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Mantle Cards Break Records in Memory Lane's Winter Classic Auction

Fourteen of the 21 cards in the Mickey Mantle Empire State Collection sold for the highest price ever recorded for their grades. That basic set helped vault Memory Lane past $2 million in its Winter Classic sale.

Highlighted by an ultra-high grade run of Mickey Mantle cards, Memory Lane’s Winter Classic Auction tallied over $2.1 million and set several hobby records when bidding wrapped up Jan. 17.

The Empire State Collection, a remarkable run of every basic Mickey Mantle card from his career (1951-1969), sold for a combined $759,100. Fourteen of the 21 cards in the collection sold for the highest price ever recorded for their grades.



“This was an amazing auction,” stated Memory Lane’s J.P. Cohen. “Mantle cards are on fire but across the board, the results were a testimony to the strength of the market and a great start to the year for the hobby as a whole.”

Leading the way was a PSA 7.5 (NM+) 1952 Topps #311, which soared to $199,565, and a 1951 Bowman Mantle rookie card rated PSA 8 (NM/MT) that realized $119,500, breaking the hobby record of $99,336 set just three months ago.



That was just the tip of the iceberg. A PSA 8.5 1953 Topps Mantle rocketed to $95,600 – more than $57,000 higher than the last record-setting tally in a Memory Lane auction less than two years ago. A 1952 Bowman PSA 9 hit $32,265, and one of the eight 1968 Topps PSA 10 Mantles on PSA’s Population Report sold for $30,309.

Other cards from the Empire State Collection setting new marks included:

  • 1955 Bowman PSA 9: $18,946
  • 1958 Topps PSA 9: $22,366
  • 1959 Topps PSA 9: $19,566
  • 1960 Topps PSA 9: $22,640
  • 1962 Topps PSA 9: $26,445
  • 1968 Topps PSA 10: $30,309
  • 1969 Topps PSA 9: $9,078.

Other high-grade vintage rookie card that attracted strong interest from bidders included a 1954 Topps Ernie Banks rookie, which vaulted to $47,800; a 1916 M101-5 Babe Ruth, graded PSA Authentic ($44,793), a 1911 C-55 Georges Vezina, PSA 7, ($21,171) and a NM+ 1951 Bowman Willie Mays ($13,080).

Several top-grade 1935 National Chicle Football cards sold in the auction including a PSA 7.5 Bull Tosi ($11,086), a PSA 8 Luke Johnsos ($10,697), a PSA 8 Bo Molenda ($8,834) and a PSA 9 John Isola ($8,298).

Vintage Hank Aaron cards were popular with a 1956 Topps PSA 9 bringing $9,968, a 1962 Topps PSA 9 selling for $8,239 and a 1973 Topps PSA 10 realizing $5,667.

Prewar highlights included a T206 Walter Johnson graded PSA 7 ($16,266) and a T205 Richard Hoblitzell “no stats variation”, graded PSA 4 ($9,297).



Memory Lane offered two rare Goudey window advertising displays, including one from the 1933 Sport Kings set which brought $17,262 and one from the 1933 Goudey Baseball set which sold for $10,316.

Another popular item from the memorabilia category was a single-signed Harry Heilman baseball. Signed on the sweet spot, the ball sold for $20,427. A rare autographed 1955 Topps Jackie Robinson card ended at $6,264.

Full results are available on Memory Lane’s website.