REA Baseball Auction Hits $4 Million, Sets Countless Records

Babe Ruth Rookie Sells for $84,000; Rare McKinley Card Hammers Down At $96,000, Setting Non-Sport Card Record!

Collectors turned out in full force for Robert Edward Auctions Fall Auction, the second such event added to the company’s calendar after many years of conducting a single blockbuster Spring Auction. An incredible 15,710 bids were placed on the 1410 different lots offered for sale, 98.5% of which sold to an impressive 576 different winners. The auction ended with total proceeds of $4,072,980.

Robert Edward Auctions Fall AuctionThe auction was full of extremely strong showings for hundreds of vintage, rare and high grade cards and historic memorabilia that have long been the REA trademark. “The auction was amazingly successful,” said REA President Rob Lifson. “We had a little bit of everything for sale. The interest from collectors was incredible and the amount realized was considerably more than we anticipated.”
Paced by the highest-graded example of the legendary 1932 U. S. Caramel William McKinley rarity, which hammered at $96,000, a total of seventy-one items sold for $10,000 or more. Other top-selling items included a 1916 M101-4 Sporting News Babe Ruth rookie card ($84,000), a 1909-1911 T206 White Border Eddie Plank ($66,000), and an extraordinary newly-discovered baseball signed by Babe Ruth ($39,000), which had been carefully saved in the same family for decades.
Babe Ruth items continued to be a strong draw, and collectors had their pick from numerous cards, autographs, and other items of the “Sultan of Swat.” In addition to the rookie card and single-signed baseball mentioned earlier, a number of other items produced impressive final figures at the end of the night. A beautiful uncut sheet of 1933 Goudey cards featuring a bold example of #181 Babe Ruth realized $36,000, while a newly-discovered 1915 Boston Red Sox real-photo postcard, depicting a young Ruth in his rookie season, sold for a record $21,600. An original 1917 news photo of Ruth attracted forty-two bids, the most of any item in the auction, and sold for $16,800. 1930s gum cards of Ruth were of special note to advanced collectors, including a 1932 U. S. Caramel PSA NM 7 ($15,600), a 1933 Goudey #149 SGC NM+ 86 ($15,600), and a highest-graded 1933 World Wide Gum #80 SGC NM+ 86 ($10,200). Other Ruth highlights included an extraordinary signed photo ($10,200), a twice-signed check ($7,200), and a signed baseball glove ($6,600).
Collectors continued to show great appreciation for the T206 White Border set, long regarded as one of the most popular sets in the hobby. In addition to the Plank rarity mentioned earlier, two large accumulations of T206s were hotly contested by bidders, with a near-complete set of 457 different realizing $27,000 and a new-to-the-hobby group of 325 different hammering down at $20,400. A near-complete PSA-graded set of Southern Leaguers realized $13,200, while a unique and striking printing error of Cy Young, discovered in an old-time collection, brought $10,200. Several rare backs were also up for bid, led by a Brown Hindu example of Mordecai Brown, which sold for forty-five times its opening bid and hammered at $9,000 and a Lenox example of Vic Willis, which realized $7,800. Common players brought big numbers too, including a Lenox example of Mickey Doolan ($7,200), an Uzit example of Doc Crandall ($5,100), and an autographed Nap Rucker ($5,100).
Other card highlights include:
• 1914 T222 Fatima Individual Players Complete Set – #1 PSA Set Registry – $39,000
• 1933 V353 World Wide Gum (Canadian Goudey) Color-Process Sheets – $30,000
• 1915 Cracker Jack #103 Joe Jackson PSA NM 7 – $27,000
• 1878 Boston Team Cabinet with George and Harry Wright – $27,000
• 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle SGC EX 60 – $22,800
• 1917 E135 Collins-McCarthy #80 Rogers Hornsby Rookie SGC EX+ 70 – $20,400
• 1909 T204 Ramly Walter Johnson PSA EX 5 – $19,200
• 1908 PC760 Rose Postcard Honus Wagner – $18,000
Non-baseball cards were also well-represented with many impressive prices turned in among cards from football, basketball, and hockey. A stunning partial set of 1961-1962 Fleer basketball cards, consisting of forty-eight cards graded Mint, was broken up and sold individually, much to the delight of collectors. Led by a sharp example of Wilt Chamberlain’s key rookie card ($10,800), the group totaled an astounding $47,280. A 1959 Topps football cello box realized $19,200. Rookie cards continued their hot streak with a PSA MINT 9 Peyton Manning rookie bringing $13,200, a 1958 Topps Jim Brown graded SGC NM/MT+ 92 sold for $4,800, and a 1962 Topps Fran Tarkenton graded SGC NM/MT+ 92 hammering at $4,200, nearly three times its book value for the grade. A beautiful 1948 Bowman George Mikan rookie graded PSA NM 7 sold for $6,600 while a 1986-1987 Fleer Michael Jordan graded BGS GEM 9.5 ended at $4,500.
Memorabilia collectors had plenty to choose from as well, and the rookie contract of Hall of Famer Ross Youngs, consigned directly by his family, was a highlight. The 1917 contract called for Youngs to earn a salary of $1,200; at the end of the auction, it hammered for an incredible thirty-two times his salary, ending at $39,000. Two championship rings were also among the highest-selling items, with a 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers World Series ring presented to Red Patterson and a 2009 New York Yankees World Series ring presented to an executive each hammering at $30,000. A stunning Christy Mathewson check, accompanied by a letter directly from Mathewson’s wife, brought $20,400, and a 1923 Yankee Stadium opening-day ticket stub realized an incredible record-setting $19,200. A fascinating group of Dieges & Clust items, comprised of many unique items relating to the production of various rings, press pins, and awards, tallied an impressive $33,600. One of the finest collections of baseball Hartland statues to ever be assembled or auctioned was met with extremely strong bidding, selling at $15,600. One of the most unique items in the auction, a 1982 Derek Jeter Little League team-signed baseball and team photo, generated tremendous interest among both the general public and serious advanced collectors, finally ending at $14,400 once the dust settled.
Other memorabilia highlights include:
• 1934 Brooklyn Dodgers Road Uniform – $14,400
• 1931 Lefty Gomez Signed New York Yankees Contract – $10,800
• 1868 Atlantics vs Tri-Mountain Trophy Ball – $9,600
• 1869 Nebraska Otoes Trophy Bat – $9,600
• 1948 Chesterfield Advertising Display – $9,600
• 1971 Thurman Munson Game-Used Home Flannel – $9,600
• Circa 1933 Billy Hamilton Signed Album Page – $8,400
• 1949-1950 Willard Brown Signed Puerto Rican League Contract – $7,800
The second installment of the finest collection of “Three Stooges” material ever to be offered at public auction, consisting of high-end movie posters, lobby cards, and trading cards, proved again to be a tremendous hit with collectors. Ten one-sheet movie posters and more than fifty lobby cards were presented over fifty-five different lots and tallied $157,020 after the dust settled. Two one-sheet posters from 1937 short films, Playing The Ponies and Dizzy Doctors, led the category, realizing $22,800 and $18,000, respectively. A 1935 lobby card from the film Hoi Polloi also generated great interest, hammering at $10,800. On the trading card side of the collection, extremely spirited bidding drove the entire collection of ninety-six ultra high-grade 1959 Fleer cards, presented over thirty-seven different lots, to an astounding total hammer of $162,420, including individual cards of Curly ($13,300), Larry ($5,400), and Moe ($5,400).
Original nonsport artwork also was met with great collector interest as several vintage sets were well represented and turned in outstanding prices. Two original 1962 Topps “Mars Attacks” artworks presented individually sold for a combined $27,000. An assortment of fourteen 1962 Topps “Civil War News” original artworks sold for a collective $18,240, while ten 1965 Topps “Battle” original artworks totaled $14,880. A single 1934 National Chicle “Skybirds” artwork realized a record $5,100.
Modern cards also earned tremendous respect in this auction, with a collection of 133 different cards produced between 1996 and 2004 realizing a staggering $79,020. Led by a collection of rare 1996 Donruss Signature Series cards, highlighted by Derek Jeter and Cal Ripken, which sold for $27,000, the collection showed that there is great demand in this area of the market. Other top sales included $20,400 for a collection of sixteen 1999 Upper Deck Piece of History game-used bat cards, $10,800 for three limited-edition Ted Williams insert cards, and $4,500 for twenty-two 1996 Leaf Signature Series cards.
REA is now accepting consignments for its next auction, set for the spring of 2015. To inquire about consignments, learn more about Robert Edward Auctions, view all auction results, register for future auctions, or receive a complimentary copy of one of their past catalogs, visit For further information, contact Robert Edward Auctions, PO Box 7256, Watchung, NJ 07069, or call (908) 226-9900.