A half century after his retirement, Stan “The Man” Musial exhibited the strength of his enduring legacy with eye-popping prices realized for the contents of his personal collection in Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 7-9 Sports Collectibles Signature® Auction.
“We were pleased, but not particularly surprised,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage. “The success is a tribute to Musial’s lifelong service to the St. Louis Cardinals franchise and to all of baseball. The results are easily interpreted as a last expression of gratitude from his many fans.”
The ring presented to Musial in recognition of the Cardinals’ 2011 World Championship provided the greatest fireworks of the collection, commanding a stunning $191,200, the highest price ever paid at auction for a Musial artifact.
His 2006 National League Championship ring was the evening’s runner up at $101,575. A handwritten letter from Ty Cobb to Musial sold for dozens of times the Georgia Peach’s average, at $71,700, and “The Man’s” personal copy of his 1948 Bowman rookie card drew $11,950, more than 50 times the average price for examples in the same VG-EX condition.
The auction closed over a three-day period beginning with Trading Cards on Thursday, Nov. 7, the most successful cardboard offering in Heritage history. Top billing went to the only known 1914-15 J.H. Dugan Baseball Calendar Cabinet Card set, which saw a total price realized of $143,400. A rare 1956 Topps Baseball uncut sheet commanded $38,838 and a file copy of the Babe Ruth #144 card from the celebrated 1933 Goudey set realized the same figure in a PSA “Authentic” slab.
Though The Stan Musial Collection served as the most visible component of the Memorabilia offerings closing on Friday, Nov. 8, the Cardinals legend shared the spotlight with some fellow Hall of Fame residents at the top of the pricing list. A rare Napoleon Lajoie single signed baseball more than doubled the previous record with a result of $59,750 and an important signed letter from Jackie Robinson followed close behind at $41,825, the top price ever garnered for an autographed artifact of the heroic barrier-breaker.
Other auction highlights include:
1955 Stan Musial Game Worn St. Louis Cardinals Jersey: Realized $56,763.
1952 Topps Eddie Mathews #407 PSA NM-MT 8: Realized $41,825.
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 PSA EX 5: Realized $28,680.
1952-53 Bob Cousy NBA Player of the Year Trophy: Realized $26,290.
1970 Topps Nolan Ryan #712 PSA Gem MT 10: Realized $26,290.
1959 Stan Musial 3,200th Hit Baseball – A Titanic Home Run: Realized $21,510.
1914 Boston “Miracle” Braves Team Cabinet Photograph: Realized $15,535.
Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million, and 800,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.