The Heritage Auctions’ April Monthly Showcase Sports Auction realized nearly $5 million, including the highest-selling NBA Top Shot in the young history of the digital collectible.
A 2020 LeBron James NBA Top Shot (Series 1) From The Top - Dunk No. 3/59 brought $387,600 during the sale, besting by a wide margin the previous record sale for the virtual sports cards that have reshaped the collectibles industry.
The Moment, from Feb. 6, 2020, featured James paying homage to Kobe Bryant with a breakaway dunk that, though unintentional, seemingly reenacted an iconic Bryant reverse slam from nearly 20 years earlier. A day later, Bryant and his daughter Gianna were laid to rest in a private ceremony.
Heritage Auctions has quickly become a go-to Top Shot auction house with two Moments on the Top 5 Top Shot sales list. The other is a 2020 Zion Williamson NBA Top Shot Rookie Debut (Series 1) No. 1/192, which sold on Feb. 28 for $162,000. In all, Heritage has sold 20 of the NBA’s highly sought-after digital Moments, with more to come in May.
Bryant was also part of the monthly sale’s top lot with a 2000 Upper Deck Combo Game Jersey signed by the late Laker and Michael Jordan graded BGS NM-MT+ 8.5 Auto 10. It brought $516,600, almost twice its pre-auction estimate.
Eight cards in the 446-lot sale sold for six figures, including: a 1993 SP Derek Jeter Foil Rookie PSA Gem Mint 10, which sold for $468,000; a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA EX 5 that brought $138,000; and a 1986 Fleer Basketball Wax Box with 36 Unopened Packs, which fetched $186,000.
“Quite simply, there’s never been a more exciting time to be part of this amazing hobby,” said Chris Ivy, Heritage’s Director of Sports Auctions. “Every day, more collectors flock to sports cards, and a thing we love as kids clearly remains a passion and pursuit for so many today.”
This sale was the only the second of its kind in the nearly 20-year history of Heritage Auctions’ Sports Category with fewer than 500 lots in a sale that featured only material already graded and/or authenticated by a leading third-party service when consigned. It ran for two weeks to better shrink the window between consignment, auction and payment. And unlike most of Heritage's sports auctions, it was done without a catalog.
Heritage has been the worldwide leader in sports memorabilia for almost two decades through its semi-annual events and weekly sales. To better serve the increasing demand for sports cards and memorabilia, it added a monthly special in March, which scored $3.3 million in sales.