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Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays cards highlight strong vintage auction for Memory Lane

Vintage baseball cards are still in high demand as Memory Lane Inc. showed in its $8.9 million Summer Rarities Auction.

There is still strong demand for high-end vintage cards as Memory Lane Inc. showed in its Summer Rarities Auction, which closed Sunday with more than $8.9 million in sales.

Numerous records fell in the auction, which was led by a PSA 8 version of Willie Mays’ second Topps card. The short-print 1953 Topps card hit the market for the first time since 2019 and sold for $194,579, shattering the previous mark of $38,240.

1953 Topps Willie Mays card.

1953 Topps Willie Mays card.

Also See: Remembering Len Dawson and his undervalued cards 

Meanwhile, a 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle card, also graded PSA 8, sold for a record $117,604.

1953 Topps Mickey Mantle card.

1953 Topps Mickey Mantle card.

Other six-figure sales included the only known signed copy of the 1932 U.S. Caramel Babe Ruth card. Carrying a PSA 9 autograph, it sold for $244,736. 

1932 U.S. Caramel Babe Ruth card.

1932 U.S. Caramel Babe Ruth card.

Also See: Ty Cobb dentures, rare cards top SCP auction 

A Ruth-signed magazine page from 1948, also graded PSA 9, netted $50,933.

Other record-setting vintage sales included:

• A 1955 Topps Ted Williams (PSA 9) for $71,532, three times the previous high. Another record setting Williams card was a PSA 8 1941 Play Ball for $31,210.

1955 Topps Ted Williams card.

1955 Topps Ted Williams card.

• A 1973 Topps Hank Aaron card (PSA 10) for $52,100, nearly four times the old mark set just two years ago.

• A 1965 Topps Steve Carlton rookie card (PSA 10) for $93,869.

• A 1970 Topps Ernie Banks (PSA 10) for $63,427.

• A 1966 Topps Willie Mays (PSA 9) for $58,849.

• A 1976 Topps Reggie Jackson (PSA 10) for $39,790, more than $29,000 higher than the last sale last year.

• A 1956 Topps Billy Martin card (PSA 10) for $24,427.

• A 1961 Fleer Jim Brown card (PSA 9) for $27,457, more than six times the previous high.

Numerous autographed baseball cards also performed well, including one of only four known 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson signed copies that sold for $125,794, the highest amount ever realized for any signed Jackie Robinson card.

A signed 1952 Willie Mays card went for $93,566, also the highest figure for any signed Mays card.

A 1967 Tom Seaver rookie card with the card and autograph both rated PSA 9 sold for $47,330, while numerous Roberto Clemente autographed cards set records, including a ’58 Topps ($12,535), ‘68 Topps ($12,535) and a 1969 Topps ($16,685).

The highest-selling item in the auction was a 1961-62 Fleer Basketball unopened box that netted $420,608.

Other high-selling unopened boxes included: a 1976 Topps Baseball vending case ($72,198); a 1980 case ($42,930); a 1984 Topps Football wax case ($41,321); and a 1986 Topps Football 3-Box rack ($22,784). A 1966 Topps Baseball cello pack (PSA 9) from sold for $10,486.

Other unsigned vintage cards sold included:

• 1927 E126 Ruth “Series of 60” (PSA 4) for a record $75,252.

• A 1957 Topps Frank Robinson (PSA 9) for $55,374.

• 1909 T204 Walter Johnson (PSA 2) for a record $25,063.

• A 1972 Icee Pete Maravich (PSA 10) for $17,732.

Top sports memorabilia in the auction included:

• A copy of the first World Series program in 1903 ($77,225); a 1918 World Series Fenway Park program ($28,082); and a full ticket to Don Larsen’s 1956 World Series perfect game, signed by the late pitcher (a record $45,743). 

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