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Bidders tug on Superman's cape to the tune of $22,

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Items relating to sports heroes Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Jim Brown and Rick Barry were among the top sellers at Broadway Rick's Strike Zone January auction. But it was a superhero's cape that stole the show in this event.

The auction generated more than $970,000 in sales, the largest for the company, and company president Rick Kohl was ecstatic. "We want to be a mainstay in this auction world and I think we're going in the right direction," Kohl said. "It was only our second auction in seven months and we nearly doubled the sales from the first one."

A red cape worn by George Reeves in the 1950s "Superman" TV series sold for $22,226 (with buyer's premium) to capture the top honors in the auction. The rare cape had been on display for more than a decade at the Superman Museum in Metropolis, Ill. It was given to the museum by Whitney Ellsworth, the director of the TV series.

A dozen other items sold for five figures in the auction, paced by a rare game-used Brown jersey that sold for $26,893. The jersey, which dated back to the early 1960s, was one of seven or eight Brown game-used jerseys to ever surface in the hobby. The other top-selling football item was a 1984 game-used Jack Lambert Pittsburgh Steelers road jersey which sold for $14,262.

The baseball section of the auction had seven items break through the $10,000 mark. Mantle's signed 1959 contract with the Yankees garnered $18,521. Meanwhile, a Gehrig game-used bat from the late 1920s or early '30s (MEARS A7.5) checked in at $18,306. A stunning Pee Wee Reese game-used Dodgers jersey from the early 1950s (MEARS A8) went for $17,259.

Mantle's popularity was evident again as one of his late 1950s game-used Yankee hats went for $16,248. A 1966 game-used jersey from another member of the 500 Home-Run Club, Eddie Mathews, went for $14,569.
Another unique item of baseball history, a full-size version of the 1972 Oakland A's World Series trophy, commanded $12,329. Meanwhile, Rod Carew's 1969 game-used Twins jersey went for $12,206.

Another championship trophy that commanded big bucks was the 1973-74 New York Nets ABA Championship trophy that sold for $18,751. That item lead the way among basketball memorabilia. Game-used jerseys from two great Warriors stars each brought in more than $12,000. Barry's game-used jersey from his rookie season of 1965-66 sold for $12,965, while Nate Thurmond's 1971 Warriors jersey sold for $12,640.

Strike Zone's next auction will take place in May, with consignments being accepted through mid-March. For more information, and complete results, visit www.strikezoneauctions.com.