Collectors aggressively chased down high-end cards and memorabilia as Memory Lane closed out its Past and Present Auction with sales of more than $1.5 million.

TUSTIN, CA — The hobby's first major catalog auction of 2015 came to a close early Sunday when Memory Lane's Past and Present auction closed with hundreds of top end sports cards and collectibles changing hands.

Among the headline items was a 1933 DeLong Gum Lou Gehrig, graded PSA 8, which sold for a record-setting $45,410. Post-War vintage cards of Hall of Famers can be just as dynamic, however, and the PSA 8 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente card sold by Memory Lane was proof of that, rocketing to a new market high of $29,216. Just three years ago, PSA 8 Clemente cards typically sold for $8-9,000.

With the 19.5% buyer's premium, total sales reached $1,514,386.

Vintage unopened product has soared over the last few years and Memory Lane offered three valuable boxes, all of which attracted some determined fans of old wax. A 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Hockey box of 48 packs from Wayne Gretzky's rookie season, realized $34,655, a 1960 Topps Baseball box brought $28,680 and a 1986-87 Fleer Basketball wax box likely containing multiple Michael Jordan rookie cards closed at $27,485. Another lot featured an autographed Jordan rookie which brought $14,129.

A 1953 Topps penny pack sold for $5,486, a 1954 Topps cello pack brought $5,267, and an empty nickel wax pack display box pushed all the way to $3,204.

A collection of high-grade cards from the collection Gary Hughes, a long-time Major League Baseball scout, was also among the highlights. His 1953 Topps set was broken up and spread among collectors who pounced on numerous PSA 8 cards including a Mickey Mantle which sold for $16,701 and a Willie Mays which realized $15,197. However, the prices for lesser names were also noteworthy. PSA 8 cards of Dick Groat, Willie Miranda, Milt Bolling and Bob Addis, all sold for over $3,000 each.

"The auction was a great success and good start to 2015," said Memory Lane's J.P. Cohen. "The market is very strong for high-end, rare items."

Hall of Fame rookie cards from all eras and sports sold included a 1981 Topps Joe Montana graded PSA 10 ($13,125), a 1961-62 Fleer Jerry West rookie graded PSA 9 ($11,347), a 1960 Topps Carl Yastrzemski graded PSA 9 ($9,986) and a 1952 Topps Lou Brock graded PSA 9 ($9,078). A rare 1990 Frank Thomas "no name on front" rookie card from Topps' early print run and graded PSA 9 sold for $5,122.

Other vintage highlights included:

  • 1953 Topps Jackie Robinson PSA 8 — $8,252
  • 1970 Topps Hank Aaron PSA 10 — $7,750
  • 1909 T206 Rube Waddell PSA 8 — $7,502
  • 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson PSA 7.5 — $6,190
  • 1957 Topps Richie Ashburn PSA 10 — $4,990

On the memorabilia side, a full ticket from Babe Ruth’s "called shot" in the 1932 World Series sold for $15,050 and a Ruth autographed index card carrying a PSA 9 grade sold for $7,490.

Memory Lane is still consignments for its upcoming I Own It Now sale and for the company's next catalog auction, set for early this spring. For information on consigning or to receive free auction catalogs, visit the company's website or call 877.606.LANE (5263).