A Babe Ruth bat. High-grade, rare baseball and other sports cards. World Series rings. A 57-year-old unopened pack with Jackie Robinson inside. Five pairs of playoff-worn and autographed LeBron James shoes. Those items and hundreds of other pieces of memorabilia can be found in the newly launched Memory Lane Spring Fever Classics Auction.
Bidding opened Saturday and closes Thursday, April 28.
For most sports memorabilia collectors, owning original Babe Ruth pieces is the ultimate goal and the auction will offer several opportunities to acquire something rare, vintage or both. A 1921-31 era game-used Ruth bat is among the highlights. Graded A6 by MEARS, the 34", 38- ounce weapon was from a specific order in August of 1920. Minimum bid is $7500.
Also offered is a baseball signed by both Ruth and Lou Gehrig, a relic from their barnstorming days of the 20's. The ball is dated October 27, when the "Bustin' Babes" and Larrupin' Lous were in Santa Barbara, California. The ball was obtained by a local man who played on Gehrig's team that day and it stayed in his possession until his death in 1991. The dual-signed ball carries a $7500 starting bid.
Game-used bat collectors will notice representation from virtually every 20th century era including those attributed to Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio and Roger Maris.
Yankees World Series rings are extremely sought after in today's sports memorabilia market and this auction holds two: a 1999 ring given to Jose Cardenal, then a coach with the Bronx Bombers; and a 2000 model presented to coach Carlos Rios. Each carries a $5,000 minimum.
His career may now be several years in the rearview mirror but Michael Jordan remains enormously popular with fans and collectors. The Spring Fever auction includes a huge group of signed MJ memorabilia including basketballs, jerseys, photos, shoes, cards, a cancelled check and even several baseball-related Jordan items, highlighted by a signed bat and an autographed White Sox jersey.
Jordan vs. LeBron James would have been quite a show. Sadly, we'll never know how they would have matched up in their primes, but collectors do have the chance in this auction to bid on items related to both. Five pairs of 2008 Eastern Conference Finals-worn James Nike shoes are being offered-all signed and authenticated by Upper Deck, which has an exclusive autograph arrangement with the Miami Heat superstar.
Ten years before Jackie Robinson's Major League debut, he was a student at Pasadena City College and the auction includes a pair of school yearbooks from the sports pioneer's amateur days: a 1937 issue containing a Robinson signature and a '38 yearbook with no less than four Robinson autographs inside.
The auction holds a broad assortment of high-grade rare, vintage sports cards, highlighted by multiple original Babe Ruth examples, including a 1933 Goudey #144 graded NM/MT and a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle graded PSA 5.
Turn of the century heroes Honus Wagner and Nap Lajoie are featured among an impressive group of 1899 Sporting News Supplements. Several incredibly scarce 1916 Tango Eggs cards including Buck Weaver, Hughie Jennings, Hal Chase and Eddie Collins will be on the block as well as several rare 1933 Butter Cream examples. 19th and early 20th century tobacco and caramel cards up for bid include Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and Collins.
Some of the finest grade rookie cards known to the hobby are on the block as well, representing virtually every decade. They include razor sharp copies of the 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax (mint),1954 Topps Hank Aaron and Ernie Banks, 1963 Topps Pete Rose, 1948 Bowman George Mikan, 1965 Topps Joe Namath, 1969-70 Topps Lew Alcindor, 1970-71 Topps Pete Maravich and a 1979-80 Topps Wayne Gretzky.
There is also a 1948 Leaf Jackie ("Jacky") Jensen red back error (PSA 8.5), one of several high-grade '48 Leaf football being offered.
Collectors often turn to Memory Lane auctions to find some eclectic types of cardboard collectibles and this auction offers some unique items including a 1952 Topps wax pack, a 1954 Topps pack that shows a Jackie Robinson card peering through the wrapper (graded PSA 9 mint). Other packs consigned to this auction include 1956, 1957, 1960 and 1962 cellos and some 1950s Bowman wax.
There is also a unique uncut sheet of 1948 Bowman black and white baseball that features 36 cards including Stan Musial, Yogi Berra, Warren Spahn and Bob Feller.
Bidding is available via Memory Lane's website Memorylaneinc.com or by phone (877)606-5263. Full color catalogs are available by request. An interactive version of the catalog is also available online.