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Zion Williamson card elbows way to front of rookie class at Collect Auctions

Imagine an auction loaded with spectacular rookie cards from everyone from Mickey Mantle, Henry Aaron, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Wayne Gretzky, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and many others, plus a boatload of pristine unopened boxes, wax packs and even cases, along with complete sets and partial sets, thousands of signed vintage cards, and yet somehow Zion Williamson manages to elbow his way to the front of the class with his own autographed Rookie/Patch/Tag card.

That’s what the March 25 Collect Auctions sale can boast in a sale loaded with its typical array of vintage unopened, complete sets and partials, signed cards and more, along with a contingent of post-2000 rookies and rarities sharing the spotlight.

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Thus, a 2019 Panini Immaculate Zion Williamson Rookie No. 136 Patch Autograph Tag (1/5) in a PSA 9 holder warrants such a fuss (and a $5,000 opening), joining a rookie class that includes the likes of Jordan (1986 Fleer – two lots, BGS 8.5); a 1969 Topps Lew Alcindor (PSA 7); a 1979 Topps Gretzky (BGS 8); PSA 9 Kobe rookies from 1996 Finest Refractor, 1996 Finest (2), 1996 Topps and Ultra; LeBron James Rookies from 2003 Topps Chrome No. 111 (two, PSA 9 and BGS 8.5), 2003 Topps No. 221 (PSA 9) and 2003 Bowman (BGS 9.5); a 1980 Topps Bird/Erving/Magic (PSA 8); a 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle Rookie; a 1954-56 Spic-N-Span Henry Aaron Rookie (PSA 10 Autograph); and a 1955 Topps Harry Agganis Rookie (also signed).

If you prefer your Michael Jordan rookies as part of a wider group, there is a pair of 1986 Fleer Basketball complete sets offered, one entirely entombed with a GPA of 9.23 from PSA and a second with the famous Sticker set included and more than two dozen of the array in SGC holders.

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From the traditionally imposing lineup of complete and partial vintage sets comes examples from some of the most coveted postwar baseball issues (all complete): 1933-34 Goudey Premiums (4) with Ruth, a 1953 Topps Mantle (BGS 3.5), a 1953 Bowman Color Mantle (PSA 4), a 1956 Topps Mantle (SGC 5) and a 1965 Topps high-grade set Mantle (SGC 5.5).

To stay in the vintage arena, we’ll mention a stunning single-signed Ty Cobb autograph on a OAL Ban Johnson ball, and team-signed classics from the likes of the 1922 Giants (20 signatures), and 1937 (23 signatures, including Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio) and 1939 Yankees (DiMaggio).

Back to the Future: More from the new millennium brigade, including a 2012 Panini Signatures Kobe Film Autographs Green (BGS 9), a 2015 Immaculate Kobe/Magic/Shaq/West Quad Auto (BGS 7.5), a 2019 Immaculate Williamson, and R.J. Barrett Dual Brand Logos (1/1) and a 2019 Contenders Draft Picks Zion Williams RPS College Ticket Variations Printing Plates Cyan (1/1).

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The acclaimed Collect Auctions unopened battalion includes (Topps unless otherwise noted, and most lay claim to Larry Fritsch Cards pedigrees): Baseball – 1975 Topps Baseball Vending (First and Second Series), 1976, 1977 and 1980 Topps Vending, and 1980 Super Cellos box; Basketball – 1973, 1974 and 1976 Vending, 1986 Fleer Wax boxes (2), 1988 Fleer Wax box and a 1989 Fleer Unopened case; Football – 1973 Vending and 1986 Wax box, plus 1989 Score Wax box; and Hockey – 1971 Vending, 1976 Wax Case and 1977 Vending.

Under the heading of slabbed wax packs the cup runneth over with more than three dozen lots offered, most in PSA 9 or better holders and often with major Hall of Famers visible front or back, including: three 1970 Topps Baseball Cellos, eight 1973 Topps Wax Packs and seven 1975 Topps Cellos, with the risibles including Mike Schmidt, Gaylord Perry, Catfish Hunter, Aaron Highlights and several others; 1972 Topps Football Wax Packs (7), including Bradshaw (PSA 10), Unitas, Simpson, Staubach and Swann, to name a few; the Basketball lineup includes: 1972 Topps Wax (9), including Robertson, Maravich, Chamberlain and West, plus 1987 Fleer (9), including Ewing, Barkley, Erving and Abdul-Jabbar, plus 1988 Fleer (6), including two with Jordan Stickers on the back.

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Speaking of Jordan, the auction includes a 1987 Fleer No. 59, 1988 Fleer and 1988 Fleer All-Star, all three in PSA 10 holders; a 1996 SPx Record Breaker Auto (12/250); a 1997 SkyBox Z-Force Rave Reviews No. 6 (PSA 7); a 1996 Fleer Precious Metals No. 241 (PSA 8); a 1995 Flair New Heights (PSA 10); a 1986 Star Court Kings (BGS 9.5); and 2013 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Sigs (29/45).

The auction is available online at and closes on March 25.