1959 Topps Willie Mays - PSA Graded Mint 9.
1959 Topps Willie Mays - PSA Graded Mint 9.

Two More Auctions and a Thought on A-Rod

The last few weeks have been filled with auctions and a few more are on the horizon. Two major PSA auctions have closed recently and we have full recaps from the bidding wars. First, we will take a look at Superior's latest sale, there were some very interesting prices to report. Second, we will take a peek at Bill Goodwin's latest auction that featured 39 PSA 9's and one PSA 1. Take a guess. Which card do you think represented the lone PSA 1? Finally, I wanted to share a few quick thoughts on the Alex Rodriguez deal yesterday. Did you know his deal alone is worth more than several entire franchises?

PSA Gems Shine at Superior's Latest Sale

I am sure this is no surprise to most collectors but the rarities, large and small, provided most of the thunder behind the success of Superior's most recent offering. Some of the lots featured 100 year-old cards and other lots offered familiar faces from the past decade in pristine condition. No matter what year, no matter what player, the familiar trend seems to be holding strong. The collectors are searching for the cards they don't see that often. It doesn't matter if the card is a key Hall of Famer rookie or a 10th year All-Star card; the attention is on the lower population cards. Here's a quick look at some of the highlights:

Card
PSA Grade
Price Realized
1 1888 N162 Tim Keefe
8
$9,833
2 1934 Goudey Dizzy Dean #6
9
$18,400
3 1940 Play Ball Moe Berg #30
9
$3,795
4 1951 Bowman Whitey Ford #1
8
$7,361
5 1951 Bowman Nelson Fox #232
9
$2,243
6 1953 Topps Satchel Paige #220
9
$15,531
7 1959 Topps Frank Robinson #435
10
$4,485
8 1959 Topps Willie Mays All-Star #563
9
$6,957
9 1961 Topps Don Drysdale #260
9
$2,645
10 1963 Topps Al Kaline #25
9
$1,840
11 1964 Topps Tommy John #146
9
$1,335
12 1967 Topps Mickey Mantle #150
9
$4,485
13 1969 Topps Reggie Jackson #260
9
$8,855
14 1911 T205 Home Run Baker
7
$2,990
15 1955 Topps Gene Freese #205
8
$1,984
16 1959 Topps Yogi Berra #180
9
$2,543
17 1959 Topps Eddie Mathews #450
9
$4,945
18 1960 Topps Frank Robinson #490
9
$780
19 1961 Topps Carl Yastrzemski #287
9
$1,028
20 1961 Topps Sandy Koufax #344
9
$2,760
21 1961 Topps Walt Alston #136
10
$759
22 1964 Topps Yogi Berra #21
9
$1,122
23 1964 Topps Al Kaline #250
9
$891
24 1965 Topps Willie McCovey #176
9
$635
25 1966 Topps Al Kaline #410
9
$2,070
26 1968 Topps Johnny Bench #247
9
$1,089
27 1969 Topps Willie Stargell #545
10
$822
28 1970 Topps Ernie Banks #630
9
$949
29 1972 Topps Roberto Clemente #309
9
$616
30 1956 Game-Used/Autographed Hank Aaron Jersey
$33, 350

There you have it. There were some very interesting prices in the auction and Superior's Director of Auctions, Chris Porter, was pleased overall. "We were happy to see such a diverse group of bidders participate in this auction," said Porter. "There was fairly consistent interest across the board. We seemed to do well with a wide range of material. There was some strong action on pre-war and 1950's-1970's high-grade cards."

There were some very strong prices for high-grade examples of star Hall of Famers. "A lot of collectors are trying to complete runs of Hall of Famers whether it's Mickey Mantle or Eddie Mathews so the competition is fierce when a rarity comes up for sale," explained Porter. "Cards that were deemed insignificant in the past are now selling for good money. With vintage material, the focus is not just on the rookie cards because most vintage cards are tough and some of the non-rookie cards offer an affordable alternative for buyers."

Superior Sports Auctions will be holding another sale March 15th with the consignment deadline rapidly approaching. For more information, call 231-922-9862.

PSA Wagner and a Hoard of Mint Stars Help Goodwin & Co. Auction Reach $240,000 Mark

After the bidding ceased at the most recent Goodwin and Co. auction, there were some expected prices and some surprises. The high quality auction only featured 40 lots but 39 of the lots were vintage PSA Mint 9's and the remaining card was a PSA 1. By the way, that PSA 1 happened to be a T206 Honus Wagner. The quality was strong across the board and that quality helped bring the bidding total to $240,710. Below is a list of some of the highlights of the auction.

Card
PSA Grade
Price Realized
1 1933 Goudey Heine Manush #107
9
$5,119
2 1933 Goudey Charlie Ruffing #56
9
$4,457
3 1935 Diamond Stars Tony Lazzeri #74
9
$3,223
4 1954 Red Man Nellie Fox #3
9
$1,947
5 1956 Topps Al Kaline #20
9
$2,537
6 1957 Topps Robin Roberts #15
9
$3,248
7 1957 Topps Richie Ashburn #70
9
$2,219
8 1957 Topps Sandy Koufax #302
9
$12,577
9 1959 Topps Warren Spahn #40
9
$3,416
10 1959 Topps Roger Maris #202
9
$3,223
11 1959 Topps Whitey Ford #430
9
$1,716
12 1959 Topps Ernie Banks All-Star #559
9
$4,598
13 1959 Topps Warren Spahn All-Star #571
9
$1,885
14 1960 Topps Whitey Ford #35
9
$1,297
15 1963 Topps NL Strikeout Leaders #33
9
$2,416
16 1965 Topps AL RBI Leaders #35
9
$2,904
17 1965 Topps Eddie Mathews #37
9
$2,640
18 1966 Topps Harmon Killebrew #120
9
$777
19 1968 Topps Roberto Clemente #150
9
$2,573
20 1911 T206 Honus Wagner
1
$70,400

The interesting selection of cards made for a successful auction and Bill Goodwin, president of Goodwin & Co., agreed. "I was very pleased with the auction results," said Goodwin. "With every auction, you will have your surprises and this auction had its share of them. The 1965 Topps Eddie Mathews was one card that surprised me, but the cards that have been the biggest surprise lately are the league leader cards."

When asked about the sudden interest in these issues, Goodwin responded by explaining the attractive quality of these league leader cards. "The people who are collecting runs of Mays, Aaron, Mantle, Clemente, and Koufax need these issues to complete the run," explained Goodwin. "These cards are very affordable in comparison to the regular issue cards and that is always a positive thing for collectors."

One card that was extremely interesting was the 1954 Red Man Nellie Fox card. It was one of the first Red Man examples to reach the PSA Mint 9 level and Goodwin believes that the winning bidder got a bargain. "When more information comes out about the difficulty of these Red Man tobacco cards, I think you will see a huge increase in demand and price," said Goodwin. "These cards are beautiful and tougher than most people realize. I have sold PSA NM-MT 8's for strong prices already."

Goodwin will be running another auction in the near future and Sports Market Report will be there with a full report.

A Few Thoughts on the A-Rod Deal

Yesterday, free agent shortstop Alex Rodriguez became the highest paid athlete in the universe. He is now a member of the suddenly scary Texas Rangers who boast a powerful lineup. Imagine Rafael Palmeiro, Andres Galarraga, and Ivan Rodriguez all surrounding the lethal bat of A-Rod. It's frightening. If Ken Caminiti comes back strong, there will be five major threats. If Gabe Kapler blossoms, there will be six.

It will be interesting how the move will affect the slugging star. Here are a few quick observations. First, the lineup should help him. It's true that he played in a strong lineup before, but not this strong. This new lineup is more balanced and has more power. Second, the ballpark may or may not have an affect on his numbers. In 1994, Juan Gonzalez struggled at home and complained about the fences. He eventually had success there but A-Rod, who asked the Mariners to bring in their fences, might face some adjustments.

The new field is not necessarily a "graveyard" but the fences, in left and left-center, are high and prevent some deep drives from leaving the park. As a line drive hitter, it will be interesting to see how A-Rod handles it. The park does have a very reachable right field porch and the ball carries well to that part of the field. As a good opposite field hitter, A-Rod could take advantage of this in a big way. Finally, the Rangers have a great lineup, but can they make it to the postseason?

Some baseball experts don't think so because of their suspect pitching, but the American League West is not the strongest division so they should at least be very competitive. A lot of focus has been on Ken Griffey Jr. and the potential of his numbers long-term. What about A-Rod? This guy is unreal. He's a 6'4, 220 pound shortstop who can field, run and hit with just about anybody in the game. The guy has already been a 40/40 player (40 homers, 40 steals) and he's a shortstop! There are not too many words that can be used to describe his ability but the future looks awfully bright, he's so young.

A-Rod's 1994 SP rookie card is in very high demand in PSA 9 and 10 grades with those tough, easily chipped borders. If he gets off to a good start this year, the card might surge again so keep an eye on this one.

1953 Topps Satchell Paige - PSA Graded Mint 9.
1953 Topps Satchell Paige - PSA Graded Mint 9.

Joe Orlando has been an advanced collector of sportscards and memorabilia for over 25 years. Orlando attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California where he studied communications and was the starting catcher for the baseball team. After a brief stint in the minor leagues, Orlando obtained a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School in Southern California in the spring of 1999. During the last fourteen years, Orlando has authored several collecting guides and dozens of articles for Collectors Universe, Inc. Orlando has also authored two books for Collectors Universe. Orlando's first book, The Top 200 Sportscards in the Hobby, was released in the summer of 2002. His second book, Collecting Sports Legends, was released in the summer of 2008. Orlando has appeared on several radio and television programs as a hobby expert including ESPN's award-winning program Outside the Lines and HBO's Real Sports, as the featured guest. Currently, Orlando is the President of PSA and PSA/DNA, the largest trading card and sports memorabilia authentication services in the hobby. He is also Editor of the company's nationally distributed Sports Market Report, which under Orlando's direction has developed into a leading resource in the market. Orlando also contributed the foreword and last chapter to The T206 Collection: The Players and Their Stories, a 2010 release, and to The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players, a 2013 release.