Heritage Auctions $25.5 Million Sports Auction Sets Multiple World Records

Heritage Auctions’ two-day Winter Platinum Night Sports Auction, which wrapped early Monday morning, was a newsmaker many times over. And not just because nearly 2,600 bidders from around the world participated in an auction that realized $25,518,284.

Nearly 75 records were set during the Feb. 26-27 auction, from sporting-event tickets to jerseys to cards to Ted Williams’ Triple Crown-season bat to Michael Jordan’s game-worn Air Jordans. Even a presidential basketball slam-dunked early estimates, when a ball autographed by President Obama, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Carmelo Anthony sold for $99,000 – more than eight times its pre-auction estimate.

And Amelia Earhart’s flight cap, worn when she made her famous first flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928, sold for $825,000. That’s more than 10 times its pre-sale estimate.

Below, a list of some of the top records achieved during the auction:

The World’s Most Valuable Tickets

One of seven known ticket stubs from Jackie Robinson’s big-league debut in the spring of 1947 sold for $480,000, making it the most expensive sporting-event ticket ever sold at auction. That shattered the previous record for a sports ticket set in December, when a stub from Michael Jordan’s 1984 debut as a Chicago Bull sold for $264,000.

Mark Attanasio, owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, is the new owner of the Robinson ticket stub.

The only known full ticket from MJ’s NBA debut also sold during the Winter Platinum Night Sports Auction for $468,000, likewise breaking the previous record.

There were 72 tickets in this auction, and together they realized $2.1 million, twice the pre-auction estimate. Two more sports legends saw tickets to their milestone moments reach new highs:

A ticket stub to Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, sold for $108,000 to become both the most expensive Gehrig ticket and most valuable pre-war ticket ever sold. Only six known examples survive from the day more than 60,000 people heard, in person, the Yankees’ first baseman deliver one of the most memorable speeches in sports history: “For the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

And a full ticket to the 1996 Greater Milwaukee Open, where Tiger Woods made his debut, sold for $99,000. That’s the highest-graded example, at PSA Mint 9, and now the world’s most valuable Woods ticket. It originally cost $25.

A Jersey Record on the Mantle, and Score One for The Big German

The jersey worn by Mickey Mantle when he played his final game as a New York Yankee on Sept. 28, 1968, sold for $2,190,000. That’s the highest price ever paid at auction for a Mantle jersey, shattering the previous record of $1,320,000 set at Heritage Auctions in August 2018.

And the Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki scored his biggest jersey sale ever when a photo-matched jersey worn during his MVP season in 2006-07 sold for $23,400.

The Most Expensive Air Jordans Ever Laced Up

A pair of Air Jordan 1s worn by Michael Jordan during the Chicago Bulls’ 116-107 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on April 1, 1986, sold for $675,000, breaking the previous record of $615,000 set almost two years ago.

The Air Jordans, photo-matched to that game, were slightly altered from their standard format to mitigate the threat to Jordan’s healing bones after he broke his foot in October 1985. The Air Jordans’ soles were replaced with those used on the Nike Dunk, which were both softer and wider.

Teddy Ballgame’s Triple Crown Bat Smashes Another Record

Among baseball collectors, few pieces of lumber are more vaunted or valuable than those swung by Ted Williams, the last player to hit over .400 in a season. So it should not surprise that a game-used and signed Hillerich & Bradsby bat from Teddy Ballgame’s 1947 Triple Crown season now holds the record for the most expensive Williams bat ever sold at auction: $336,000.

Jackie Robinson’s Other Rookie Record (and More of the World’s Most Valuable Cards)

There were numerous Robinson records set during this auction, which featured a historic collection of memorabilia related to the man who, 75 years ago this spring, broke baseball’s color barrier. Among the auction’s top lots was his March 1946 American Baseball Bureau questionnaire, which realized $1,680,000. Seth Kaller Inc. was the winning bidder for Robinson’s questionnaire, and has arranged for its display at the Jackie Robinson Museum set to open this summer in New York City.

Robinson’s 1948 Leaf card, a work of art graded PSA NM-MT 8, is also now his most valuable rookie card, having sold for $468,000. Of the more than 1,500 submissions to PSA, only seven have ever been graded higher than the card sold by Heritage Auctions this weekend.

Some of the other new records set: A 1912 E300 Plow’s Candy Honus Wagner card, graded PSA NM 7 sold for $312,000. That’s the highest price ever realized for a card from the so-called “Miracle Set” from which there are only 175 known survivors. From that same set, a Ty Cobb card graded PSA NM 7 sold for $222,000, a record for that rarity.

1954 Stahl-Meyer Franks Mickey Mantle, PSA NM-MT 8, sold for $210,000, setting a record for that little-known set.

And who else but Serena Williams now holds the record for highest-selling women’s sports card: Her 2003 Netpro International (Court Authentic Series A) No. 2A, graded PSA NM 7 and Auto 10 numbered 24/100, sold for $163,200. That shatters a record set only one month ago.

For more results from Heritage Auctions’ Feb. 26-27 Winter Platinum Night Sports Auction, click here.

News by Company & Category

Featured Auctions

(*) Indicates Auction in Progress
(*) NBA Auctions: March 28 - April 15
(*) Steve Novella: April 8 - April 15-16
(*) Auction of Champions: April 11 - April 17
(*) RR Auction: March 22 - April 17
(*) MeiGray Auctions: April 1 - April 17-18
(*) Goldin: April 9 - April 18
(*) PWCC Marketplace: April 4 - April 18
(*) Sirius Sports Cards: April 8 - April 18
(*) Steve Novella: April 15 - April 18
(*) Infinite Auction: April 1 - April 19
(*) Greg Morris Marketplace: April 8 - April 21
(*) Heritage Auctions: April 7 - April 21
(*) Icons Auctions: April 15 - April 21
(*) Pristine Auction: April 15 - April 21
(*) PWCC Marketplace: April 11 - April 21
(*) Queen City Cards: March 22 - April 21
(*) REA: April 5 - April 21
(*) MeiGray Auctions: April 1 - April 22
(*) Fanatics Auctions: April 12 - April 22-25
Auction of Champions: April 18 - April 24
(*) Alt Liquid Auctions: April 12 - April 25
Goldin: April 16 - April 25
(*) RR Auction: March 29 - April 25
(*) Rockhurst Auctions: April 15 - April 25-26
(*) Heritage Auctions: April 5 - April 27
Iconic Auctions: April 17 - April 27
(*) Fat Apple Auctions: March 27 - April 28
(*) Heritage Auctions: April 14 - April 28
Icons Auctions: April 22 - April 28
Pristine Auction: April 22 - April 28
(*) Pristine Auction: April 1 - April 28
PWCC Marketplace: April 18 - April 28
(*) Queen City Cards: March 29 - April 28
(*) Collector Connection: April 10 - April 28
(*) Classic Auctions: April 4 - April 30
Auction of Champions: April 26 - May 1
Sirius Sports Cards: April 22 - May 2
(*) Goldin: April 11 - May 4
MEARS Auctions: April 26 - May 4
(*) Memory Lane: April 11 - May 4
(*) All-Star Cards: April 14 - May 5
Heritage Auctions: April 21 - May 5
Fanatics Auctions: April 26 - May 6-9
RR Auction: April 19 - May 8
Alt Liquid Auctions: April 26 - May 9
Gotta Have Rock & Roll: April 24 - May 10
RR Auction: April 19 - May 16
VSA Auctions: April 29 - May 16
Heritage Auctions: April 25 - May 16-18
Goldin: April 19 - June 1
2024 Full Auction Schedule