Once again, Legendary Auctions has proven that quality Sports and Americana collectibles trump a challenging economy. The Legendary Auctions August sale, which closed on August 26 and 27 and featured more than 1,000 lots of high-end items, delivered many notable results and one welcome surprise appreciated by bidders: Legendary Auctions lowered its buyer’s premium to 18.5%. “It was the right thing to do,” said Doug Allen, CEO and president of Legendary Auctions. “Everyone has had to tighten their belts, and auction houses are certainly no exception. We have worked hard to streamline our operations, and because of that we have been able to deliver savings to our buyers which translates to potentially higher profits for our consignors.”
According to Allen, this strategy appears to be paying off. “Overall, auction prices met or exceeded expectations,” said Allen. “But there were several items that just went through the roof. We feel this is directly attributable to the quality items we offered, as well as the value we were able to provide by giving buyers additional leeway to spend more by reducing the buyer’s premium.”
Allen also acknowledged that even in a down economy, you can’t stop a committed collector. “Great material overshadows economic circumstances and has the power to drive an auction,” said Allen. “There were points in our August sale where clearly the race between bidders was on.” Items from the Bob Gibson Collection, the Bill Hoffer Collection, vintage baseball cards and collectibles associated with hobby greats captured the auction spotlight. Among the most incredible were:
Top Auction Performers
Rare 1887 N690 Kalamazoo Bats Jim Donahue, Mets – SGC 30 GD 2
This is the only copy recorded in SGC’s census reporting. The price for a card that is so singularly spectacular was a record-breaking $82,950.
Spectacular Circa 1895 Bill Hoffer BaltimoreUniform
Only a handful of professional jerseys and uniforms from this era have survived, and this ensemble — attributed to a well-known player on a championship-quality team — proved particularly desirable. It commanded $71,100.
Bob Gibson’s 1970 Cy Young Award
This iconic award consists of a visually striking, silver-plated design mounted on a black-lacquered wooden plaque. The centerpiece of the 11-pound award is a life-like sculpted pitcher’s hand sprouting from the mound of a baseball diamond and clutching a ball with a two-fingered grip. The impressive award sold for $56,287.
Circa 1963 Mickey Mantle Signed Game Used Glove – Letter of Authenticity From Bobby Richardson!
This Rawlings game used glove was once worn by Mantle and was handed to Richardson by the slugger. The glove was then given to our consignor by Richardson. Now, the autographed glove has been transferred to an eager collector for the price of $41,475.
1912 T207 Brown Background Complete Set Including Many Tough Backs (200) Plus 4 Variations – #2 on the SGC Set Registry!
This is one of the major components of the classic tobacco era. The cards were introduced in 1912, and nearly a century later their mystique has only compounded. Hobby interest in the cards has also grown. The set went for $41,475.
1934 Goudey Complete Set (96) – #7 on the PSA Set Registry
The 1934 Goudey series features a comprehensive lineup of the period’s stars—hardly missing a beat in the absence of Babe Ruth—beginning with the set’s first-card portrayal of Jimmy Foxx. This stunning set realized a final price of $41,475.
Bob Gibson’s 1964 St. Louis Cardinals World Series Ring
This 14K gold ring was produced by Balfour to Gibson’s specifications. Now it is finely tuned to fit in a place of honor in one fortunate individual’s collection. The final price was $35,500.
The Mother Lode of Bob Gibson Personal Checks – More Than 7,000!
This extraordinary collection of more than 7,000 bank checks dates from the 1970s to the 2000s. Each check was drawn on Gibson’s personal account. The price for this autograph bonanza was $24,885.
Turn-of-the-Century “Official League” Ball
This item was one of the true auction surprises, and its performance demonstrated the lengths to which collectors will go to acquire items from baseball’s infancy. The ball commanded $10,072.
Other highlights from the Bob Gibson Collection
Bob Gibson’s 2004 St. Louis Cardinals National League championship ring commanded $17,775; Bob Gibson’s 1968 St. Louis Cardinals National League championship ring sold for $16,590; Bob Gibson’s 1970 Gold Glove Award went for $13,035; and a collection of Bob Gibson St. Louis Cardinals contracts (11) sold for $6,517.
More Items from the Bill Hoffer Collection
A significant 1897 winning game ball and original photo (2 items) – Baltimore defeats Boston 6 to 3 went for $15,405; a Bill Hoffer circa 1899 game used ensemble – shirt, jacket, cap and leggings sold for $8,295; and a rare “The Champions of 1894, ’95 and ’96” Baltimore Base Ball Club team photo post card realized a final price of $5,332.
Graded Baseball Cards – Singles, Sets and Partial Sets
A 1915 Cracker Jack SGC 88 NM/MT 8 and SGC 92 NM/MT+ 8.5 collection (33 different) sold for $20,145; a 1909-11 E90-1 American Caramel Ty Cobb – SGC 84 NM 7 “1 of 1!” commanded $18,960; a 1964 Topps PSA NM-MT 8 complete set (587) went for $16,590; a circa 1865 Mathew Brady CDV of Sam and Harry Wright – SGC Authentic went for $14,220; a 1951 Bowman high grade near set (317/324) realized a final price of $14,220; a 1911 E94 George Close Candy Cy Young – PSA NM 7 “1 of 2!” sold for $13,035; a 1910 E90-2 American Caramel Pirates Honus Wagner – PSA EX 5 realized a final price of $10,665; a 1951 Topps “Connie Mack’s All-Stars” Lou Gehrig – PSA NM 7 sold for $10,665; a 1915 Cracker Jack #88 Christy Mathewson – PSA NM-MT 8 went for $10,665; a 1951 Topps “Major League All-Stars” Yogi Berra – PSA EX-MT 6 “1 of 3!” sold for $9,480; a 1950 Bowman high grade near set (249/252) went for $9,480; a 1888-89 N173 Old Judge Cabinet card – Buck Ewing & Mascot – SGC 40 VG 3 commanded $8,295; a 1915 Cracker Jack #65 Tris Speaker – SGC 96 MINT 9 “1 of 1!” went for $8,295; a 1952 Topps complete “Low Number” run (1-310) plus one high number sold for $8,295; a 1887 N690 Kalamazoo Bats George Wood – SGC 60 EX 5 commanded $7,110; a 1951 Topps “Connie Mack’s All-Stars” Eddie Collins – PSA NM 7 “1 of 1!” realized a final price of $7,110; a 1933 R333 DeLong complete set (24) – #6 on the PSA Set Registry sold for $6,517; a 1951 Topps Teams complete set (9) plus variation – #3 on the PSA Set Registry sold for $6,517; a 1938 R323 Goudey Heads Up SGC-graded complete set (48) sold for $6,517; a 1960 Topps high grade complete set (572) went for $6,517; and a 1971 Topps “Greatest Moments” complete set (55) sold for $6,517.
A Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris signed “1961 Home Run Chase” commemorative bat – #43 of 115 sold for $13,035; a Joe Jackson 1917-20 H&B Professional Model “YMCA” bat went for $3,555; an extensive “H&B” game used bats collection (88) – from the H&B “Barn Find” went for $3,258; a Roberto Clemente 1968 game used Adirondack All-Star Game bat went for $2,962; and a Bert Blyleven, Lee Smith and Tom Glavine game used bats collection (3) sold for $2,607.
A 1934 Tour of Japan signed ball (16 signatures) including Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx and Berg sold for $11,850; a Babe Ruth single signed ball went for $11,257; a 1914 New York Giants team signed ball (10 signatures) including Mathewson, McGraw and Thorpe sold for $7,702; a Hall of Famers single signed balls collection (56) including Campanella, DiMaggio and Mantle went for $4,147; a 1927 New York Yankees World Champions team signed ball (22 signatures) including Gehrig and Lazzeri sold for $2,725; a Mel Ott single-display signed ball sold for $2,607; and a 1938 N.L. All-Star Team signed ball (26 signatures) including Willard Hershberger sold for $2,251.
A 1953 Bowman complete set (96) – #3 on the PSA Set Registry commanded $8,295; a 1962 Post Cereal high grade complete set (200) plus photo proofs (80) sold for $6,517; a 1971 Topps PSA-graded partial set (215/263) sold for $4,443; and a Joe Namath 1977 Los Angeles Rams home jersey went for $2,692.
1986/87 Fleer complete 132-card sets on full uncut sheets (4) – all featuring Michael Jordan rookie cards went for $2,844; a 1986/87 Fleer stickers high grade full uncut sheet (121 cards) featuring eleven complete sets – Michael Jordan rookie year realized a final price of $2,014; a spectacular Barack Obama signed basketball sold for $2,014; and a 1984/85 Chicago Bulls team signed basketball (16 signatures) – Jordan’s rookie year went for $1,540.
A 1910/11 C56 “Hockey Series” PSA-graded near set (33/36) commanded $10,072; a 1933/34 V304A O-Pee-Chee series “A” PSA-graded partial set (29/48) sold for $6,517; a 1966 Topps USA Test #35 Bobby Orr rookie card – PSA EX-MT 6 sold for $5,332; and a 1980 Winter Olympics “Miracle on Ice” full unused tickets complete set (8) went for $1,125.
A 1933 Goudey Sport Kings #38 Bobby Jones, Golf – PSA NM-MT 8 sold for $9,480; a 1932 U.S. Caramel #3 Bobby Jones – PSA NM 7 went for $8,887; a 1931 W.A. & A.C. Churchman “Prominent Golfers – Large” complete set (12) – #6 on the PSA Set Registry realized $1,777; and a 1926 Lambert & Butler “Who’s Who in Sport” #2 Bobby Jones rookie card – PSA NM-MT 8 went for $1,659.
A 1964 Topps “Outer Limits” complete set (50) – #2 on the PSA Set Registry commanded $10,072; a 1933 Goudey Sport Kings #27 Roscoe Turner, Aviation – PSA MINT 9 “1 of 1!” went for $5,628; a 1962 Topps “Civil War News” graded complete set (88) including many PSA MINT 9 examples realized a final price of $2,725; a 1962 Topps “Mars Attacks” #11 “Destroy the City” – PSA MINT 9 “1 of 3!” sold for $2,607; and a 1940 R83 Gum, Inc. “The Lone Ranger” PSA-graded set (48) went for $2,133.
A scarce 1964 Beatles signed photographic pocket calendar sold for $4,443; a Michael Jackson single signed ball realized a final price of $2,962; a signed record albums collection (75) including Carlin, Rawls and Stills went for $2,014; and a Michael Jackson signed 8″ x 10″ photo – signed during tour rehearsals in June 2009 – went for $1,007.
An Abraham Lincoln 1864 signed Presidential Military Commission for Hospital Chaplain commanded $8,295; a John Adams 1799 signed Presidential Military Commission sold for $7,702; Thomas Jefferson and James Madison 1807 signed Presidential ships papers went for $3,851; and a Martin Van Buren 1838 signed Presidential pardon sold for $3,851.
For additional details regarding the upcoming Legendary Auction November sale or to pre-register to bid or consign an item, call Legendary Auctions at 708-889-9380 or go to www.legendaryauctions.com.