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Program from First World Series Among Record Setters in $6.7 Million Memory Lane Auction

A scored program from the first game of the first modern World Series in 1903 sold for a record $171,484 early Sunday in Memory Lane’s Winter Rarities Auction.  One of only a small number of known surviving examples from the entire series, the program’s original owner chronicled the 7-3 Pittsburgh Pirates victory over Cy Young and the Boston Americans at the Huntington Avenue Grounds in Boston on Oct. 1, 1903.  Over 1,800 lots were offered in the auction, which generated sales of nearly $6.7 million.

Vintage sports cards were in abundance, with several new records set.  A 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie netted $171,484, more than tripling the previous mark for a PSA 7 copy set in 2014. A 1932 US Caramel Babe Ruth, also rated 7 by PSA, set a new high for the grade at $92,146.

Among the other pre-War auction highlights was a 1933 Goudey Sport Kings Nat Holman graded PSA 8 at a record $48,432 and a 1921 Exhibits Babe Ruth (PSA 4) at $34,408.

Several new records were set among the post-War era cards in the auction. A PSA 9 copy of Roberto Clemente’s 1963 Topps card soared to new heights with a winning bid of $56,047, a 1952 Topps Duke Snider (black back) graded PSA 9 also set a new mark at $47,257 as did a 1960 Leaf Duke Snider PSA 10 at $10,734—not bad for a black and white post-War issue.

Two cards from the Big Red Machine’s 1975 championship season generated bidding wars. PSA 10 copies of the ’75 Topps Johnny Bench ($28,621) and Cesar Geronimo ($25,960) each set new benchmarks.  The Geronimo is one of only two Gem Mint copies examined by PSA.

Other baseball sales included a 1952 Topps Ben Chapman PSA 9 at $50,854, a complete, PSA graded 1951 Topps Connie Mack All-Stars set that brought in $18,805, a 1955 Topps Jackie Robinson (PSA 9, $72,198), a 1952 Topps Robinson (PSA 7, $48,416), a 1957 Topps Luis Aparicio (PSA 10, $25,649) and a 2000 Topps Traded Miguel Cabrera autograph card (PSA 10 $22,784).

On the basketball side, one of the 319 PSA 10 Michael Jordan rookie cards realized $184,736 while a 1/1 LeBron James card from NBA Finals cards issued through Panini Instant in 2016 and graded 10 by PSA sold for an eye popping $20,432.

Among the top selling football lots was a 1965 Topps wax pack that netted $19,506 and a 1962 Topps Chicago Bears team card (PSA 10) that sold for $16,685.

Among the vintage packs and boxes sold in the auction was one of only two known 1962 Mars Attacks unopened packs.  The highest of the two, the pack sold by Memory Lane soared to $66,599. A 1977 Topps vending case sold for $43,915 while a group of ten boxes of 1993 Upper Deck SP boxes went for $31,268.

Memory Lane Auctions usually offers plenty of Type 1 photos and this sale was no exception.  Two stood out:  a 1939 Lou Gehrig “Luckiest Man Speech” image sold for $37,085 and a 1919 Joe Jackson Type 1 totaled $26,960.

Other memorabilia included a full ticket to the November 23, 2000 Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots game that marked Tom Brady’s NFL debut. Graded 7 with Brady’s autograph on the front, the signed ticket is one of just five rated by PSA.  It sold for $22,754.

Complete results can be found on Memory Lane’s Website www.memorylaneinc.com.

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