Premium Hobby Rarities Achieve New Horizons in Mile High Card Company’s Latest Auction Event

Kicking off the new year with a resounding bang, Mile High Card Company concluded its Premium Holiday auction on January 20th, 2012 and saw tremendous results across the board. This auction had a markedly different feel in terms of size and scope in comparison to traditional MHCC auctions, focusing on a smaller lot size with select higher-level items being offered.

In contrast to our standard catalog auctions which run from 1500 to 2500 lots, this elite format allowed us to concentrate on just over 300 lots, resulting in superior collectibles achieving record-setting prices. Said MHCC President and CEO Brian Drent, “We were excited to be able to provide the level of quality material in this more exclusive auction format. Our loyal customers have come to expect nothing but the best from our company, and once again our amazing consignors stepped up to the plate and made this tremendous event possible.”

The sale consisted of some of the most desirable keepsakes in the hobby, ranging from several premier baseball cards of the sort that Mile High has built its reputation on, to an impressive selection of important first-generation photographs, accompanied by a selection of autographs and other memorabilia, to a mind-boggling offering of seldom-seen, high-quality vintage hockey pasteboards.

Leading the way in the baseball card arena was a spectacular 1909 T204 Ramly Ed Plank PSA 8 NM/MT which realized an impressive $40,825, along with a 1950-51 Toleteros Joshua Gibson PSA 7 NM which brought $27, 630 and a solid example of the iconic 1909-11 American Caramel E90-1 Shoeless Joe Jackson card, which realized $23,500 in SGC 40 VG condition. A 1910 Standard Caramel E93 Honus Wagner SGC 88 NM/MT 8 achieved $17,101 while a gorgeous 1911 T3 Turkey Red Christy Mathewson carried a price tag of $11, 890 at day’s end. Other impressive single cards included a 1932 U.S. Caramel example of Ty Cobb in SGC 88 NM/MT condition which sold for $13,263, as well as a pristine 1951 Bowman Willie Mays rookie pasteboard which brought $15,880.

On the more modern side of the market, a stunning 1979 Topps Ozzie Smith card graded GEM MINT 10 by PSA realized a head-spinning price of $20,852, and a 1975 Topps Mini Unopened Wax Case achieved $22,161. The number two finest 1954 Bowman Master set on the PSA set registry was offered to the collecting public, ringing up an astounding $83,649 figure when the hammer was dropped, and a rare offering of a 1922 W575-2 Near Complete set, all PSA Graded, brought a sticker price of $11,308.

In the hockey arena, a stunning 1953 Parkhurst Complete Set, number one on the Current Finest PSA set registry, was offered to bidders as a complete set and as individual cards, with the aggregate price of the singles eclipsing the price of the set resulting in the cards being sold individually. In addition, a stunning 1911 C55 Imperial Tobacco complete set, the number seven set on the registry, was offered in the same format, and also saw the accumulated prices for the single cards surpassing the final bid for the complete set.

Highlights from the 1953 Parkhurst singles include $4,303 for the first card in the set, Harry Lumley, in a PSA 8 NM/MT holder, along with the rookie card of Jean Beliveau, card number 27, also in PSA 8 NM/MT condition, which sold for $4,382. The cornerstone of the C55 set, and indeed one of the most coveted hockey cards in the world, the rookie card of Hall of Fame goaltender Georges Vezina, in PSA 5 ex condition, realized a final price of $5,483, and a “right hand on hip” variation of Walter Smaill brought a solid $3,176 in a PSA 6 EX/MT holder.

Football cards were certainly not to be left out of this elite event, as a spectacular 1957 Topps John Unitas PSA 9 MINT rookie card fetched a walloping $27,205 and a 1958 Topps Bart Starr PSA 10 GEM MINT example sold for $9,036.

On the memorabilia side of this tremendous event, a superlative 1979 Topps Thurman Munson autographed card, authenticated by PSA/DNA, saw the hammer drop at a dizzying figure of $17, 779, while autographed Jimmie Foxx and Jackie Robinson balls brought $4,932 and $4,430 respectively. A couple of key game-used jerseys are worthy of mention as well, as a 1972 Hank Aaron jersey sold for $11,308 and an original, unaltered 1969 Seattle Pilots jersey fetched a strong $8,495.

A boisterous offering of original photographs also performed exceedingly well, as an incredible oversized photo featuring Ruth, Cobb, Speaker and Collins sold for $8,495, a 1914 World Tour photo featuring Buck Weaver and Sam Crawford brought $5,362, a 1915 Babe Ruth Red Sox photo achieved $3,829, a 1917 Chicago White Sox team photograph went for $2,499, a 1928 New York Yankees team photograph sold for $2,938 and a stunning Luis Van Oyen photograph of Shoeless Joe Jackson with his famed Black Betsy bat fetched a hearty $3,023.

MHCC Auction Coordinator Ben Gassaway remarked, “it was very exciting to see items other than our traditional array of high-end cards perform as well as they did, as we are always looking to expand our presence in the industry.”

Commented Drent at the conclusion of the auction, “once again, the number of newly registered bidders combined with the strength of the final sale prices offers evidence that the hobby continues to thrive, even in a somewhat weakened economy.” As always, the entire list of prices realized is available on our website at, and as we prepare for a return to our standard-sized auction in April, we are actively seeking consignments of quality hobby material.

If you desire the maximum possible return for your prized sports cards and/or memorabilia, please call our office at (303) 840-2784 to speak with one of our team of experts. Additionally, our popular Consignor Incentive Program continues, with all consignors earning reward points and our top consignor earning another in a long line of exceptional rewards.

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