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Rewriting the Recording Books: Two Dozen Records Fall in Memory Lane Sale

The market for high-grade, vintage singles continues to amaze, with records being set with seemingly each offering. Memory Lane rewrote the record books for two dozen items in its latest sale, led by Hank Aaron.

The current appetite for high-grade vintage sports cards appears insatiable. With bids flying well into the wee hours of the morning on May 8, Memory Lane’s Spring Rarities Auction ended with two dozen record prices set, as well as a new company record for total sales.



Cards from the finest basic collection of Hank Aaron cards on the PSA Set Registry drew a gathering of hungry bidders with the 1954 Topps rookie card rising to a new record price of $228,000. In fact,10 Aaron cards graded 9 or 10 by PSA now have new high water marks thanks to this auction. In addition to the rookie card, five other Aaron cards sold for over $25,000 including:

  • PSA 9 1960 Topps: $42,535
  • PSA 10 1969 Topps Aaron: $39,734
  • PSA 9 1958 Topps (white letter name): $32,788
  • PSA 9 1955 Topps: $28,135
  • PSA 9 1955 Bowman: $26,798

In all, 24 records were set in the auction, which totaled more than $2.9 million in sales, the highest grossing Memory Lane auction of all time.

A PSA 9 1954 Topps Ernie Banks rookie card smashed a two-year-old mark when it closed at $94,800, more than doubling the previous mark.



Two of the most sought-after rookie cards from the postwar era also reached new heights. A 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie card graded PSA 8 was acquired for $157,200, while a Willie Mays PSA 8 obliterated the former record set just a few weeks earlier when it was hammered down for $77,376.

Prewar collectors zeroed in on a mint 1934 Goudey Lou Gehrig, which sold for $67,200.

Babe Ruth cards and memorabilia were once again popular. A rarely offered PSA 9 1948 Leaf Ruth broke a record when it blasted past the six-figure mark, settling at $109,200, while a 1918 Charles Conlon photo of the young Ruth during his Boston Red Sox career hit $31,460.



The new records weren’t limited to baseball, however. A PSA 9 1957 Topps Johnny Unitas rookie card hit a milestone number, racing past the six-figure mark during the final hours of bidding until it realized a jaw-dropping $151,200. The Unitas was one of just seven graded at the 9 level, with none higher. The rookie card of another championship legend, Joe Namath, graded PSA 8, established a new plateau at $49,766. Hockey card collectors chased a PSA 9 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky, which closed at $31,460.

All prices reflect a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

“The results of this auction were nothing short of amazing,” stated Memory Lane’s JP Cohen. “Even beyond the record prices there were a lot of great cards available. There are a lot of new collectors entering the hobby and demanding the best. They certainly found it in this sale.”

For information on this auction, visit or call 877-606-5263.

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