Top Results from Heritage Auction Winter Sports Card Auction

 Heritage’s latest Winter Sports Card Catalog Auction, held Jan. 26-27, was another grand slam. By the time bidding closed early Sunday morning, more than 2,752 bidders worldwide helped push the final tally past the $11.15 million mark.

Leading the pack was the lone highest-graded blank-back 1916 M101-5 Babe Ruth rookie, as the SGC Excellent+ example realized $630,000. And a 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card graded PSA Gem Mint 10 sold for $372,000, which Sports Collectors Daily notes is “the highest price for a Gem Mint PSA graded copy since September 2021.” Turns out, you cannot keep Air Jordan grounded for long.

Prices were astonishing throughout. Look no further than the signed 1949 Jackie Robinson Bowman, which realized $117,000. The card, one of just eight autographed specimens in the entirety of the PSA population, is graded a PSA Fair 1.5 — but the autograph received an 8, which is how it became among the auction’s most coveted cards. Its backstory is remarkable, too: It hails from The Mike Greenbaum Collection, so named for a 15-year-old who, decades ago, “attacked autograph hunting with professionalism way beyond his years,” according to an old friend.

Another signed card from the Greenbaum Collection — this signed 1949 Bowman Roy Campanella rookie, also with a PSA Fair 1.5, PSA/DNA Auto 8 — realized $69,000. That’s a new record for a signed example.

Another prized assemblage, The Adolph “Herky” Rupp Jr. Collection, likewise collected homer after homer, led by the 1953 Topps Willie Mays graded Near Mint-Mint 8, which realized $186,000.

But it was another prized piece of the Rupp Collection that proved the real story of this auction were the cards you can’t see, the riches still encased in sealed packs and shrink-wrapped boxes decades after they rolled off the printing press.

One of the most fought-over prizes in this event was an authenticated and sealed box of 1965 Topps Baseball cards with 24 unopened packs, inside of which there may well be Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente, Pete Rose, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Bob Gibson … you get the idea. The box alone is beautiful; the possibilities within make it a treasure chest full of possibilities. Hence its final price of $336,000.

In fact, half of the auction’s top 10 lots were sealed boxes, all authenticated by Baseball Card Exchange. There was also this 1986 Fleer Basketball wax box ($126,000), a 1970 Topps Baseball (6th Series) cello box ($105,000), a 1959 Topps Baseball (4th Series) cello box ($99,000) and a 1968 Topps Football (1st Series) cello box that also realized $99,000.

It’s worth noting that an authenticated holy grail full of sealed boxes is among the centerpieces in Heritage’s Feb. 24-25 Winter Platinum Night Sports Auctionthe only known case of 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Hockey cards, containing 16 sealed boxes full of who knows how many Wayne Gretzky rookie cards. Moments after that auction opened over the weekend, bidding shot up to $1,025,000 — with a month left to bid!

Another collection featured in the Winter Sports Card Catalog Auction also drew a six-figure result, when this 1909-11 T206 Piedmont 150 Ty Cobb graded PSA EX-MT 6 from the “The Beautiful Monster” assemblage sold for $105,000. This Georgia Peach has but three higher-graded competitors and is one of those grail cards of which collectors often speak in hushed tones — this one, especially, as its portrait, still a rich, verdant green, looks like it was printed yesterday.

This event was so successful it has taken us this long to note the remarkable price realized by the 1941 Play Ball Joe DiMaggio PSA NM-MT 8: $93,000 — a very strong price for the grade.

Speaking of: The authentic “Strong Man” card — one of only two graded examples from the 1935 Schutter-Johnson collection — realized $28,800 to break a record set in 2014. Yet another heavy hitter at Heritage.

Click here for complete results from Heritage’s Jan. 26-27 Winter Sports Card Catalog Auction.

Highlights Include:

1916 M101-5 Blank Backs Babe Ruth Rookie #151 SGC EX+ 5.5. – Sold for $630,000

1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie #57 PSA Gem Mint 10. – Sold for $372,000

1965 Topps Baseball (2nd, 3rd & 4th Series) Wax Box with 24 Unopened Packs! – Sold for $336,000

1953 Topps Willie Mays #244 PSA NM-MT 8 – Sold for $186,000

1986 Fleer Basketball Wax Box with 36 Unopened Packs – Sold for $126,000

Signed 1949 Bowman Jackie Robinson #50 PSA 1.5, PSA/DNA Auto 8 from The Mike Greenbaum Collection  – Sold for $117,000

1909-11 T206 Piedmont 150 Ty Cobb (Green Portrait) PSA EX-MT 6 (PWCC-S) — Pop One, Three Higher. – Sold for $105,000

1970 Topps Baseball (6th Series) Cello Box with 24 Unopened Packs – Sold for $105,000

1941 Play Ball Joe DiMaggio #71 PSA NM-MT 8 – Only Six Higher  – Sold for $93,000

Check out the full results here.

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