Multiple hobby records set the tone for historic Heritage Auctions Sports event, April 23. A Bobby Orr rookie jersey that had been tucked away in a closet for more than four decades brought $191,200 in its hobby debut on April 23 as part of Heritage Auctions’ 2010 Signature® Sports Memorabilia Auction. The sum is believed to be a new mark for the highest price ever realized at auction for a piece of hockey memorabilia. The auction totaled just more than $4.2 million; all prices include 19.5% Buyer’s Premium. “The pre-auction press for this jersey was enormous,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports at Heritage Auctions. “The news was all over the United States and I can’t imagine there were many Canadians who didn’t hear about it on television, the radio or in the papers. As a result we saw a bump in prices across the board.”
The surprise story of the auction was that, in a collecting hobby typically dominated by baseball, both the first and second highest-selling lots were hockey-related. A high-grade 1912 C57 “Hockey Series” complete set drew $89,625 in Thursday’s trading card action.
“It is the second highest-graded set on the PSA set registry,” said Ivy, “but even our optimistic predictions were exceeded by this price.”
A record for an autographed golf collectible was likewise set in this historic auction, as a photograph presented to Ben Hogan by the participants of the 1949 Masters tournament realized a stunning $31,070.
“This result more than doubled the previous record for a golf autograph,” said Ivy, “which was likewise held by Heritage.”
The recovery efforts in Haiti were bolstered by a strong result for the baseball struck by Hideki Matsui for his game-changing 2009 World Series Game Six home run, sending $23,900 to the devastated Caribbean island nation.
“Our consignor pledged all proceeds to two charities and Haiti,” said Ivy. “Heritage will likewise donate all commissions generated by the lot to the ongoing humanitarian efforts.”
Game worn gloves of all stripes had a big hand in the proceedings, as a pair worn in training by the legendary Muhammad Ali before his conversion to Islam, and subsequent name change, realized $26,290, while another pair sported by Wayne Gretzky in the 1987 Stanley Cup finals netted $21,510.
Autograph collectors turned out in force for the dizzying array of signatures in the auction, battling to solid results across the array of offerings. An exceptional signed photograph of the 1929 Green Bay Packers soared to a $15,535 result, notching a third world record for the event as the top price ever realized for an autographed football photo. Signed checks from Negro League Hall of Famer Oscar Charleston and golf pioneer “Old Tom” Morris realized $35,850 and $17,925 respectively, while a Nuremberg Trials ticket autographed by Moe Berg brought $8,962.
The trading card portion of the auction, which closed Thursday, April 22, in an Extended Bidding format, carried the auction almost to the midway point of its final tally, with strong showings across all disciplines of tobacco, candy and bubble gum cards, both sports and otherwise.
“We had some incredible sets from the upper reaches of the PSA set registry which drew the kind of heavy bidding we’d expected,” said Ivy. “There were also some surprises, like the Lockman and Vernon cards from the 1953 Bowman set, which topped our pre-auction estimates by multiples.”
Further Highlights include, but are not limited to:
1953 Bowman Color Whitey Lockman #128 PSA Mint 9 – Pop 1-of-2 With None Higher: Realized $17,925.
1953 Bowman Color Mickey Vernon #159 PSA Mint 9 – Single Highest Graded Example: Realized $10,755.
1914 Boston Garter Color Rabbit Maranville SGC 40 VG 3: Realized $17,925.
1911-14 D304 Martens Bakery Ty Cobb PSA Good 2 (MK): Realized $10,171.
1909-11 T206 Old Mill Ty Cobb, Red Portrait PSA EX 5: Realized $8,365.
1959 Topps Baseball Complete Set (572) – #7 on the PSA Set Registry: Realized $50,788.
1966 Topps USA Test Hockey Complete Set (66) – #1 on the SGC Set Registry: Realized $33,460.
1935 R90 “Mickey Mouse With The Movie Stars” Complete Set (24): Realized $17,925.
1958 Topps Baseball Complete Set (494) – #3 on the PSA Set Registry: Realized $50,788.
1954 Bowman Baseball Complete Set (224) – #4 on the PSA Set Registry Plus #66 Ted Williams: Realized $38,838.
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky #18 PSA Mint 9: Realized $10,158.
Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.