Heritage Sports Auction Defies Recession With Record Prices

Heritage Auction Galleries held its latest Sports Collectibles Signature Auction on Thursday and Friday, April 23 and 24, at its Uptown Dallas headquarters. With spirited bidding carrying the final tally to just under $4 million, this first major Sports Collectibles auction since the global economic downturn began is remarkably Heritage’s most successful sports event to date.

“Any concerns we had about auction prices during the current economy have been laid to rest,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Collectibles Auctions for Heritage Auction Galleries (HSC). “These exceptional results clearly prove that Heritage can still locate the bidders willing and able to pay huge figures for quality material.” 

The top spot in this auction went to a game-used fielder’s glove once belonging to Hall of Fame southpaw Sandy Koufax.

“Fewer than five fielder’s gloves have ever cleared the six-figure mark at auction,” noted Ivy, “and our Koufax gamer joined that elite club Friday with a result of $107,550.”

One might not predict world record prices during a recession, but Heritage defied expectations again and again during the sale. 

“Josh Gibson’s 1941 Puerto Rican League contract realized $95,600,” said Ivy,  “and Ernie Davis’ Syracuse jersey sold for $33,460, both world record results for memorabilia of any format related to the iconic pair.”

An astonishing result of $15,535 absolutely annihilated the previous record for an Eddie Murray game used bat, and $41,825 for a 1908 World Series program is a price unmatched by any Fall Classic program other than the 1903 version issued for the very first edition. 

“We’ve got some very, very happy consignors for these lots,” Ivy noted.

The trading card portion of the auction provided no shortage of fireworks either, with collectors engaged in fierce bidding wars throughout. “Hobby standards and super-rarities both performed magnificently,” said Ivy.  “Clearly our bidders are still willing to pay top dollar for top quality.”

Other highlights of the sale included:

1897 Ned Hanlon Signed Baltimore Orioles Player’s Contract – PRICE REALIZED: $41,825.  “This is easily the highest price ever paid for a Hanlon autograph in any format,” said Ivy.

The Finest Christy Mathewson Signed Photograph Extant – PRICE REALIZED: $41,825. “Only Matty’s first Major League contract has topped this result for signed flats,” Ivy explained.

1908 Greenville Spinners Team Cabinet Photograph with Joe Jackson – PRICE REALIZED: $41,825. “Our consignor insisted upon a $15,000 reserve,” said Ivy. “We were correct when we told him that we didn’t expect such a figure would be a problem.”

1971 Don Sutton Game Worn Jersey – PRICE REALIZED: $10,158.  “Another world record here,” said Ivy, “topping the previous high for a Sutton gamer by more than $3,000.”

1925 Hughie Jennings Handwritten Signed Letter – PRICE REALIZED: $9,560.  “Not even a tremendously rare single signed baseball sold in December 2006 could top this result, the highest ever registered for a Jennings autographed piece,” Ivy explained.

For more information about Heritage’s auctions, and a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit our Permanent Auction Archives at www.HA.com.

HSC specializes in rare and collectible sports cards, as well as uniforms, equipment, and related vintage sports memorabilia. Consignments for future Signature Sports Auctions are currently being accepted. Prospective consignors or sellers of quality vintage sports cards and sports memorabilia are encouraged to contact:

Chris Ivy at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1319 or email: Civy@HA.com

Mike Gutierrez at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1183 or email: MikeG@HA.com

Lee Iskowitz at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1601 or email: LeeI@HA.com

Mark Jordan at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1187 or email: MarkJ@HA.com              

Jonathan Scheier at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1314 or email: JonathanS@HA.com            

Stephen Carlisle at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1292 or email: StephenC@HA.com               

Peter Calderon at 800-872-6467 Ext. 1789 or email: PeterC@HA.com

To order the next Heritage Sports Collectibles Signature catalog, contact Christina Stephens, or write c/o Heritage Sports Collectibles, 3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor, Dallas, TX 75219.