Auction Action

By Joe Orlando

Documents and Displays Dominate at $5,000,000 Robert Edward Auction

Robert Edward Auctions has always offered high-end collectibles to the sports market and, judging by their latest sale, the tradition continues. When the auction closed, the final tally was $4,943,000 with many lots establishing new price records in various areas of the collecting world. Here's a peek at some of the highlights:

  Item Price Realized
1) The Dugout by Norman Rockwell $345,000
2) T202 Christy Mathewson Advertising Poster $67,386
3) T202 Ty Cobb Advertising Poster $45,919
4) William Howard Taft Signed Baseball $39,708
5) T206 Ty Cobb with Ty Cobb Back PSA Authentic $49,223
6) Alexander Cartwright Letter with Baseball $74,917
7) Henry Chadwick Single Signed First Day Baseball $61,046
8) 1923 Notre Dame Football Team Signed Photo $7,216
9) 1969-1973 Wilt Chamberlain Game-Used Jersey $26,435
10) 1887 N173 Old Judge Cabinet Cap Anson $31,189
11) 1969 Topps Decal Factory Roll of 10,000 w/Willie Mays $30,203
12) 1969 Topps Decal Factory Roll of 10,000 w/Reggie Jackson $33,224
13) 1919 Chicago White Sox Team Issued Card Set $46,303
14) Dr. Seuss Original "Cat in the Hat" Drawing $22,152
15) "Don't be Cruel" Handwritten Song Lyrics by Elvis Presley $28,750
16) 1966 Eddie Mathews Signed/Game-Used Jersey $10,582
17) 1966 Billy Williams Signed/Game-Used Jersey $10,330
18) 1981 Pete Rose Signed/Game-Used 3,630 Hit Jersey $13,563
19) 1994 Ken Griffey Jr. Game-Used All-Star Glove $9,607
20) 1965-68 Willie Mays Game-Used H&B Bat $7,054
21) 1971-1979 Roberto Clemente Game-Used Bat $4,817
22) Circa 1927 Babe Ruth Sporting News Die-Cut Display $43,613
23) 1928 Babe Ruth Fro-Joy Ice Cream Store Display Advertising Sign $21,846
24) Circa 1956 Mickey Mantle Signed Rawlings Display $5,299
25) 1920 Joe Sewell Game-Used/Signed H&B World Series Bat $8,966
26) 1986 Keith Hernandez Gold Glove Award $23,262
27) "Mickey Mantle" Original Painting by Leroy Neiman $32,765
28) 1966 Topps Pete Rose #30 PSA 9 Mint $11,364
29) 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner PSA 1 PR-FR $50,934
30) 1912 E300 Plow's Candy Ty Cobb PSA 5 EX $10,189
31) 1915 M101-5 Sporting News Babe Ruth #151 PSA 7 NM $32,765
32) 1916 Boston Store Babe Ruth #147 PSA 7 NM $18,493
33) 1916 Boston Store Joe Jackson #82 PSA 7 NM $10,436
34) 1965 Topps Frank Robinson #120 PSA 9 Mint $1,286
35) Babe Ruth's Last Game-Used Bat $59,662


There were many record setting results from the sale and Robert Lifson, President of Robert Edward Auctions, was happy to report the news. "I was really pleased with the results especially after being a bit concerned about the potential impact of the stock market," explained Lifson. "It was probably the worst week possible to hold an auction but the bidders really came through. What we found was that collectors still want to collect regardless of the stock market. The impact of the stock market was virtually undetectable."

Joe Jackson

After looking at the highlight list, you can see that there were many incredibly strong prices realized in the sale. Lifson made note of several key items from the auction. "The T202 Mathewson display piece was one of only two known," said Lifson. "The other example sold in our July auction, and we were concerned that a second example offered so soon after might not do as well, but when the bidding was over this piece set another record price at a little more than $67,000. We were very pleased with the results across the board."

Mantle Mathews

There were also many other noteworthy, record breaking lots. "The T206 Ty Cobb with the Cobb back broke the previous record by over 50%," said Lifson. "The most we've ever sold this rarity for was $32,600. This example sold for a record $49,223. Our Henry Chadwick signed baseball also set a record, to the best of our knowledge, for the highest auction price ever paid for a non-Ruth single signed baseball. This lot appealed to some very advanced autograph collectors and it reflected in the price. We were also very proud to be able to offer such a tremendous selection of original artwork, especially the Norman Rockwell original oil (which sold for $345,000) and the collection of LeRoy Neiman paintings. This was a landmark sale for the hobby in terms of artwork, and exposed the sports collecting field to thousands of collectors of fine art for the first time."

Pete Rose Babe Ruth

Lifson was also quick to point out a building trend in the market. "At one time, the name PSA was synonymous only with high grade material," explained Lifson. "Now, collectors are appreciating having cards of all grades authenticated by PSA. There is a tremendous demand for PSA graded medium and even low grade vintage cards, especially rarities and stars such as Ruth and Gehrig, because they are more affordable and represent a solid value for collectors. This is definitely a trend. A lot of collectors are also realizing that when their cards are graded by PSA, it makes the whole process of both buying and selling easier. Many of our strongest prices were for PSA graded cards that were low-to-mid grade or obscure vintage issues."

Babe Ruth Honus Wagner

Robert Edward Auctions is planning on a November sale and they are currently seeking consignments. Robert Lifson can be reached at (908)-226-9900.

Gem Mint Mantle Sets Record at Andy Madec Auction

You know what they say, "Records are made to be broken." When you combine the legendary Mickey Mantle with a grade of PSA Gem Mint 10, a price record is bound to be in jeopardy. When the bidding ceased at Andy Madec's last auction, a PSA Gem Mint 10 Mickey Mantle from the 1963 Topps set closed at $51,194. This final bid made history as the highest price ever paid for a 1960's baseball card. The overall auction finished with $379,000 in total bids and it featured many pristine rarities. Here's a look at some of the highlights from the sale:

  Card PSA Grade Price Realized
1) 1915 Cracker Jack Christy Mathewson #88 8 $19,655
2) 1933 Goudey Dazzy Vance #2 8 $5,360
3) 1933 Goudey Sport Kings Babe Ruth #2 7 $6,415
4) 1887 Allen & Ginter Joseph Mulvey 8 $3,000
5) 1933 Goudey Lafayette Johnson #13 8 $2,661
6) 1950 Bowman Ted Williams #98 8 $4,287
7) 1949 Bowman Robin Roberts #46 9 $2,576
8) 1952 Topps Bill Wight #177 8 $2,420
9) 1952 Topps Harry Simpson #193 8 $1,429
10) 1955 Topps Hank Aaron #47 9 $14,236
11) 1961 Topps Bob Clemente #388 9 $2,197
12) 1956 Topps Sandy Koufax #79 9 $6,822
13) 1957 Topps Brooks Robinson #328 9 $8,858
14) 1958 Topps Roger Maris #47 9 $6,430
15) 1960 Topps Hank Aaron #300 9 $8,575
16) 1963 Topps Sandy Koufax #210 9 $7,795
17) 1963 Topps Stan Musial #250 9 $3,245
18) 1964 Topps Sandy Koufax #200 9 $3,113
19) 1970 Topps Thurman Munson #189 9 $1,610
20) 1963 Topps Mickey Mantle #200 10 $51,194

Christy Mathewson

As you can see, there were many strong prices to report. Andy Madec, President of Andy Madec Sportscards, Inc., was pleased overall. "I thought it went well and, if you think about it, the auction went very well considering the state of the stock market right now," explained Madec. "In addition to the Mantle card, there were several record prices paid for sportscards that have been offered in comparable grades before. Our bidders feel very comfortable with our ability to provide accurate descriptions of the cards and, in turn, they are more aggressive."

Sandy Koufax

Of course, everyone wanted to talk about the Mantle card, as did SMR. "That card really lived up to expectations," said Madec. "It was one of two PSA 10's in existence and I think that is important when you consider the price paid for this card. As the second example to hit the market, it still brought in excess of $50,000. That's a great sign for the market. It shows that the market can absorb a huge card such as this Mantle even when the stock market is down."

Brooks Robinson Mickey Mantle

When it came to trends, Madec was very quick to point out a particular area of the market where the action is getting heated. "Hall of Famers from the 1960's and 1970's, graded 8's and 9's, are very hot right now," explained Madec. "The collectors collectively feel that players like Aaron, Mays and others are very undervalued at this point and cards from this era offer a collector who might not be able to spend $10,000 on a card the ability to get involved and add a high-end example to their collection. We are starting to see premiums for cards of this nature."

Andy Madec will be holding another high-grade PSA auction very soon so stay tuned.

PSA Gems Steal Show at Superior's Latest Sale

I think it is safe to say that it has been a long time since so many key PSA Gem Mint 10's been offered in one auction. Superior Sports Auctions had the pleasure of offering these fabulous gems to the collecting public and the results spoke for themselves. The auction finished with $579,396 in total bids and many of the prices set records. Here's a look at some of the highlights from the sale:

  Card PSA Grade Price Realized
1) 1953 Bowman Rizzuto/Martin #93 9 $14,950
2) 1957 Topps Ernie Banks #55 10 $9,488
3) 1958 Topps Pee Wee Reese #375 10 $5,060
4) 1959 Topps Yogi Berra #180 10 $6,325
5) 1959 Topps Fence Busters #212 9 $5,520
6) 1960 Topps Carl Yastrzemski #148 9 $3,853
7) 1961 Topps Duke Snider #443 10 $2,875
8) 1961 Topps Ernie Banks All-Star #575 10 $3,220
9) 1961 Topps Roger Maris All-Star #576 10 $3,105
10) 1961 Topps Mickey Mantle All-Star #578 10 $9,488
11) 1962 Topps Bob Clemente #10 9 $7,303
12) 1962 Topps Ernie Banks #25 9 $3,220
13) 1964 Topps Yogi Berra #21 10 $3,680
14) 1964 Topps Willie Mays #150 9 $4,945
15) 1965 Topps Willie Mays #250 9 $3,450
16) 1968 Topps Hank Aaron #110 9 $1,725
17) 1968 Topps Hank Aaron #110 10 $7,188
18) 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan #177 9 $6,066
19) 1968 Topps Mickey Mantle #280 10 $12,075
20) 1968 Topps Manager's Dream #480 10 $2,645
21) 1953 Bowman Herman Wehmeier #23 10 $1,812
22) 1957 Topps Tony Kubek #312 9 $1,324
23) 1958 Topps Orlando Cepeda #343 9 $3,600
24) 1960 Topps Eddie Mathews #420 9 $2,645
25) 1967 Topps Eddie Mathews #166 9 $664
26) 1962 Topps Bob Gibson #530 9 $1,495
27) 1960 Topps Mickey Mantle #350 8 $2,300
28) 1964 Topps Mickey Mantle #50 8 $1,439
29) 1993 SP Derek Jeter #279 9 $1,380
30) 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky #18 8 $1,324

Orlando Cepeda

The auction was filled with very solid prices in virtually all areas of the catalogue. Chris Porter, Director of Auctions for Superior Sports, noticed the bidding balance. "There was no weakness to be found," explained Porter. "What we saw was a continued strength in the market at all levels. The solid demand, across the board, was a great sign for the hobby. When it came to the classic, power cards, the bids were there no matter what sport."


The amount of quality PSA 10's caught the eyes of many bidders and Porter was pleased with the reaction from bidders. "We were very proud to be able to offer the amount of PSA 10's we had for this auction," said Porter. "It has always been our focus and we try our best each and every auction to provide the best of the best for our most discriminating clients."


While the 10's may have stole the show, Porter noticed a trend in collector demand. "During the last 3-4 months, there has certainly been an upward swing in post-war Hall of Fame rookie cards," explained Porter. "The 1950's and 1960's rookie cards of players like Yastrzemski, Ryan and even guys like Cepeda have all enjoyed an upswing. It seems as if collectors are working their way back to the basics and the classics, rookie cards have always been a popular collecting theme."

Carl Yastrzemski

Superior will be holding another auction in late June and they are currently seeking consignments. Chris Porter can be reached at 231-922-9862.