With a long list of record-breaking prices and almost $7 million in total sales, Mile High Card Company’s September Auction exceeded every expectation. “I’ve never seen anything like it”, said MHCC President and CEO Brian Drent, “We thought this auction would steer the direction of the hobby to an all-time high but were still left surprised by the intensity of the bidding as well as the results.”
The four main items that paced the record-setting auction were a 1909-11 Sweet Caporal 150/25 T206 Honus Wagner PSA 1 that sold for $1,169,875, T206 Ty Cobb with Cobb back, the finest example known from the “Lucky 7 Find” PSA 4.5, that brought in $894,250, 1948 Bowman Nearly Complete Wax Box (18/24) BBCE, the grand prize of the “The Beer Box Find”, that closed at $368,126, and a 1968 Mickey Mantle Game Used Jersey MEARS A9.5, Sports Investors, JSA, likely from his final game in major-league baseball, that fetched $465,500.
In addition to the T206 Wagner and Cobb, this auction was loaded with other key vintage cards, many of which shattered the previous high mark for prices realized. Included was a 1909 T206 Sweet Caporal Series 150/30 Eddie Plank SGC 1.5 FR selling for $52,291, 1933 Goudey #149 Babe Ruth PSA 8 NM/MT that closed at a record price of $153,885, a pair of 1933 Goudey #181 Babe Ruth PSA 8 NM/MT that now share the top sales spot at $96,976, 1948 Bowman #18 Warren Spahn PSA 9 MINT that went well past the previous high at $17,456, 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle SGC 7.5 NM+ that dominated at $154,462, 1956 Topps #135 Mickey Mantle PSA 8 NM/MT selling for $12,400, another new high, 1956 Topps #33 Roberto Clemente White Back PSA 9 MINT that went for $22,840, 1986 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan PSA 9 MINT that closed at a record-setting $21,911, and 1981 Topps #216 Joe Montana PSA 10 GEM MINT that sold for $17,872. A 1961 Fleer #43 Jerry West PSA 8 NM/MT sold of $20,004, a pair of 1969 Topps #25 Lew Alcindor PSA 8 NM/MT brought in $29,821 each, and a near-complete set of 1956 Topps baseball cards, each card graded PSA 10 GEM MINT or PSA 9 MINT, was broken up and sold as individual lots for a sum total of $205,737.
A slew of PSA Set Registry ranked complete and near-complete sets received heavy consideration in the bidding frenzy. Going to the highest bidder was a 1939 Play Ball Grade Near Complete Set (161/162) #6 on PSA Set Registry with 7.36 GPA for $41,416, 1948 Bowman Complete Set #3 Current Finest on PSA Registry with 8.152 GPA that found a new owner for $27,317, 1950 Bowman Baseball Set #5 Current Finest on PSA Set Registry at 8.081 that brought in $64,253, 1954 Topps Complete Set #11 Current Finest on PSA Set Registry at 8.016 that hammered at $104,315, 1955 Topps Complete Set #12 on PSA Set Registry with 8.001 GPA that sold for $128,750, 1952 Bowman Complete Set #10 on PSA Set Registry with 8.091 GPA that sold for $51,873, 1966 Topps baseball set, #4 on the PSA Registry with a 9.38 GPA that sold for $153,250, and 1980-81 Topps Basketball Set #6 on PSA Set Registry with 9.45 GPA that sold for $33,709. Two other high-profile collections that sold were a 1909-11 T206 Near Complete Set of (402) Different Cards w/ 53 HOFers & 39 Southern Leaguers that closed at $43,019 and a 1952 Topps Near Complete Set 387/407 Completely PSA/SGC Graded with Mantle VG/EX that took in $56,461.
In addition to the Mickey Mantle game-used jersey, an impressive list of memorabilia that was sold included a 1987-88 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Game-Used Home Jersey and Trunks From First MVP Season-MEARS A10, Sports Investors, Meza LOA that went for $55,409, 1975 Brooks Robinson Baltimore Orioles Game-Used Jersey MEARS A10, Sports Investors Photo Matched LOA that received a winning bid of $14,119, and 1979 Julius Erving Philadelphia 76ers Game-Used Jersey MEARS A10, Sports Investors LOA with Photomatch LOA that earned a bid of $22,283. Other key pieces include an Exceptionally Rare Ty Cobb Tobacco Tin selling for $19,728, Stunning Circa 1910s Christy Mathewson Type I Original Photograph by Charles Conlon PSA/DNA that went for $18,789, 1916 Boston Red Sox Cabinet Photo Featuring Babe Ruth-The Finest Example We’ve Ever Offered, that ended at $22,840 after very heavy bidding, Spectacular Jimmie Foxx single-signed ONL (Giles) ball PSA/DNA NM/MT 8 and JSA that went for $21,400, and a 1998 Denver Broncos Super Bowl XXXIII Championship Player’s Ring-Marvin Washington taking in $22,471. Another important piece of Americana to sell was an Abraham Lincoln Signed Framed Endorsement BAS-Beckett Autograph 10 GEM MINT at $8,682.
As if that wasn’t enough, the selection of unopened material was unparalleled in both quality and results! In addition to the 1948 Bowman box, two other lead items were a 1986-87 Fleer Basketball Unopened Wax Box (BBCE) With Letter Attesting To Original Fleer Sequence from BBCE that impressed at $101,405 and a 1985 Topps Garbage Pail Kids Unopened Series 1 Wax Box 48 Packs (BBCE) that made waves in the non-sports market with a winning bid of $20,896. Other highly-prized material that produced eye-opening results included a 1974 O-Pee-Chee Baseball Full Unopened Wax Box BBCE ($7,950) , 1975 Topps Mini Full Unopened Wax Box BBCE ($6,770), 1975 O-Pee-Chee Baseball Full Unopened Wax Box BBCE ($9,012), 1975 Topps Baseball Full Unopened Cello Box BBCE ($11,257),1977 Topps Baseball Full Unopened Wax Box BBCE ($5,077), 1979 Topps Baseball 6-Box Rack Case Factory Sealed BBCE ($29,153), 1983 Topps Baseball Rack Pack Group of (134) with Original Store Display Case ($5,017), 2009 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects Full Unopened Wax Box-Possible Mike Trout Rookie Auto ($13,653), 1979-80 Topps Hockey Full Unopened Wax Box BBCE – Possible Wayne Gretzky Rookie ($19,873), and a 1969 Topps Wacky Ads PARTIAL Wax Box (19 sealed packs) 10 cent packs ($12,383). One of the most contested lots of the night was an exceptional Lot Of 24 (Equivalent To Unopened Rack Pack Box) Unopened 1971 Topps Football Rack Packs With Numerous Stars On Top/Bottom- Six (6) Of The Packs Are High Numbered Rack Packs, which landed at an amazing price of $111,526.
Well-financed Michael Jordan collectors were treated to a selection of 15 limited-edition, autographed specimens from various elite sets, many of which have not been seen for sale in years and are more highly-prized than even his 1986 Fleer rookie card. Bidding was particularly heavy and leading the way were a 1998 Upper Deck #LL-GJ Michael Jordan Game Jersey PSA 8 NM/MT PSA/DNA AUTO 10 15/23 that closed at $126,958, 1999 Upper Deck Retro Inkredible Level 2 #MJ Michael Jordan PSA 9 MINT PSA/DNA AUTO 10 14/23 finishing the night at $65,113, 1997 Upper Deck UD3 Season Ticket #MJ Michael Jordan Auto PSA 7 NM PSA/DNA AUTO 10 selling for $56,773, 1998 SP Authentic Sign of the Times Gold #MJ Michael Jordan PSA 9 MINT PSA/DNA AUTO 10 bringing in $41,330, 2000 SP Authentic #MJ Sign of the Times Michael Jordan PSA 9 MINT PSA/DNA AUTO 10 that sold for $40,021, 1998 Upper Deck Encore UD Authentics #MJ Michael Jordan PSA 9 MINT PSA/DNA AUTO 10 at $34,525, and 1999 Upper Deck Ionix UD Authentics #MJ Michael Jordan PSA 9 MINT PSA/DNA AUTO 10 14/23 that fetched $29,863. The 15 autographed Jordan cards in total brought in a whopping sum of $517,010.
As spectacular as this auction was, MHCC is already preparing to make the next one even bigger and better. If you desire the maximum possible return for your prized sports cards and/or memorabilia, please call our office at (303) 840-2784 to speak with one of MHCC’s team of experts or visit www.milehighcardco.com.