, PSA NM-MT 8, up from $83,650
* $72,500: 1881 $20 Liberty Gold Coin, PR63 Ultra Cameo NGC, a jump of just over 80 percent from the original sale price
* $65,000: 1909-11 T206 Sweet Caporal Ty Cobb (Red Portrait) Baseball Card, SGC 88 NM/MT 8,a 50 percent increase
* $59,000: The “King of the Morgan Dollars” – an 1895 $1 Morgan Dollar, representing an 18 percent increase over the original high bid.