Buoyed by a selection of elite level Mickey Mantle cards, the No. 3 PSA Set Registry-rated 1953 Topps set and a slew of exclusive rookie cards, Mile High Card Co. obliterated the record book on many fronts in its October 2015 auction, which totaled $2.4 million in sales.
“We always have a few high-profile items that surprise, but many of the realized prices in this auction were truly astounding, confirming that the current state of the hobby is strong” said MHCC CEO and President Brian Drent.
Set-builders have been waiting decades for the opportunity to upgrade their advanced 1953 Topps sets, and the break-up of the No. 3-rated set was well received by MHCC’s clientele. While also offered in complete set form, it was the sum of the individual cards that ultimately prevailed to the tune of $231,572, led by #82 Mickey Mantle PSA 8 at $32,710, #244 Willie Mays PSA 8 at $18,797, #220 Satchel Paige PSA 9 at $11,447 and #1 Jackie Robinson PSA 8 at $3,782.
Of course, the spotlight once again fell on the venerable Mickey Mantle. The 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle card has reached the level of the iconic T206 Honus Wagner in that each specimen is judged for its characteristics above and beyond the assessed grade. That taken into account, the featured PSA 8 achieved a strong result of $313,483. A 1951 Bowman Mantle PSA 8 topped the $100,000 mark, almost double the previous record price, and a 1953 Stahl-Meyer Mantle PSA 7 fetched almost $20,000 more than the last recorded sale when the hammer fell at $31,366. A 1963 Topps #200 Mickey Mantle also set a record for a PSA 9 with a bid of $9,144.
Rookie cards of Hall of Famers not only continue to be hot, but were taken to an even more astounding level in the MHCC auction. Record-destroying prices realized include a 1939 Play Ball #92 Ted Williams RC PSA 8 at $14,954, 1954 Topps #128 Hank Aaron RC PSA 8 at $24,947, 1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente RC PSA 8 at $36,312, 1963 Topps #537 Pete Rose RC PSA 8 at $4,923, 1961 Fleer #8 Wilt Chamberlain RC PSA 8 at $12,780, 1986 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan PSA 9 at $5,540 and 1979 O-Pee-Chee #18 Wayne Gretzky PSA 9 at $23,962.
Of course, MHCC continues to be the industry leader for 1952 Topps collectors, serving up unbelievable results that include #312 Jackie Robinson PSA 9 $57,763, #407 Eddie Mathews PSA 8 $55,050, #314 Roy Campanella PSA 9 $12,299, #37 Duke Snider PSA 9 $17,544, #333 Pee Wee Reese PSA 9 $10,150, #392 Hoyt Wilhelm PSA 9 $11,165, #36 Gil Hodges PSA 9 $13,067, #191 Yogi Berra PSA 8 $10,058, #49 Johnny Sain (Page Bio) PSA 8 $10,150, and #320 John Rutherford PSA 8 at $8,938.
Other amazing results include a 1911 T205 Hoblitzel (No Stats) EX/NM at $16,882, 1915 Cracker Jack #30 Ty Cobb NM/MT+ at $35,482, 1933 Goudey #149 Babe Ruth PSA 8 at $66,246, 1971 Topps #400 Hank Aaron PSA 10 GEM MINT at $10,817 and a 1923 V145-1 Paterson #25 Bert Corbeau hockey card, one of approximately 10 known to exist, which sold in a PSA 1 for $39,121.
The most popular item displayed at the National was the historic but slightly disturbing 1930s Reach Executioner Leather Football Helmet. With spirited bidding throughout the final day, the helmet fetched a price of $10,496. A 1960s Hank Aaron Atlanta Braves game-used batting helmet from Delbert Mickel Collection brought in $8,398 and a 1998-99 Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts rookie year game-used helmet sold for $8,673. Leading the non-sports charge was a 1977 Topps Star Wars Set No. 6 on PSA Set Registry with 9.809 GPA which sold for $12,701.