It was a record-setting night at The Goldin Auctions Great American Trading Card Auction as more than 20 new records were set with just 50 lots of trading cards recording $6.7 million in sales. The headline item did not disappoint, as the famed 1909-11 T206 White Border Honus Wagner PSA EX 5 (MC) the “Jumbo Wagner” sold for a record $3.12 million, making it the first $3 million sports trading card.
The record price of the T206 Wagner, which surpassed the previous record of $2.8 million for the “Gretzky Wagner,” did not surprise industry experts nearly as much as the $312,000 paid for a 2003-04 Upper Deck LeBron James 1/1 “Ultimate Logos” Autographed Logoman Rookie PSA MINT 9. The card established a mark as both the most expensive autographed trading card ever sold and the most ever paid for a card made after 1980.
“The demand for rare, high-grade vintage cards has exploded so we were confident that there would be some eye-popping results and new record prices established,” said Ken Goldin, Founder of Goldin Auctions. “Every time one of these rare collectibles is offered for auction, serious collectors realize that it may be the last time for a long time. The booming market for high-grade rare trading cards, coupled with the limited supply, created the perfect storm for these remarkable prices.”
The Great American Trading Card Auction included six cards with a PSA 10 GEM MT rating, five cards designated as 1 of 1’s and four cards recognized as 1 of 2. Remarkably, 12 cards sold for more than $100,000 with eight lots surpassing $200,000 and five cards exceeding $300,000.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights and some of the record prices established. For all of the prices realized, visit www.GoldinAuctions.com.
- Lot #1 – 1909-11 T206 White Border Honus Wagner PSA EX 5 (MC) the “Jumbo Wagner” ($3,120,000). Highest price ever paid for a trading card.
- Lot #29 – 1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente Rookie Card PSA MINT 9 – One of just 10 cards at this grade with only one higher from the 4,075 graded by PSA ($477,750). Record for this card in any grade.
- Lot #50 – 2003-04 Upper Deck LeBron James 1/1 Ultimate Logos Autographed Logoman Rookie PSA MINT 9 – The most valuable and coveted James card, and with just one produced, it will forever be a one-of-a-kind ($312,000) – Most ever paid for an autographed card and for a post-1980 card.
- Lot #28 – 1954 Topps #128 Hank Aaron Rookie Card PSA MINT 9 – One of just 22 examples at this tier from the nearly 4,000 graded by PSA ($312,000)
- Lot #26 – 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card PSA NM +7.5 – One of just 45 examples to achieve this grade from the 1,375 graded by PSA ($300,000). Record for this card in the grade.
- Lot #19 – 1949 Bowman #226 Duke Snider Rookie Card PSA GEM MT 10 “1 of 1” – The highest graded example from more than 600 graded by PSA ($228,000). Record for this card and an all-time record for any card in the set.
- Lot #11 – 1933 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie PSA MINT 9 – One of just nine cards to achieve this grading with none of the 83 examples graded higher by PSA ($228,000). Most ever paid for any Lajoie card and record for this card in any grade.
- Lot #22 – 1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card PSA NM-MT 8 – One of the 10 highest graded cards from the 1,600 submitted to PSA for grading ($214,000). Record for this card in that grade.
- Lot #44 – 1968 Topps #177 Nolan Ryan Rookie Card SGC 98 GEM 10 “1 of 2” – One of just two examples to reach this tier from more than 1,400 graded by SGC ($132,000). Record for the card SGC graded.
- Lot #9 – 1915 Cracker Jack #103 Joe Jackson SGC 96 Mint 9 – This is just one of two examples at this tier with none graded higher ($108,000). Record for this card in the grade.
- Lot #8 – 1915 Cracker Jack #30 Ty Cobb SGC 96 MINT 9 – ($103,000). Record for this card in the grade.
- Lot #24 – 1951 Bowman #305 Willie Mays Rookie card PSA MN-MT 8 – Among the more than 1,350 of these cards graded by PSA, just 9 of Mays’ debut year cards have achieved a grade this high ($91,000). Record for this card in the grade.
Other record setting prices realized.
- Lot #15 – 1936 World Wide Gum #51 Joe DiMaggio Rookie Card PSA NM 7 – 1-of-1. #$46,800). Record price for the card in any grade
- Lot #18 – 1941 Play Ball #71 Joe DiMaggio PSA NM-MT 8 – ($15,500) Record for the grade.
- Lot #21 – 1951 Bowman #20 Tom Landry Rookie card PSA GEM MT 10 – 1-of-1 ($19,200) Record for the card.
- Lot #23 – 1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle Signed Rookie Card PSA/DNA MINT 9 ($21,600) – Record for the card signed.
- Lot #27 – 1953 Bowman Color #59 Mickey Mantle PSA MINT 9 ($57,600). Record for the grade.
- Lot #31 – 1955 Topps #124 Harmon Killebrew Rookie Card PSA MINT 9 ($33,600). Record for the grade.
- Lot #34 – 1957 Topps #18 Don Drysdale Rookie Card PSA MINT 9 ($39,600). Record for the grade.
- Lot #38 – 1958-59 Topps #66 Bobby Hull Rookie Card PSA NM 7 ($18,000) Record for the grade.
- Lot #47 – 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee #18 Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card PSA MINT 9 ($43,200). Record for the grade.
The next Goldin Auctions event, the annual October Legends Auction will begin on October 10. To register, or receive a free catalog or to consign an item for the Goldin Auctions Holiday Auction or the next Great American Trading Card Auction, scheduled for early 2017, visit www.GoldinAuctions.com.
About Goldin Auctions
Sports memorabilia impresario Ken Goldin has sold more than $600 million in memorabilia from many of the biggest names in sports, history and pop culture and was the pioneer of using the medium of television to sell sports memorabilia. Over the past few years, Goldin Auctions sold Babe Ruth’s 1918 contract for a record $1.02 million, a Honus Wagner T206 card for a public sale record $3.12 million, the Mike Piazza Post-9/11 home run jersey for $365,000, and the 1980 Wayne Gretzky PSA 10 rookie card for a record $465,000. Goldin Auctions strives to break new ground and offer collectors the best in collectible treasures up for auction in the marketplace. All game worn or autographed items come with team, player, league or additional LOA from industry leading authenticators; and collectors can bid with confidence that their proxy/ceiling bids remain confidential. For more information, visit www.goldinauctions.com.