A remarkable collection of vintage, graded baseball card sets dating back to the 19th century has been acquired by Memory Lane Inc. An advanced east coast collector has decided to part with more than 20,000 PSA graded cards and his sets are now being offered for sale. Staggering in both volume and quality, it’s believed to be the largest such grouping ever to come to market at one time, presenting a veritable cardboard history of professional baseball.
Virtually all of the hobby’s hallmark sets, from 1887 and ‘88 Allen & Ginter to the post-War Topps and Bowman issues are represented, many among the finest sets on PSA’s Set Registry. Included within those sets are some of collecting’s truly iconic cards, such as the T206 Honus Wagner (PSA 2), T206 Eddie Plank (PSA 5), 1909 American Caramel Joe Jackson rookie (PSA 4), 1915 Cracker Jack Jackson (PSA 8), 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth rookie (PSA 6), 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie (PSA 9) and 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle (PSA 8).
For now, all are being offered by Memory Lane as complete sets, providing a seldom seen opportunity for collectors. Many are ‘master sets’ featuring hard to find variations. Regardless of the measuring stick, their combined value runs deep into seven figures.
“We are honored that this gentleman entrusted us to sell what is one of the hobby’s greatest collections,” said Memory Lane’s J.P. Cohen. “We’ve enjoyed helping him acquire many of these same cards over the years and it’s a thrill to see them together in one place.”
The list of those now available for sale includes the legendary 524-card T206 (set rating 5.74); both Allen & Ginter sets (4.83 and 6.58), 1888 Goodwin’s Champions (5.41), 1909 American Caramel, 1909 Dockman & Sons Gum, 1909 Philadelphia Caramel, 1909 Ramly, 1910 American Caramel Pirated (90.9% complete), 1910 Philadelphia Caramel (93.3% complete), 1910 Standard Caramel, 1911 Mecca Double Folders, 1911 T205, 1911 Turkey Red, 1912 Hassan Triple Folders, T207 (each near complete), 1913 Fatima Team, 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack (7.50 rating), 1921 American Caramel E121 Series of 80 (69.8% complete), 1922 American Caramel E-210 and 121, 1927 York Caramels basic type 1 and type 2 (90% complete), an incredible 1932 U.S. Caramel that is 100% complete with an 8.0 rating, 1933 Delong, 1933 Goudey, 1933 Goudey Sport Kings (7.89 rating), 1934 Goudey, 1934-36 Diamond Stars (71.7% complete), 1935 Goudey (80.5% complete), 1941 Play Ball, 1948 Bowman (8.0 rating), 1948-49 Leaf, complete runs of all major Topps and Bowman issues, nearly all in near mint or better overall grade including the 1952 Topps, 1953 Topps and 1951 Bowman issues, 1959 Fleer Ted Williams (8.72 rating) and various insert and secondary sets from the late 1960s and early 70’s, all in high grade.
Acquiring the collection caps a busy month for Memory Lane. The company sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of high grade star cards during this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, then wrapped up a million dollar catalog auction late last week. Now, the company is accepting offers for pieces of a collection that is likely to turn the hobby on its ear.
“As always, we’ll pour everything we have into making sure that the sets in this collection reach the price level they deserve while finding the right match for each one,” Cohen said. “It’s truly a dream collection but vintage cards are our bread and butter. We’re excited about marketing these to our clients and we’re sure we’ll find some new buyers once word spreads about how special this collection is.”
Collectors interested in purchasing any of the sets, seeing a complete list or getting more information about the cards should contact Memory Lane at (877) 606-LANE(5263). See images from the collection in the slide show below.