The Great American Trading Card Auction an online auction featuring 50 lots of the hobby’s most sought-after high-value trading cards is on target to set several records, including a new standard for the most expensive trading card ever sold, as the 50 lots are on up for auction through October 1 at GoldinAuctions.com. Headlined by the famed 1909-11 T206 White Border Honus Wagner PSA EX 5 (MC) the “Jumbo Wagner” the auction also includes rare high-grade rookie cards of Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Joe DiMaggio, Nolan Ryan, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella and others.
Bidding upon the T206 Honus Wagner, known as the “Jumbo Wagner”, has already reached $2.28 million (includes buyer’s premium). It last sold in 2013 for $2.1 million — the highest price ever paid for a trading card at auction. Experts believe the timing is right for yet another record, not only as the first $3 million trading card, but potentially as the most valuable item of sports memorabilia ever sold. The current standard bearer is Babe Ruth’s 1920 Game Worn Jersey, which sold in 2012 for $4.4 million.
“The demand for rare, high-grade vintage cards has exploded with new record price being established every week,” said Ken Goldin, Founder of Goldin Auctions. “Every time one of these rare collectibles, such as the T206 “Jumbo Wagner,” is offered for auction, serious collectors realize that it may be the last time for a long time. The booming market for high-grade trading cards coupled with the limited supply, creates the perfect storm for the Jumbo Wagner and several of these other cards to establish new records.”
The Great American Trading Card Auction includes six cards awarded a PSA 10 GEM MT rating, five cards designated as 1 of 1’s and four cards recognized as 1 of 2. Remarkably, more than a dozen of the cards estimated to sell for more than $100,000 including nine surpassing $200,000.
Here are a few of the other current bids (not including buyer’s premium) as of Sept 28 at 9 A.M. ET. For more detailed descriptions, visit www.GoldinAuctions.com.
- 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 (Current Bid: $250,000)
- 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 (Current Bid: $240,000)
- 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 (Current Bid: $240,000)
- 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 (Current Bid: $170,000)
- 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 (Current Bid: $150,000)
- 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 (Current Bid: $130,000)
- Lot #20 – 1949 Bowman #84 Roy Campanella Rookie Card PSA GEM MT 10 “1 of 2” – One of just two examples to receive a perfect grade from PSA (Current Bid: $130,000)
- 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 (Current Bid: $80,000)
- 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 (Current Bid: $77,000)
- 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 (Current Bid: $70,000)
- Lot #9 – 1915 Cracker Jacks #103 Joe Jackson SGC 96 Mint 9 – This is just one of two examples at this tier with none graded higher. (Current Bid: $70,000)
- Lot #47 – 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee #18 Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card PSA MINT 9 – With the only PSA GEM MT 10 version of this card recently selling for $465,000, the sky is the limit on this card (Current Bid: $36,000)
- Lot #15 – 1936 World Wide Gum #51 Joe DiMaggio Rookie Card PSA NM 7 “1 of 1” – The highest graded example of this rare card of the 27 submitted for grading by PSA (Current Bid: $28,000)
- Lot #48 – 1980 Topps #482 Ricky Henderson Rookie Card PSA GEM MT 10 – With more than 15,750 examples submitted for grading, this is one of just 17 to receive a perfect grade from PSA (Current Bid: $24,000)
- Lot #49 – 1986-87 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Rookie Card PSA GEM MINT 10 – The highest graded rookie card from the NBA’s greatest player (Current Bid: $19,000)
A few examples of recent sales in which high-grade trading cards reached stratospheric levels include: in April, 2013, the highest price realized for a 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card (PSA NM-MT 8) was just under $80,000. In 2015, a comparable ’52 Mantle sold for $525,000. During nearly the same time-frame, a ’52 Topps #261 Mays PSA 9 garnered $26,500. This year, the same card realized $478,000. Additionally, a 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth (PSA 5) which sold for $49,500 in 2013, most recently garnered $191,200.
To preserve the integrity of the auction and protect all bidders and the consignor, bidding on Lot #1 – the Jumbo Wagner – requires pre-approval. All interested bidders must contact Goldin Auctions in advance for pre-approval or they will not be authorized to bid. For more information about The Great American Trading Card Auction, contact Goldin Auctions at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 856-767-8550.