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1903 World Series program nets record sale, tops Memory Lane’s $6.7 million auction

A scored program from the 1903 World Series and several record-setting vintage cards highlighted Memory Lane Inc's $6.7 million Winter Rarities Auction.

A scored program from the first game of the first modern World Series in 1903 sold for a record $171,484 Sunday in Memory Lane’s Winter Rarities Auction.

One of only a small number of known surviving examples from the entire series, the program’s original owner chronicled the 7-3 Pittsburgh Pirates victory over Cy Young and the Boston Americans at the Huntington Avenue Grounds in Boston on Oct. 1, 1903.

Program from the 1903 World Series between Pittsburgh and Boston.

Program from the 1903 World Series between Pittsburgh and Boston.

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The auction, which generated sales of near $6.7 million, included more than 1,800 lots, highlighted by several record-setting vintage cards.

A 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie card sold for $171,484, more than tripling the previous mark for a PSA 7 copy. 

1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie card.

1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie card.

A 1932 US Caramel Babe Ruth card, also graded PSA 7, set a new high for the grade at $92,146.

Among the other pre-War auction highlights were a 1933 Goudey Sport Kings Nat Holman (PSA 8) that sold for a record $48,432 and a 1921 Exhibits Babe Ruth (PSA 4) for $34,408.

1921 Exhibits Babe Ruth card.

1921 Exhibits Babe Ruth card.

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Several new records were set among post-War era cards. A PSA 9 copy of Roberto Clemente’s 1963 Topps card soared to new heights with a winning bid of $56,047; a 1952 Topps Duke Snider (black back) graded PSA 9 also set a new mark at $47,257; and a 1960 Leaf Duke Snider PSA 10 sold for $10,734

Two cards from the Cincinnati Reds’ 1975 championship season generated bidding wars. PSA 10 copies of the 1975 Topps cards of Johnny Bench ($28,621) and Cesar Geronimo ($25,960) each set new benchmarks. The Geronimo card is one of only two Gem Mint copies examined by PSA.

Other baseball sales included: a 1952 Topps Ben Chapman (PSA 9) for $50,854; a complete, PSA- graded 1951 Topps Connie Mack All-Stars set that brought $18,805; a 1955 Topps Jackie Robinson card (PSA 9) for $72,198; a 1952 Topps Robinson (PSA 7) for $48,416; a 1957 Topps Luis Aparicio (PSA 10) for $25,649; and a 2000 Topps Traded Miguel Cabrera autograph card (PSA 10) for $22,784.

Among basketball cards, one of the 319 Michael Jordan rookie cards graded PSA 10 sold for $184,736, while a 1/1 NBA Finals LeBron James card issued through Panini Instant in 2016 and graded PSA 10 sold for an eye-popping $20,432.

1986 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card.

1986 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card.

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Among the top selling football lots was a 1965 Topps wax pack that netted $19,506 and a 1962 Topps Chicago Bears team card (PSA 10) for $16,685.

Among vintage packs and boxes sold in the auction was one of only two known 1962 Mars Attacks unopened packs. The highest of the two, the pack sold by Memory Lane soared to $66,599. A 1977 Topps vending case sold for $43,915, while a group of 10 boxes of 1993 Upper Deck SP boxes went for $31,268.

Memory Lane Auctions usually offers plenty of Type 1 photos and this auction was no exception. Two stood out: a 1939 Lou Gehrig “Luckiest Man Speech” image sold for $37,085; and a 1919 Joe Jackson Type 1 totaled $26,960.

An original Type I photo of Lou Gehrig's 1939 “Luckiest Man Speech.”

An original Type I photo of Lou Gehrig's 1939 “Luckiest Man Speech.”

Other memorabilia included a full ticket to the Nov. 23, 2000 Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots game that marked Tom Brady’s NFL debut. Graded PSA 7 with Brady’s autograph on the front, the signed ticket is one of just five graded by PSA. It sold for $22,754.