Any way you look at it, 2008, especially the last few months, have been difficult for just about every one. There has been tremendous uncertainty, tempered by hope of improvement and steadying of the economic ship. But, there have also been some definite bright spots. Among some of the more encouraging were the recent results of Mastro Auctionâ€™s December Premier auction. `You would have to be naive not to acknowledge that the economy is having a definite impact on our industry,` said Doug Allen, COO and president of Mastro Auctions.
â€œYou would have to be naÃ¯ve not to acknowledge that the economy is having a definite impact on our industry,â€ said Mastro COO and president Doug Allen. â€œConsignments have tightened due to the hesitancy to act. As with most asset categories, individuals just arenâ€™t sure as to whether they should sell their valuables or hold onto them.â€ The result, according to a Allen, is a decrease in the amount of high end items available for auction.
Despite this industry obstacle and the overall state of the global economy, Allen says sports cards and sports memorabilia are generally faring much better than auction categories such as fine art.
â€œOverall, our prices realized were encouraging and bidding, in general, was quite vigorous,â€ said Allen. â€œGood news is hard to come by these days, but for Sports & Americana buyers and sellers, the trends we see appear to be tracking in their favor.â€
Specific highlights of Mastro Auctionsâ€™ December Premier 2008 sale included:
A 1924 Babe Ruth Personalized Game Used Bat â€“ PSA 10, MEARS A-10
Hailing from the 1922-1925 labeling period. Uncracked with evidence of game use. $105,000
A 1910 T210 Old Mill Cigarettes Joe Jackson â€“ PSA Authentic
The offered card originates from an estate sale in the Baltimore area in the 1980s. 1 Of 10. $102,000.
Collection of 1898 Cameo Pepsin Gum Pins (64 Different)
The Whitehead & Hoag Company of Newark, NJ produced these early 1-1/4â€ celluloid baseball pins as premiums for their neighboring firm, the American Pepsin Co. These pins were distributed with that latter firmâ€™s Cameo Pepsin Gum product and carried back paper advertisements for the confection. $87,000.
1971 Topps Complete Set (752) – An Extremely High Grade â€œBlack Beautyâ€
Including PSA GEM MT 10 #525 Ernie Banks â€œ1 of 1â€
Scarce 1911 D310 Pacific Coast Biscuit SGC-Graded Complete Set (72)
This assembly boasts the inclusion of the highly-coveted Buck Weaver specimen. The â€œGinger Kidâ€, an infamous member of the â€œBlack Sox,â€ was included in only a few baseball issuesâ€“including this â€œtrue rookie cardâ€. $51,000.
Early Mickey Mantle 1952 H&B Signed Game Used Bat â€“ PSA 9
This autographed Hillerich & Bradsby â€œM110â€ signature model bat was employed by Mickey Mantle during his first full season (1952) in the major leagues. $45,000.
Don Flanaganâ€™s Sports Tickets Collection (7,000+)
At the time that he passed away, Flanagan was in the process of writing a
definitive reference book about sports tickets, and his exhaustively
compiled resource material sold for $42,000.
Babe Ruth Single Signed OAL (Harridge) Ball – PSA/DNA Graded NM to MT 8
A star just below William Harridgeâ€™s facsimile signature dates the orb to sometime after 1946. The ball realized a final price of $39,000.
Hoard of 1870s-1880s â€œBoston Base Ball Clubâ€ Stock Certificates (69)
The flagship piece in the array dates to 1876, the year the Boston
organization continued its enduring runâ€”in the newly established National
Leagueâ€”as the oldest continually active franchise in the history of American professional sports. $39,000.
1888 A35 Goodwin â€œBaseball Championsâ€ Round Album
The â€œRound Album,â€ as it has always been known to collectors, is one of the most popular of all 19th Century baseball items, and it is by far the most desirable of all tobacco albums. $39,000.
1933 R319 Goudey Partial Set (169/239) Including Ruth
73 cards have been graded by PSA. As a result, the set commanded $39,000.
VINTAGE BASEBALL CARDS â€“ GRADED SETS, PARTIAL SETS, SINGLES
An 1887 N175 large Gypsy Queen King Kelly, with bat – SGC 50 VG/EX 4 sold for $28,800; a 1933 R319 Goudey graded partial set (163/239) sold for $26,400; a 1933 V353 World Wide Gum #93 Babe Ruth – PSA NM-MT 8 â€œ1 of 1â€ sold for $25,200; a 1913 WG6 Fenway Breweries Tom Barker complete card game set (52) including nine graded PSA GEM MT 10 examples – #3 on the PSA Set Registry went for $21,600; a 1965 Topps complete set (598) – #13 on the PSA Set Registry sold for $20,400; a 1911 T205 Gold Border Ty Cobb – SGC 84 NM 7 commanded $18,000; a 1934 D382 â€œTarzan – Thoro Breadâ€ BVG-graded collection (10 different) sold for $18,000; a 1952 Topps #407 Ed Mathews rookie card – GAI NM-MT+ 8.5 realized a final price of $16,800; a 1911 T3 Turkey Red Cabinets #9 Ty Cobb – SGC 60 EX 5 sold for $15,600; a 1952 Topps â€œMiddle Seriesâ€ PSA NM-MT 8 collection (69 different) went for $15,600; a remarkable 1963 Fleer complete set (66) plus checklist – #6 on the PSA Set Registry sold for $15,600; a 1933 Goudey #53 Babe Ruth – PSA NM 7 sold for $14,400; a 1887 N690 Kalamazoo Bats Al Mays, Metropolitans – SGC 30 GD 2 went for $12,000; a 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle rookie card – PSA VG-EX+ 4.5 went for $12,000; a 1956 Topps #135 Mickey Mantle, Gray Back – SGC 96 MINT 9 â€œ1 of 3â€ sold for $11,400; a 1911 T201 Mecca Double Folders graded collection (30 different) including Cobb went for $11,400; a 1911 T205 Gold Border Clark Griffith – PSA NM-MT 8 realized a final price of $10,200; a 1903 E107 Breisch Williams Type 1 Rube Waddell – SGC 20 FR 1.5 sold for $10,200; a 1957 Topps #1 Ted Williams – PSA MINT 9 sent for $10,200; and a 1952 Topps â€High Numbersâ€ PSA NM-MT 8 collection (14 different) sold for $10,200.
In addition, an exceptional 1954 Red Heart PSA NM-MT 8 complete set (33) went for $10,200; a 1969 Topps complete set (664) – #9 on the PSA Set Registry went for $10,200; an extremely rare 1959 Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Drink Mickey Mantle – SGC 70 EX+ 5.5 sold for $9,600; a 1915 Cracker Jack #103 Joe Jackson – SGC 50 VG/EX 4 commanded $9,600; a 1933 Goudey #181 Babe Ruth – SGC 86 NM+ 7.5 went for $9,000; a 1911 T205 Gold Border R. Hoblitzell, Rare Name Correct â€œNo Cin. After 1908 Statsâ€ variation – PSA EX-MT 6 went for $8,400; an 1887 N690 Kalamazoo Bats George Wood – SGC 84 NM 7 went for $8,400; a 1952 Motherâ€™s Cookies complete set (64) including seven PSA GEM MT 10 â€œ1 of 1â€™sâ€ – #1 on the PSA Set Registry sold for $8,400; a 1909-11 T206 White Border PSA EX 5 collection (96 different) sold for $8,400; a 1953 Topps PSA NM-MT 8 collection (64) including seven â€œHigh Numbersâ€ sold for $7,800; a 1966 Topps graded partial set (548/598) sold for $7,200; a 1953 Bowman Color #114 Bob Feller – PSA MINT 9 sold for $7,200; a 1952 Topps â€Semi-High Numbersâ€ PSA NM-MT 8 collection (30 different) went for $7,200; a 1911 T205 Gold Border Terry Turner – PSA NM-MT 8 â€œ1 of 2!â€ sent for $6,600; a 1880s William Blair & Co. â€œDarktown Batteryâ€ mechanical bank trade card – SGC 80 EX/NM 6 sold for $6,600; a 1911 T205 Gold Border graded collection (123 different) including Cobb, Young, Johnson and Speaker went for $6,600; a 1955 Topps graded partial set (162/206) realized a final price of $6,600;a 1909 T204 Ramly William Bransfield, â€œSquare Frameâ€ variety – PSA GD 2 sold for $6,600; a 1960 Topps graded partial set (679/720) sold for $6,600; a 1911 T205 Gold Border Thomas Downey – PSA NM-MT 8 â€œ1 of 1!â€ realized a final price of $6,000; a 1909-11 T206 White Border Cy Young, Cleveland, Bare Hand Shows – SGC 88 NM/MT 8 went for $6,000; the highest graded 1886 N370 Lone Jack Cigarettes Curtis Welsh – SGC 84 NM 7 â€œ1 of 1!â€ went for $6,000; a 1967 Topps graded partial set (441/609) went for $6,000; a 1952 Topps â€œLow Numbersâ€ PSA NM-MT 8 collection (12 different) went for $6,000; and a 1952 Topps #1 Andy Pafko â€œRed Backâ€ – SGC 84 NM 7 went for $6,000.
VINTAGE BASEBALL CARDS â€“ PARTIALLY GRADED OR UNGRADED SETS, PARTIAL SETS, SINGLES
A 1909-1911 T206 White Border near set (520/524) sold for $21,600; a 1888 Joseph Hall Cabinet – Louisville Ball Club commanded $14,400; the finest complete set of 1931 W517 uncut panel candy store strip cards (54 cards on 18 strips!) commanded $12,000; a rare 1950s Drakeâ€™s baseball complete set (36) went for $11,400; a 1956 Topps high grade complete set (340) plus both checklists sold for $8,400; a 1940 R335 Play Ball complete set (240) realized a final price of $7,800; a 1953 Bowman black & white complete set (64) – from the Lionel Carter Collection sold for $7,800; a 1933 R319 Goudey partial set (150/240) including many Hall of Famers went for $7,200; a 1951-1959 Topps collection (1,600+) including numerous Hall of Famers and stars went for $7,200; a 1912 T207 Brown Background â€œRecruit Backsâ€ complete set (150) plus three variations went for $6,600; a Sherry Magee circa 1909 original Carl Horner Studio cabinet photo and 1909-11 T206 White Border card (2 items) went for $6,600; a 1951 Bowman near set (322/324) went for $6,600; a 1953 Bowman Color complete set (160) went for $6,000; a 1915 E145-2 Cracker Jack collection (38 different) including six Hall of Famers went for $6,000; and a 1960s Topps and Post collection (6,400) including 17 Mickey Mantle Cards and many Hall of Famers and stars went for $6,000.
A very scarce 1930s vintage â€œGooseâ€ Goslin single signed ball sold for $19,200; a Jackie Robinson single signed ball went for $14,400; a comprehensive 1988-1992 A.L. team signed balls collection (375) – including 18 World Series Champions with 1989 Aâ€™s, 1991 Twins and 1992 Blue Jays sold for $14,400; a Babe Ruth single signed ball commanded $12,000; a spectacular Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig signed ball sold for $10,800; a scarce 1930s vintage Bucky Harris single signed ball – PSA/DNA NM+ 7.5 went for $7,200; a 1941 Rochester Red Wings team signed ball (26 signatures) including Babe Ruth and Stan Musial sold for $5,700; a Ted Williams single signed balls collection (12) – all graded PSA/DNA MINT 9 sold for $4,200; a 1928 New York Yankees World Champions team signed ball (23 signatures) including Ruth, Gehrig and Lazzeri realized a final price of $4,200; and a Roberto Clemente single signed ball – dated June 1971 went for $4,200.
OTHER BASEBALL AUTOGRAPHS
A Ty Cobb signed personal checks collection (29) – all graded PSA/DNA MINT 9 sold for $22,800; a 1949 Bowman complete set (240) including 215 signed cards went for $12,000; a Mickey Mantle single signed bats collection (6 items) – including four bats inscribed â€œNo. 7â€ realized a final price of $12,000; a 1958 Topps signed complete set (494) went for $10,800; a Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris signed â€œ1961 Home Run Chaseâ€ commemorative bat -serial-numbered â€œ92â€ in a Limited Edition of 115 pieces went for $9,600; a 1957 Topps near set (396/407) including 349 signed cards went for $9,000; a Barney Dreyfuss handwritten letter to John Heydler – the newest Hall of Famer went for $9,000; a Babe Ruth 1926 signed original photograph went for $9,000; a Lou Gehrig signed photograph sold for $7,800; an attractive 1931 Babe Ruth signed â€œBattingâ€ photograph sold for $7,200; and a Babe Ruth 2008 Upper Deck Premier â€œStitchings Cutâ€ #CUT-BR Cut Signature â€œ1 of 1â€ – PSA/DNA-Authenticated went for $6,600.
GAME USED BASEBALL BATS
A â€œBlack Betsyâ€ 1916-1921 H&B Pro Model game used bat attributed to Joe Jackson sold for $9,000; a Ted Williams 1946-1947 H&B game used bat â€“ PSA 8 went for $8,400; a Roberto Clemente 1971 H&B World Series game used bat â€“ PSA 10 realized a final price of $7,800; a Thurman Munson 1979 H&B game used bat – used during Munsonâ€™s final season â€“ PSA 7 sold for $7,800; and a Harmon Killebrew 1959 H&B signed game used bat sold for $5,100.
BABE RUTH MEMORABILIA
A Babe Ruth oversized 14â€ x 17-1/2â€ signed batting photo sold for $21,600; a Babe Ruth and Claire Ruth signed postcards collection (12) sold for $20,400; a Babe Ruth â€œChristmas Day 1925â€ signed and personalized studio portrait went for $11,400; a Babe Ruth circa 1927 signed ball – sweet spot signature commanded $10,200; a Babe Ruth 1934 signed and personalized Boston Braves photograph went for $7,800; and a Babe Ruth 1942 signed letter – from the set of â€œThe Pride of the Yankeesâ€ went for $7,800.
GAME-WORN BASEBALL JERSEYS
A Hank Aaron 1976 Milwaukee Brewers game worn home jersey – his final season sold for $13,200; a Joe Rudi 1974 Oakland Aâ€™s game worn home jersey went for $7,200; a George Brett 1980 Kansas City Royals game worn home jersey (MVP season) went for $6,000; and a Derek Jeter 1999 New York Yankees game worn road jersey sold for $4,800.
BASEBALL TROPHIES AND AWARDS AND OTHER MEMORABILIA
A 1920 Spalding baseball advertising sign went for $11,400; Leroy Stantonâ€™s 1992 Toronto Blue Jays World Championship ring (coach) went for $10,200; a scarce 1953 New York Yankees World Champions salesmanâ€™s sample ring realized a final price of $9,000; the largest of the 1880s Huebach baseball statues (matched pair) went for $8,400; a 2003 Florida Marlins World Champions Scout (Spencer Mills) with original presentation box went for $8,400; a 1977 New York Yankees World Champions ring – bat boy John Calderero sold for $7,800; and a Tim Raines 1998 New York Yankees World Series Trophy went for $7,200.
FOOTBALL CARDS AND MEMORABILIA
A 1981 San Francisco 49ers World Champions Super Bowl XVI players ring (Lynn Thomas) plus original box went for $16,800; a rare Mike Ditka Mid-1960s Chicago Bears game worn home jersey sold for $10,800; a 1924 Notre Dame â€œFour Horsemen,â€ â€œSeven Mulesâ€ and Knute Rockne signed photograph went for $8,400; a 1950 Bowman #43 Marion Motley rookie card – PSA MINT 9 went for $6,600; and a Walter Payton signed photographs collection (45) – all PSA/DNA-authenticated sold for $6,000.
VINTAGE BASKETBALL CARDS
A Magic Johnson 1980-81 Los Angeles Lakers game worn home uniform commanded $22,800; a spectacular 1996-97 Chicago Bulls World Champions Front Office ring (Executive Judy Lynch) with original presentation box sold for $18,000; a 1969/70 Topps NM/MT graded complete set (99) went for $9,000; a 1961/62 Fleer graded complete set (66) went for $7,800; a Julius Erving late 1970s/early 1980s Philadelphia 76ers signed game worn uniform (2 items) including jersey and shorts sold for $6,000; and four 1986/87 Fleer complete 132-card sets on full uncut sheets (4) – all featuring Michael Jordan rookie cards realized a final price of $5,700.
VINTAGE HOCKEY CARDS
A 1955/56 Parkhurst complete set (79) – #4 on the PSA Set Registry sold for $20,400; a 1911-12 C55 Imperial Tobacco #38 Georges Vezina – the issueâ€™s â€Keyâ€ card – PSA NM 7 went for $13,200; a 1957/58 Topps complete set (66) – #2 on the PSA Set Registry realized a final price of $11,400; a 1963/64 Parkhurst complete set (99) – #3 on the PSA Set Registry went for $10,200; a 1959/60 Parkhurst complete set (50) – #2 on the PSA Set Registry went for $9,000; a 1972/73 Topps complete set (176) – #2 on the PSA Set Registry sold for $7,200; a 1932/33 Oâ€™Keefeâ€™s Blotters/Coasters partial set (15/20) including Bailey and Clancy sold for $6,600; and a 1969/70 Topps complete set (132) – #2 on the PSA Set Registry went for $6,000.
VINTAGE BOXING CARDS
A 1948 Leaf Boxing complete set (49) – #5 on the PSA Set Registry sold for $9,000; a scarce 19th Century Boxers CDVs collection (17 different) including Sullivan, Kilrain and Corbett sold for $5,400; a 1948 Leaf PSA NM-MT 8 collection (14 different) including Jack Johnson and Gene Tunney realized a final price of $4,500; a 1951 Topps Ringside PSA-graded complete set (96) went for $3,600; and a 1951 Topps Ringside PSA NM-MT 8 collection (36 different) realized a final price of $3,600.