Living up to its advertising as the Fastest Growing Vintage Auction in the hobby, Memory Lane Inc. shattered a number of individual hobby records in its December 14th Holy Grail auction on its way to producing an overall $2.5 million dollars in total revenue.
The auction's three leading card Lots scaled new hobby value heights. Lot 1, a T206 Honus Wagner PSA 2 Good, sold for a stunning $294,337, setting a new hobby bar and breaking the old record for a PSA 2 sale of $236,705 in 2005 by over $57k; a whopping 24%! As described in the MLI catalog, this card has exceptional eye-appeal for a PSA 2 and collectors competed strongly for it.
A hotly-contested Lot 2, a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 in a PSA MINT 9 from the famed John Branca collection, set a new hobby record by selling for an outstanding $282,587! This price, without a doubt, set the bar higher for ultra high-end Mantle cards. This newly established record even exceeded the last known record for a Mantle PSA GEM MINT 10 of $275,000 by $7,587! Equally amazing was the number of bidders vying for this prize in the late hours of bidding. The bidding action for this superb card was spectacular!
The Memory Lane auction offered what it described as the Holy Grail of football cards, a 1935 National Chicle #34 Bronko Nagurski card in a high PSA NM-MT 8. The last PSA NM-MT 8 Nagurski sold for $21,846 in 2004. The new price of $58,417 simply destroyed the old auction record by 167% (+$36k).
The auction didn't stop at setting records for cards -- a new height was established for PSA/DNA graded autographed vintage photos.
The auction offered a very rare opportunity for collectors to own a 1927 Yankee team autographed photo graded a phenomenal PSA/DNA NM-MT 8 overall. This famous Murderer's Row team was recognized in 1969 (during Baseball's 100th birthday year) as Baseball's Greatest Team. 1927 was also Ruth's 60th home run year.
What makes this vintage photo so rare and so very special is that it was the personal property of a Yankee team member: pitcher George Pipgras, who used his insider connections to get "everybody" on the team (right down to the bat boy and mascot) to autograph his photo! This incredibly rare photo sold for a hobby record $206,800! This eclipsed, by far, the previous highest realized price for an autographed photo -- $149,500, set by a sale of a Ruth signed photo in a 2004 Sotheby's auction.
A few other Highlights (for all results see the MLI Web site www.memorylaneinc.com under Archived Auctions).
The MLI Holy Grail Auction is laced with record shattering prices across all years, across all card manufacturers, and across all sports. For example, Lot 26, a 1933 Goudey #106 Napoleon LaJoie in a PSA Good 2, produced a price of $13,767 -- breaking the 2005 LaJoie sale record of $10,443 by 32% ($3,324). Lot 38, 1951 Bowman #1 Whitey Ford PSA NM-MT 8 garnered a solid 22% above SMR by producing a $9,141 price.
Early Vintage Baseball is Hot!
MLI auctions are fast becoming a destination for early cardboard collectors as early vintage baseball performed exceedingly well in the Holy Grail Auction. The auction was literally chock-full of N28 Allen & Ginter's, N162 Goodwin Champions, N172 Old Judges, T202's; T206's, T3's, T222's, and E93 Caramels, M116 Sporting Life's and quality Cracker Jacks.
For example, Lot 124, a 1910 E93 Standard Caramel Honus Wagner in PSA 7 NM, books at $7,000. In the MLI auction it achieved a strong $13,342 for a sparkling 91% above SMR book.
High-end PSA Graded Hockey Cards in Big Demand!
A high end hockey card, Lot 41, a 1951 Parkhurst #56 Ted Lindsay (Rookie) PSA MINT 9, produced $7,713 -- blasting the SMR book of $1,350 by soaring 471% above SMR! Another hockey card, Lot 773, a 1954 Topps #56 Edgar Laprade PSA NM-MT 8 which books in SMR at $175, produced a jaw dropping $4,365 price!
Koufax is High on Want Lists!
Of particular interest was the great Sandy Koufax. For example, Lot 52, a 1955 Topps #123 Sandy Koufax (Rookie) in PSA MINT 9, generated $20,229. Lot 606, a 1960 Morrell Meats Dodgers Sandy Koufax in PSA NM-MT 8, pulled an incredible $6,599, 843% above SMR (SMR book $700).
Basketball Dunk Shots!
Basketball showed well too. For example, Lot 70, a 1986-87 Fleer Uncut sheet (Framed) with a Michael Jordan Rookie and a host of other HOF Rookies, produced an outstanding $9,819 price. Lot 746, a 1957 Topps #2 George Yardley in PSA NM-MT 8 books in SMR at $500. The MLI auction produced an outstanding $3,078 price -- 515% above book.
Besides the record-setting Nagurski card discussed earlier in this article, football cards in general performed well in the MLI auction. For example, a 1948 #17 Charlie Trippi in PSA MINT 9 pulled in $1,679 -- an excellent 68% above book. A 1957 Topps #62 Jim Brown in PSA NM-MT 8 generated $2,013 for a solid 55% above SMR.
Commons were stars in MLI's auction too.
MLI auctions are known for presenting tough, high grade commons and the Holy Grail Auction was no exception. For example, Lot 256, a 1934 Goudey #54 Wesley Schulmerich in PSA NM-MT 8, books in SMR at $700. In the MLI Holy Grail Auction, the card pulled in $1,956 for a whopping 179% above book. Another common, Lot 341, a 1948 Leaf #158 Harry Brecheen in PSA NM 7, produced $13,010 for a spectacular 1083% above SMR!
Non-Sports cards record big numbers!
The Holy Grail Auction featured an incredible selection of 1959 Fleer Three Stooges, a classic non sports cards issue. Collectors rose to the occasion to snap them up, producing huge values. For example: Lot 784, the #1 card of who else but Curly in PSA NM-MT 8, produced a very serious $4,958 for 313% above SMR price ($1,200 book). The tough checklist card in PSA NM-MT 8 garnered $2,603, for a very strong 247% above book (SMR book is $750). See all the Stooges card prices on MLI's Web site.
Collectors interested in consigning vintage cards or memorabilia to a Memory Lane Inc. auction are invited to contact JP, Dan, or Roger at 877-606-LANE (5263). (Office Hours are 8:30-4:30 PST M-F). MLI's next auction is in a few months, and they are accepting consignments now. They invite collectors to call or email them to get the highest prices paid or a free value consultation; Memory Lane Inc. is always buying. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. The December '06 Auction results are now posted on their Web site www.memorylaneinc.com. Also, see their Web store with over 300 vintage and graded cards in stock.