Heritage Auctions Shatters Expectations With $12.5 Million Spring Sports Collectibles Auction

When the three days were over and the final numbers were tallied, Heritage Auctions’ Spring Sports Collectibles sale brought in more than $12.5 million – 20% percent above pre-auction estimates, an extraordinary achievement no matter the moment. This final number reached near-record totals.

The sale commenced May 7, amid cautious optimism warranted by months of stronger-than-expected sales, and ended May 9 a far greater success than thought likely. Spring’s big win, courtesy titans called The Babe and MJ and Shoeless Joe, only sets expectations that much higher for the summer’s sale, as consignments already begin flooding in for the August Platinum Night event.

Topping the auction was Babe Ruth, whose 52nd home run bat of the 1921 season nearly doubled its $500,000 pre-auction estimate to command a winning bid of $930,000. Following that was an exciting new lunch-pail “find” of 1910 T210 Old Mill baseball cards kept for a century by one family. Its star, “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, drew $492,000 for an SGC VG+ 3.5 example.

But it wasn’t just the six-figure scores that were worthy of note: One bidder spent $93,000 for game-worn baseball cleats used by Michael Jordan during his brief flirtation with minor-league baseball.

“They were wrong when they said the Titanic was unsinkable, but it appears there’s not an iceberg out there that can bring down the sports collectibles marketplace,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports auctions for Heritage. “Clearly a great deal of uncertainty in ‘traditional’ markets has sent a flood of investment capital into the relative safety of collectibles, and we’re so pleased to have been able to deliver such spectacular results for our consignors at a time when good news is a rare commodity.”

The three-day sale began with the trading card highlights, which provided results from significant to astounding across the full range of eras, formats, sets, singles and wax.

The finest Ted Williams Play Ball card from his finest season — the historic .406 campaign of 1941 — smashed the standing record with a $120,000 sale price. Michael Jordan yet again validated his claim as king of the “modern” hobby with a $96,000 sale price for a PSA Gem Mint 10 example of his celebrated 1986 Fleer rookie, almost doubling a previous record set only last month. And a pair of Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autograph Superfractors, from Christian Yelich and Francisco Lindor, each sold for more than $100,000, proving the newcomers can indeed play ball with the old-timers.

Day Two focused on memorabilia, which presented strength across autographs, game-used gear and general ephemera.

baseball signed by Hall of Fame Negro Leaguers and Hall of Famers Josh Gibson and Ray Brown commanded top dollar at $74,400. A ring commemorating the 2018-19 Toronto Raptors NBA Championship season found a new owner at $63,000, a massive price for any ring worn by front-office management and not a player. And an Ichiro Suzuki jersey from his historic 2001 Rookie of the Year campaign sold for $49,200 in a fierce bidding battle waged from both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

The final session on Day Three represented the standard assembly of more modestly valued trading cards and memorabilia, but still consistently outperformed pre-auction estimates.

Other highlights included:

Featured Auctions

(*) Indicates Auction in Progress
(*) Iconic Auctions: June 11 - June 19
(*) REA: June 10 - June 20
(*) Sirius Coins: June 10 - June 20
(*) Auction of Champions: June 9 - June 21
(*) Kevin Savage Cards: June 10 - June 21
(*) JG Autographs: June 16 - June 22
(*) Steve Novella: June 17 - June 22
(*) Kevin Savage Cards: June 14 - June 23-24
(*) MeiGray Auctions: June 11 - June 24
(*) NBA Auctions: June 18 - June 24
(*) RR Auction: June 17 - June 24
(*) Sterling Sports Auctions: June 10 - June 24
(*) Steve Novella: June 18 - June 24
(*) Grey Flannel Auctions: June 4 - June 26
(*) Heritage Auctions: June 4 - June 26
(*) Love of the Game: June 10 - June 26
(*) Goldin Auctions: June 10 - June 26-27
(*) Lelands: June 13 - June 27
(*) Pristine Auction: June 1 - June 27
(*) Kevin Savage Cards: June 18 - June 28
JG Autographs: June 23 - June 29
Kevin Savage Cards: June 22 - June 30
(*) University Archives: June 10 - June 30
NBA Auctions: June 25 - July 1
Sirius Sports Cards: June 21 - July 1
MEARS Auctions: June 29 - July 3
Auction of Champions: June 23 - July 5
(*) MeiGray Auctions: June 16 - July 6
(*) Clean Sweep Auctions: June 18 - July 7
SCP Auctions: June 23 - July 9
(*) Memory Lane Inc: June 12 - July 10
The Collector Connection: June 23 - July 11
(*) CertifiedLink: June 10 - July 13-14
Mile High Card Company: July 5 - July 14
Collect Auctions: June 28 - July 15
PWCC: July 1 - July 15
Sirius Sports Cards: July 5 - July 15
Heritage Auctions: June 24 - July 15-17
Goldin Auctions: July 7- July 17
77 Auctions: July 11 - July 18
Auction of Champions: July 7 - July 19
JG Autographs: July 14 - July 20
Heritage Auctions: July 1 - July 22-24
Pristine Auction: July 1 - July 25
2021 Full Auction Schedule