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George Mikan rookie card fetches $320K in Memory Lane auction

TUSTIN, Calif. – It has been 64 years since George Mikan’s last professional basketball game, but NBA’s first dominant big man is still making news.

Lot 1

One of the five best examples of the late Hall of Famer’s 1948 Bowman rookie card sold for $320,009 early Sunday morning as Memory Lane closed out its 20th Anniversary Auction. Bidding was intense with the high bid jumping by more than $100,000 in the final hours of bidding. The price established a record for the grade, a PSA Mint 9. A PSA 10 Mikan sold five years ago for just over $400,000.

The Mikan card wasn’t the only six-figure item in the auction, which included over 1,300 lots spread over a 390-page catalog that ranked the largest auction ever held by Memory Lane.

The top-rated 1950 Bowman football set on PSA’s Set Registry was broken up and sold card-by-card for a combined total of $225,301, while a 1951 Bowman Willie Mays rookie card graded 8 by PSA went for a record-setting $103,318. 

Lot 507

A 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card rated PSA 10 netted $103,490—the third Jordan rookie to broach the $100,000 mark this year at public auction. The Jordan was the kingpin of an all-PSA 10 set break.

In all, the auction generated sales of nearly $3.76 million.

The auction included several cards from early in Ty Cobb’s legendary career, including the only autographed copy of his 1907 Dietsche postcard (fielding pose). Carrying an autograph grade of 8, the historic piece rocketed to $73,548. A Cobb Wolverine Postcard postmarked Oct. 9, 1907 with a fan’s handwritten reference to Cobb’s first American League batting title, went for $31,986.

The auction included several rare photographs, including an original Type I Underwood & Underwood image of the 1915 Red Sox pitching staff featuring a young Babe Ruth. With the caption on the back dated to the day prior to the 1915 World Series, the photo sold for $52,182.

Lot 105

Other highlights included a PSA 9 1963 Topps Pete Rose rookie card ($77,096), a 1921 E121 Ruth card (“Babe” in quotes version) graded PSA 3 ($58,380, a record price), a 1952 Topps Willie Mays PSA 8 ($46,111), a 1938 Goudey Joe DiMaggio PSA 8 ($46,411, a record price), a 1961-62 Fleer Wilt Chamberlain rookie card ($33,586), a 1939 Play Ball Ted Williams rookie card graded PSA 8 ($36,128), a 1911 E94 George Close Candy Ty Cobb SGC 7.5 ($38,006), a 1912 S81 Helmar Silk Cobb SGC 70 ($33,193, a record price), a 1957 Topps Pee Wee Reese PSA 10 ($36,090), a 1957 Topps Sandy Koufax PSA 9 ($32,769) and a 1966 Topps Brooks Robinson PSA 10 ($26,149).

Complete results can be found on Memory Lane’s website.

Consignments are now being accepted for the company’s next auction, slated for early 2021.

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