PSA NM-MT 8 T205 Cy Young - sold for $28,353
PSA NM-MT 8 T205 Cy Young - sold for $28,353

Well, those of us in the hobby can breathe a sigh of relief now that the MLB strike has been averted. The owners and the players have come to terms that will last at least 4 years. The agreement was reached just hours before the deadline.

What does this mean for the hobby?

Well, the key in my mind is that collectors and fans can now focus on the tremendous individual performances on the field and the pennant races down the stretch. For the past few months, the only thing anyone wanted to discuss was the strike. No one wanted to acknowledge the seasons that Sammy Sosa, Pedro Martinez, Alfonso Soriano and many others are having. Now, along with the team efforts, that's where the focus will go.

The dealers can also breathe a sigh of relief in the sense that they now know the season will continue. In talking with dealers, many of them were holding modern cards back from the market due to the fear of a crash. It will be interesting, over the next 2-3 weeks, to see how the hobby reacts as a whole, but this much is certain -- no strike is better than one.

Multi-Million Dollar MastroNet Sale Excels in Face of Fear

Only days before the potential baseball strike, MastroNet Auctions held one of their typical mega-auctions in the face of strike fears -- but have no fear, the bidders were here. Many of the items sold for tremendous prices and, of course, many of the items were tremendous themselves, with PSA-graded sportscards, PSA/DNA certified autographs and game-used equipment leading the way. If there's one thing we can learn from this sale, it's that baseball fans, no matter how upset they may be with the modern game, never forget the importance of Ruth, Mantle and Mays.

Here's a quick glance at some of the highlights in different areas:

 ItemPrice
PSA/DNA certified Babe Ruth Signed Baseball$61,046
PSA/DNA certified Mel Ott Signed Baseball$35,186
PSA/DNA certified Jimmie Foxx Signed Baseball$19,860
1961 Ernie Davis "Heisman Year" Game-Worn Jersey$33,224
Paul Hornung's 1965 Green Bay Packers Championship Ring$26,435
PSA Gem Mint 1961 Fleer Basketball Cards$28,353
PSA Graded 1961 Fleer Basketball Set (8's, 9's, one 10)$38,705
PSA Mint 9 1952 Parkhurst Gordie Howe$4,766
1955 Game-Used Pee Wee Reese World Series Adirondack Bat$8,733
PSA Graded 1959 Fleer Three Stooges Set (7's, 8's and 9's)$6,345
PSA 6 EX-MT 1967 Topps Wacky Packages Ratz$4,710
PSA 7 Near Mint 1967 Topps Wacky Packages Cracked Animals$3,891
Collection of W600 Sporting Life (123)$59,561
PSA NM-MT 8 1888 N162 Goodwin Champions Dan Brouthers$9,934
PSA NM-MT 8 T206 Christy Mathewson Portrait$17,603
PSA NM-MT 8 T206 Ty Cobb Red Back Portrait$18,511
PSA NM-MT 8 T206 Chief Bender w/Trees$12,224
PSA NM-MT 8 T205 Cy Young$28,353
PSA EX 5 1915 M101-5 Sporting News Babe Ruth$12,788
PSA NM-MT 8 1915 Cracker Jack Grover Alexander$6,980
PSA Mint 9 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #144$61,046
PSA Mint 9 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle$65,777
PSA NM-MT 8 1952 Red Man Ted Williams$14,967
PSA Mint 9 1952 Topps Collection (19)$52,773
1920's Jimmie Foxx Game-Used Bat$39,648
1920's Rogers Hornsby Game-Used Bat$29,078
1932 Hack Wilson Game-Used Bat$21,300
Rookie Era Willie McCovey Game-Used Bat$6,270
1965-66 Mickey Mantle Game-Used Bat$18,055
Pete Rose Game-Used 1977-79 Hit Milestone (Wagner) bat$14,066
1952 All-Star Satchel Paige Game-Used Bat$29,832
1956 Jackie Robinson Game-Used Bat$43,613
1861 Grand Match Trophy Baseball$58,139
PSA/DNA 1927 New York Yankees Team Signed Baseball$85,903
Don Larsen's 1956 Perfect Game Ensemble$120,750
PSA/DNA Certified 1927 New York Yankees Team Signed Baseball - sold for $85,903.
PSA/DNA Certified 1927 New York Yankees Team Signed Baseball - sold for $85,903.
PSA NM-MT 8 1952 Red Man Ted Williams - sold for $14,967.
PSA NM-MT 8 1952 Red Man Ted Williams - sold for $14,967.

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.