1963 Topps Roberto Clemente PSA 10
1963 Topps Roberto Clemente PSA 10

No, it wasn't a Roberto Clemente rookie card and, no, it wasn't a 1968 Topps 3-D Clemente. This Clemente, a 1963 Topps example graded PSA Gem Mint 10, sold for an astonishing $21,135 to highlight the latest auction from SportsCards Plus. The card, known for its tough blue border and centering obstacles, was one of two examples to reach such a lofty grade. The bidding for the entire auction stopped with a final tally of $506, 607, making it one of the larger sales of 2001.

In addition to the PSA Clemente, there were several other highlights in the big sale. Here's a quick breakdown of some of the standout performers:

Card PSA Grade Price Realized
1911 M-116 Sporting Life Honus Wagner
8
$7,457
1914 Cracker Jack Grover Alexander #37
8
$6,111
1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson #79
8
$13,104
1953 Bowman Color Whitey Ford #153
8
$5,368
1954 Topps Ted Williams #1
8
$5,423
1955 Topps Duke Snider #210
8
$5,249
1935 Diamond Stars Al Simmons #2
8
$1,582
1935 Diamond Stars Frankie Frisch #17
9
$4,228
1935 Diamond Stars Mel Ott #50
8
$2,623
1935 Diamond Stars Hank "Greenburg" #54
8
$4,923
1935 Diamond Stars Hank Greenberg #54
8
$1,987
1935 Diamond Stars Jim Bottomley #59
8
$1,162
1935 Diamond Stars Red Ruffing #60
9
$4,643
1935 Diamond Stars Charlie Gehringer #77
9
$4,087
1935 Diamond Stars Paul Waner #83
9
$2,133
1935 Diamond Stars Earle Averill #100
8
$1,805
1935 Diamond Stars Buddy Myer #4
8
$1,248
1934 Diamond StarsDick Bartell #15
8
$4,299
1935 Diamond Stars Johnny Vergez #21
8
$2,671
1935 Diamond Stars Bill Hallahan #23
8
$2,663
1935 Diamond Stars Red Lucas #106
8
$3,767
1915 Cracker Jack Grover Alexander #37
8
$4,772
1915 Cracker Jack Fred Clarke #70
8
$2,684
1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #144
4
$2,403
1948 Bowman Phil Rizzuto #8
8
$1,682
1950 Bowman Yogi Berra #46
8
$1,490
1950 Bowman Ted Williams #98
7
$1,529
1951 Bowman Yogi Berra #2
8
$2,685
1952 Bowman Yogi Berra #1
7
$1,201
1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle #101
7
$2,791
1953 Bowman Duke Snider #117
7
$1,582
1953 Bowman Early Wynn #146
8
$2,557
1953 Topps Jackie Robinson #1
7
$1,082
1954 Bowman Willie Mays #89
8
$1,390
1954 Bowman Duke Snider #170
8
$939
1955 Topps Sandy Koufax #123
8
$2,779
1958 Topps Roger Maris #47
8
$1,082
1960 Topps Ernie Banks #560
9
$2,266
1961 Topps Mickey Mantle #300
8
$1,683
1962 Topps Mickey Mantle #200
8
$2,135
1963 Topps Mickey Mantle #200
8
$1,480
1963 Topps Brooks Robinson #345
9
$1,199
1966 Topps Willie Mays #1
8
$1,439
1966 Topps Yankees Team #92
9
$1,132
Babe Ruth Double Signed Check
$3,279

After analyzing the auction, I realized that there were a couple of very interesting aspects to the sale. First of all, as they have been over the last few months, PSA Near Mint 7's continued to perform well in the market. Remember that these cards are very high-quality cards and, in many cases, these cards would be offered as NM-MT or Mint if removed from the holder. There seems to be some room for price growth in vintage specimens of this quality. The difference between the PSA 7's and 8's is just too great in some cases and collectors are starting to take notice.

David Kohler, President of SportsCards Plus, noticed the interest as well. "The PSA 7's that we offered were exceptional," said Kohler. "Between our website, our showroom floor preview, and The National Sports Convention, dealers and collectors alike were able to see the quality of these lots firsthand. The bidders felt that these 7's were a nice option because they knew they wouldn't have to pay "8" money, but they were willing to pay a premium on the PSA 7 price if the cards were high-end."

Secondly, the Diamond Star group performed extremely well considering the lukewarm track record of the issue. The set, which is very attractive and fairly difficult, was never produced with the star power of the 1933 Goudey set. In other words, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig are nowhere to be found. The stars and, even more surprisingly, the commons received a great deal of interest resulting in several record setting prices for the issue.

Kohler explained the overwhelming interest in these Diamond Stars. "I think this clearly shows how well a fine collection can do at auction," explained Kohler. "If we only offered 10 Diamond Stars, the bidding may not have been so intense but, when you can offer such a large group of quality lots, the bidders take notice. Some bidders just wanted one nice Hall of Famer while others were looking to complete their sets. We had similar success when we offered the T206 collection last summer. At SportsCards Plus, we just have so many focused card collectors that we know if we present the right cards, no matter what the market is like, we will get results."

1924 Babe Ruth Signed Home Run Bat Sells For a Record $225,000!

In 1924, Babe Ruth hit 46 titanic homers. Recently, a Babe Ruth game-used bat, the exact bat Ruth used to hit the first of those 46 homers, sold for a new record of $225,000. The bat, which was also signed by Ruth, was sold as part of a group, which included some of the world's finest game-used bats. Last year, at the famous Halper sale, the bat (a Bob Feller model) that Ruth used to lean on during his farewell speech brought $107,000 and a couple of game-used Babe Ruth bats have brought between $75,000-$100,000 in recent years. This new sale more than doubles any existing price record for Ruth gamers.


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.
1955 Topps Duke Snider PSA 8
1955 Topps Duke Snider PSA 8
Babe Ruth by A.K. Miller
Babe Ruth by A.K. Miller