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Ruth, Cobb cards pace $1.6 million Memory Lane Auction

Bidding was strong for vintage cards featuring some of the greatest baseball players, including Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, in Memory Lane's Summer Auction.

Even in lower grades, Babe Ruth’s rookie card is still a big draw.

A blank back 1916 M101-5 Ruth graded Fair brought the top price in Memory Lane’s recent Summer Auction when it sold for $79,200. Featuring The Babe as a Red Sox pitcher, it’s the first card issued during his big league career.

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The auction was also headlined by a T206 Ty Cobb Red Portrait graded PSA 8, one of just 18 ever graded at that level with only two rating higher. When the dust settled, the Cobb card netted $67,200, shattering the hobby’s former record for the grade by 24 percent.

In all, more than 700 lots offered in the auction realized $1,604,355.

“We were very pleased with the steady bidding,” said Memory Lane’s J.P. Cohen. “The market is still very strong for high quality or rare items.”

Mickey Mantle items remained a major attraction with a PSA 6 example of his iconic 1952 Topps card bringing $76,000 and a signed 1951 Bowman rookie card landing at $43,378.

The auction also featured a 1970s Walter Payton game worn road jersey which soared to $35,248.

Twenty-five lots sold for $10,000 or more including a rare 1889 Old Judge (N172) Ed Delahanty rookie (PSA 5.5) which sold for $25,334. Other top pre-War prices came from a T206 Harry Covaleski PSA 9 ($10,742) and a trio of high-grade 1938 Goudey cards topped by a PSA 9 Hank Greenberg that reached $15,799. The latter was part of the breakup of a complete set which netted more than $100,000. Also offered in the auction was the fifth best set of 1939 Play Ball cards on the PSA Registry. Containing 159 of 161 cards, the compilation sold for more than $52,000.

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High-grade 1950s were also popular. A 1957 Topps #407 Yankees Power Hitters sold for $19,180, a 1958 Topps Norm Siebern reached $10,130 and a pair of 1959 Topps commons graded 10 combined to bring more than $10,000.

The auction included several vintage packs and boxes including a 1957 Topps Baseball wax pack rated PSA 6 ($5,718) and a large group of Type 1 photos, headlined by a 1937 International News image of Lou Gehrig which sold for more than $7,000.

Complete results are available at

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