Skip to main content

Heritage Tops $11M in Sale, Led by 1952 Topps ... Mays

Heritage Auctions turned in a three-day sports collectibles event into an $11 million payday, with gangbuster prices for vintage cards, including a staggering amount for a 1952 Topps Willie Mays.

In the early morning hours of May 15, Heritage Auctions became the only auction house to produce an eight-figure sports collectibles auction in 2016 as its May 12-14 Sports Collectibles Catalog Auction closed, concluding a three-day event that commanded $11 million in total prices realized.

“In less than three months, we have dropped the hammer on over $20 million in sales,” said Chris Ivy, director of Sports Collectibles at Heritage. “It was a quick turnaround after our New York Platinum Night, but clearly the hobby’s largest bidding audience was more than ready to meet the challenge.”



The Trading Card session on May 12 accounted for more than $7 million of the auction total prices realized, upending conventional pricing wisdom across the full spectrum, from the auction’s top lot, a $478,000 result for a PSA Mint 9 example of Willie Mays’ 1952 Topps rookie, to the highest figure ever paid for Frank Robinson’s rookie in the same grade, a staggering $57,360.



Other noteworthy results included $45,410 for a PSA Mint 9 example of a 1959 Topps Bob Gibson, just more than $50,000 for a 1971 Topps Terry Bradshaw graded PSA Mint 9, and $20,315 for a PSA Gem Mint 10 representation of Walter Payton’s 1976 Topps rookie.

The May 13, 2016 memorabilia session of the auction was anchored by The Dr. David Fischer “Dream Team” Collection, featuring game-used gear and other mementos of the historic 1992 Olympic Basketball Gold Medal squad. Notable results were $52,580 for Michael Jordan game worn sneakers and $40,630 for a team signed basketball.

Heritage continued to assert its authority of the game-worn jersey market, as a 1980s Mike Bossy gamer quadrupled its estimate to command a sale price of $35,850, while a rookie-era Pete Rose jersey soared past $50,000 in spirited bidding.

Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
• 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 SGC 84 NM 7: Realized $215,100.
• 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle #253 PSA NM-MT 8: Realized $167,300.
• 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente #164 PSA NM-MT 8: Realized $131,450.
• 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax #123 PSA NM-MT+ 8.5: Realized $89,625.
• 1932 U.S. Caramel Babe Ruth #32 PSA NM-MT 8: Realized $83,650.
• 1951 Bowman Willie Mays #305 PSA NM-MT 8: $77,944.
• 1971 Topps Baseball 4th Series Wax Box with 24 Unopened Packs: Realized $77,675.
• 1929 Al Capone Signed & Fingerprinted Police Booking Card: Realized $71,700.
• 1947 Cy Young Single Signed Baseball: Realized $43,020.
• 1934 Tour of Japan Team Signed Baseball: Realized $43,020.
• 1961 Fleer Wilt Chamberlain #8 PSA Mint 9: Realized $38,240.
• 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson #312 PSA NM-MT 8: Realized $35,850.