Auction Action

By Joe Orlando

Gem Mint 1963 Clemente Brings $21,135 at Latest SportsCards Plus Sale

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.

Dick Bartell Bob Clemente
This Clemente
sold for $21,135

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 and Price Realized

1) 1911 M-116 Sporting Life Honus Wagner, 8, $7,457

2) 1914 Cracker Jack Grover Alexander #37, 8, $6,111

3) 1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson #79, 8, $13,104

4) 1953 Bowman Color Whitey Ford #153, 8, $5,368

5) 1954 Topps Ted Williams #1, 8, $5,423

6) 1955 Topps Duke Snider #210, 8, $5,249

7) 1935 Diamond Stars Al Simmons #2, 8, $1,582

8) 1935 Diamond Stars Frankie Frisch #17, 9, $4,228

9) 1935 Diamond Stars Mel Ott #50, 8, $2,623

10) 1935 Diamond Stars Hank "Greenburg" #54, 8, $4,923

11) 1935 Diamond Stars Hank Greenberg #54, 8, $1,987

12) 1935 Diamond Stars Jim Bottomley #59, 8, $1,162

13) 1935 Diamond Stars Red Ruffing #60, 9, $4,643

14) 1935 Diamond Stars Charlie Gehringer #77, 9, $4,087

Willie Mays Mickey Mantle

15) 1935 Diamond Stars Paul Waner #83, 9, $2,133

16) 1935 Diamond Stars Earle Averill #100, 8, $1,805

17) 1935 Diamond Stars Buddy Myer #4, 8, $1,248

18) 1934 Diamond StarsDick Bartell #15, 8, $4,299

19) 1935 Diamond Stars Johnny Vergez #21, 8, $2,671

20) 1935 Diamond Stars Bill Hallahan #23, 8, $2,663

21) 1935 Diamond Stars Red Lucas #106, 8, $3,767

22) 1915 Cracker Jack Grover Alexander #37, 8, $4,772

23) 1915 Cracker Jack Fred Clarke #70, 8, $2,684

24) 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #144, 4, $2,403

25) 1948 Bowman Phil Rizzuto #8, 8, $1,682

26) 1950 Bowman Yogi Berra #46, 8, $1,490

27) 1950 Bowman Ted Williams #98, 7, $1,529

28) 1951 Bowman Yogi Berra #2, 8, $2,685

29) 1952 Bowman Yogi Berra #1, 7, $1,201

30) 1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle #101, 7, $2,791

31) 1953 Bowman Duke Snider #117, 7, $1,582

32) 1953 Bowman Early Wynn #146, 8, $2,557

Jackie Robinson Grover Alexander

33) 1953 Topps Jackie Robinson #1, 7, $1,082

34) 1954 Bowman Willie Mays #89, 8, $1,390

35) 1954 Bowman Duke Snider #170, 8, $939

36) 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax #123, 8, $2,779

37) 1958 Topps Roger Maris #47, 8, $1,082

38) 1960 Topps Ernie Banks #560, 9, $2,266

39) 1961 Topps Mickey Mantle #300, 8, $1,683

40) 1962 Topps Mickey Mantle #200, 8, $2,135

41) 1963 Topps Mickey Mantle #200, 8, $1,480

42) 1963 Topps Brooks Robinson #345, 9, $1,199

43) 1966 Topps Willie Mays #1, 8, $1,439

44) 1966 Topps Yankees Team #92, 9, $1,132

45) Babe Ruth Double Signed Check, $3,279

 

Hank Greenburg

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.

Hans Wagner

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."

Ruth check

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.

Willie Mays

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."

SportsCards Plus is currently seeking high-quality consignments for their November 8, 2001 auction; SMR will bring collectors a full recap when it closes.

 

Babe Ruth Steals the Show at Hunt Auction

Tavern photo

During the latest Hunt Auction, Babe Ruth, once again, proved his worth to collectors in a number of areas. From autographs to photos, Ruth items seemed to perform very well across the board. The highlights include the famous 1915 "Tavern" photograph of Babe Ruth with his father, showing a striking resemblance to each other. Here's a quick list of highlights from the sale:

 

 

Item and Price Realized

Kid Nichols

1) 1888 N43 Allen and Ginter Buck Ewing (EX-MT) $4,510

2) John Havlicek game-used Boston Celtics early 70's road jersey $4,730

3) 1950's Philadelphia Phillies pennant style banner $3,300

4) Boog Powell game-used L.A. Dodgers home jersey circa 1971-1973 $2,750

5) 1915 Philadelphia Phillies NL Champions pennant $4,290

6) 1947 Joe DiMaggio game-used/signed Yankee road jersey $34,100

7) PSA/DNA Babe Ruth signed store model bat circa 1933 $19,800

8) PSA/DNA Babe Ruth (and others) signed ink blotter circa 1930's $17,600

9) PSA/DNA Babe Ruth signed New York Yankee payroll check from 1930 $9,350

10) PSA/DNA 1910 Christy Mathewson signed presentation book $4,180

11) 1934 St. Louis Cardinals World Series Ring $4,950

12) (20) 1906 Philadelphia Athletics postcards $7,700

13) 1981 Jim Palmer game-used/signed Orioles jersey $4,730

Babe Ruth baseball

14) 1970 Baltimore Orioles World Series Ring (Paul Blair) $6,820

15) PSA VG 3 1909 Ramly Walter Johnson $3,190

16) 1911 T-205 Gold Border set (with some variations) $7,810

17) Ty Cobb PC760 Rose Co. postcard $3,190

18) 1888 Old Judge Cap Anson cabinet photo (EX) $4,675

19) 1893 Duke W.M. Nash cabinet card (EX-MT) $4,290

20) PSA NM-MT 8 1895 Mayo Cut Plug Kid Nichols $5,500

21) 1939 game-used Philadelphia Phillies jersey $8,470

22) 1950 Connie Mack game-used Philadelphia Athletics jersey $8,800

23) 1981 Mickey Mantle spring training coaching jersey $7,700

24) "By-Laws of Atlantic Base Ball Club" book circa 1850-1860 $6,600

25) Babe Ruth "Tavern" photo with father (EX/EX-MT) $20,900


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.