The drought is over: 108 years of frustration ended with the Chicago Cubs’ thrilling 10-inning win in Game 7 of the World Series. In honor of this momentous occasion, we present these Cubbie treasures:
• A 2014 Bowman Chrome Kris Bryant Gold Refractor rookie card sold for $2,900 on 44 bids just hours after the World Series ended. The card, autographed by the Cubs’ star third baseman, was one of just 50 produced. Both card and signature earned a perfect 10 grade from BGS.
• A 2016 Topps Anthony Rizzo autographed Red Parallel card got away for $215 during the World Series. The card, ungraded, was a 1/1 issue.
• Also during the World Series, a Jon Lester autographed jersey sold for $330. The Cubs’ staff ace inked the “4” of his jersey number (34) in silver Sharpie. Lester’s sig was authenticated by PSA/DNA.
• Multiple listings offered official 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series hats within hours of the last out of this year’s Fall Classic. Prices were somewhat high for an item that’s typically around $20. We saw new examples, with tags, selling for prices between $50 and $75.
• A vintage Chicago Tribune newspaper trumpeting the Cubs’ 1908 World Series championship sold for $250. The Oct. 15, 1908 edition sold for $250. The front page reads: “Cubs Supreme in Baseball World.” (We bet that no readers of the lead story that day would have believed that more than a century would pass before the Cubs would reign again.)
• And… how can you celebrate the end of the Cubs’ drought without remembering some of the team’s heroes of the past? Items that sold around World Series time included an Ernie Banks 1954 Topps rookie card graded PSA 8 ($8,400 on 35 bids) and a Ron Santo 1961 Topps rookie card graded PSA 9 ($1,650 on 48 bids).
• Along the same lines, one of the most colorful rarities among vintage Cubs items was a 1969 team poster originally issued in a pack. The poster — which features Santo and Banks along with Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins, Glenn Beckert and others—sold for $150.
• A 1932 World Series program touting the matchup of the Cubs vs. the Yankees sold for $625. The Yankees, of course, prevailed, sweeping the Cubs in four games. Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth combined for five homers and 14 RBI in the Series. The Cubs’ stars from that team included pitcher Lon Warneke (who had a 22-6 record during the regular season) and second baseman Billy Herman (who hit .314 with 206 hits and 102 runs).
Plus, we’ll be watching this for you: At press time, a seller had just listed a Jake Arrieta home game-used jersey from the 2015 playoffs, claiming to have bought it directly from the Cubs organization. Asking price: $49,995 as a Buy It Now (or Make Offer) deal.
Anyone who believes heroes are hard to find should look no further than the lead item in our Top 10. Bart Starr, now 83 and still recovering from a series of health setbacks over the past three years, has worn the label “role model” as well as anyone in or outside of sports.
On the field of play, Starr led the Green Bay Packers throughout its dynasty era of the 1960s, winning five championships, including the first two Super Bowls. And off the field, he contributed countless hours and boundless energy to improving the lives of others, particularly underprivileged and troubled youths. There’s also his reputation as a rock-solid family man and a man of faith, not to mention the ethics and acumen he showed as a successful businessman. The word “scandal” has never been used in relation to Starr.
So it isn’t surprising to see Starr memorabilia increase in value as the years go by. And one of the truly desirable Starr pieces is his rookie card, which lands at No. 1 on our chart thanks to the eye-popping price of $300,000. The card’s near-flawless condition earned a PSA 9 Mint grade; only two other Starr rookies in that condition appear in PSA’s population report.
If you still need to add a Starr rookie to your collection, don’t worry: You won’t have to pay a six-figure price. In recent months, we’ve seen 1957 Starr cards graded PSA 8 sold for $12,500, $8,700 and $7,800. Settle for an example in graded at 4 or 5 and you’ll pay $375 to $500 these days.
WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, PEYTON MANNING?
Are you missing the sight of Peyton Manning tossing footballs around the gridiron? At least you can catch him on any number of TV commercials, most of them worth a laugh or two. You can also find thousands of Manning mementos up for sale, some of them available for a few bucks, some of them that soar to five-figure prices. An example of the latter: a 1988 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket card bearing Manning’s autograph. The card, graded PSA 9, fetched $17,100 on 25 bids.
ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
Wondering what items just missed our Top 10? We thought so…. Here are the “close but no cigar” listings, preceded by their prices:
$19,999: 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle (SGC 40)
$19,600: 1957 Topps Paul Hornung (PSA 9)
$19,477: 1971 Topps Terry Bradshaw (PSA 9)
As for football stars Hornung and Bradshaw, those PSA 9 grades have a predictably huge impact, especially in Bradshaw’s case. A healthy number of the Steeler legend’s rookies graded at PSA 8 have sold for prices between $800 and $2,000 — a far cry from the $19,000; PSA 7s have recently sold for figures between $270 and $635.
Hornung rookies — 14 years older and a bit harder to find in top condition than Bradshaw’s — can bring big prices in close-to-9 condition. In October alone, we saw a PSA 8.5 Hornung rookie sell for $14,000 and a PSA 8 go for $5,660. On the other hand, PSA 7 examples of the 1957 Hornung card can be had for $800 to $900, judging by recent sales.
TOP 10 ONLINE AUCTIONS
1. $300,000: 1957 Topps Bart Starr (PSA 9)
2. $164,700: 1984-85 Star Michael Jordan (BGS 9.5)
3. $69,600: 1986-87 Fleer Basketball 36-pack wax box (BBCE)
4. $45,100: 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax (PSA 8.5)
5. $33,301: 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman (PSA 9)
6. $33,010: 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky (PSA 9)
7. $26,988: 1958 Topps Jim Brown (PSA 8)
8. $25,000: 2013-14 Panini National Treasures Kobe Bryant auto patch Logoman Signatures (#2 of 2; ungraded)
9. $23,100: 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan (PSA 10)
10. $21,100: 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan (PSA 10)