Ruth, Robinson and Mays Travel To Memory Lane

Memory Lane’s Spring Fever Rarities auction ends May 17, and it’s loaded with high-grade, low-population report singles that have almost become the company’s slogan. But that’s definitely not all Memory Lane offers. Leading the way is a single-signed Babe Ruth ball. The ball comes from Dr. Carvel Lincoln and was acquired in August 1947 by the 16-year-old pitcher as a member of his local American Legion Baseball team. After more than 60 years of storage in the original box, the ball hits the auction world for the first time. It’s been graded PSA/DNA 8. Collectors can visit to hear the complete story in more detail. The Ruth ball carries a minimum bid of $10,000.

Another extremely rare Ruth item is an actual Ruth home run ball from his record-setting 1927 season. The ball is signed by Ruth and is one of only two known home run balls from that season. This one represents his 13th home run of the year.

In addition, there’s a 1923 New York Yankees team-signed autograph book from the franchise’s first World Championship team. The book is overall graded PSA 9 and includes Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Wally Pipp and a super-rare full-name signature of Miller James Huggins. The only Yankees not included in this book that played a game that year are Joe Dugan and Mike Gazella. The minimum bid is $5,000.

There’s also a lot that features file copies of the legal documents and transcripts associated with the 1944 U.S. military court martial of Jackie Robinson. Robinson had been charged with insubordination for his refusal to move to the back of a military bus. He was obviously acquitted and broke baseball’s color barrier three years later with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The documents contain Robinson’s hand-written initials and carries a minimum bid of $5,000.

Graded Beauties

As for big-time graded cards, Memory Lane has plenty of them in this 1,400-lot auction. There’s a 1951 Bowman Willie Mays PSA 9, which is one of only eight in that high of grade (with no 10s in existence). This one carries a minimum bid of $10,000, but Memory Lane sold one last April for more than $93,000.

There’s also a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle – arguably the most recognized card in the hobby. It’s graded PSA 8 and has a $10,000 minimum bid.

One of the rarest items in the sale is a 1954 Wilson Franks uncut sheet with the entire 20-card set. The sheet has no glue marks on the back and would grade out overall in EX-MT condition. The set features Ted Williams, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Bob Feller and plenty more, carrying a minimum bid of $10,000.

Equally impressive is a 1956 Topps complete set with every card graded PSA 8. The set features 340 cards, plus two unnumbered checklists. The minimum bid is $10,000.

If you are looking for 19th century singles, the auction has a 1888 Scrapps Tobacco set; 1888 N162 Goodwin Champions Cap Anson PSA 7; 1887 N175 Gypsy Queen Roger Connoer PSA 3; and an 1893 Just So Tobacco Jesse Burkett graded Authentic by PSA.

Early 20th century singles include a 1903 Breisch Williams E107 Elmer Flick SGC 30; 1904 Allegheny Card Co. Mordecai Brown SGC 88; T204 Ramly William H. Dineen Square Frame PSA 3; 1909-10 Briggs Co. Lozenge E97 Joe Kelly black and white proof SGC 30; T205 Gold Border Christy Mathewson PSA 7; T206 Ty Cobb Portrait-Red PSA 8; 1911 T201 Mecca Double Folders Mathewson/Bridwell PSA 8; 1914 Cracker Jack Mathewson SGC 30; 1915 Cracker Jack Mathewson SGC 86; 1922 Zeenut PCL Jim Thorpe SGC 60; 1922 Zeenut PCL Paul Waner SGC 60; and 1925 Exhibit Supply Co. Gehrig SGC 50.

Other notable singles include: 1933 Goudey Ruth No. 53 PSA 7; 1933 Sport Kings Ruth PSA 7; 1933 Sport Kings Bobby Jones PSA 8; 1940 PlayBall Shoeless Joe Jackson PSA 8; 1948 Leaf Ruth PSA 8; 1948 Leaf Robinson PSA 8; 1948 Leaf Ted Williams GAI 9; 1953 Bowman Color Mantle PSA 9; 1953 Bowman Color Yogi Berra SGC 96; 1954 Wilson Franks Williams GAI 7; 1955 Topps Hank Aaron PSA 9; 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente PSA 8; and a 1956 Topps Williams PSA 9.

Other interesting items of note are an Official National League baseball signed by five presidents, with Richard Nixon, George Bush Sr., Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, and Mantle’s sophomore yearbook from 1947 Commerce High. It’s signed by Mantle and includes three photos.

There’s also a ton of signed cuts, HOF postcards, checks, government postcards and 3-by-5-inch cards, including top players such as Ruth, Mel Ott, Foxx, Cy Young, Ty Cobb, Roger Maris, Mordecai Brown, Tris Speaker, Nap Lajoie, Honus Wagner and more.

For more information on Memory Lane, or to register, bid or consign to this or future auctions, visit or call (877) 606-5263.

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