As collectors, we all love stories about the amazing discovery of valuable, old baseball cards found tucked away by someone’s grandfather.
A New England woman recently found a stunning collection that her grandfather put together more than 100 years ago. The near complete set of 1916 M101-5 cards, which includes Babe Ruth’s rookie card, could be a groundbreaking discovery.
Put together by a New England teenager fascinated by photos of baseball’s biggest stars, the set includes Ruth and many other stars from the deadline era. Passed down through his family and now owned by his granddaughter, the collection, which includes 193 of the 200 cards in the set, highlights Memory Lane’s November Sets and Set Breaks Auction
The Ruth rookie card is graded SGC 2 and has an opening bid of $50,000. Many of the cards are among the best-ever examined by SGC, including Joe Jackson and Jim Thorpe cards graded 5.
The Memory Lane auction, which opens Nov. 20, features one of the largest accumulations of high-grade iconic sets, near sets and unopened material offered this year with more than 2,250 lots, including more than 7,000 graded cards and 261 lots of unopened boxes and packs.
Also among the marque offerings is a 1933 Goudey near set of 235 cards with three of the four Ruth cards and a Lou Gehrig, all graded PSA 8. A 1933 Goudey Sport Kings set break includes 43 PSA 8s and seven 8.5s with Ruth, Ty Cobb, Red Grange and Jim Thorpe all rated 8.
Pre-War cards include a 1941 Play Ball set with a PSA 8 Ted Williams and a 1935 National Chicle set with the Holy Grail of football cards — a Bronko Nagurski in a PSA 6 grade.
Other valuable baseball sets include:
• A 407-card set of 1952 Topps Baseball that includes a SGC 6.5 Mickey Mantle and a PSA 7 Willie Mays and carries a 7.96 overall GPA.
• A 1952 Bowman Baseball set with both Mantle and Mays rated PSA 8.
• A high-grade 1954 Red Heart Dog Food set with an 8.18 GPA and all 34 cards graded.
• A complete set of 1967 Topps with PSA 9 examples of Mantle and the rookie cards of Tom Seaver and Rod Carew.
• A 1968 Topps set with PSA 9 examples of Mantle and a Johnny Bench rookie card, along with a PSA 8 Nolan Ryan rookie.
• A high-grade group of 1961 Topps, including the high numbers.
The auction also features high-end vintage cards in other sports, including:
• A 1957-58 Topps Basketball set with a PSA 8 Bill Russell rookie card.
• A 1957 Topps Football set with a PSA 8 Johnny Unitas rookie card.
In all, 32 sets and near sets will be broken up and sold in individual lots.
Among the more than 250 lots of unopened material are: packs of 1957-58 basketball; 1955 Topps Baseball; multiple 1960s cello packs, including a ’60 Topps with Mantle on top and a 1964 Philadelphia with Jim Brown showing; a 1978 Topps Baseball vending case; a trio of unopened Red Man Tobacco packs (two with Warren Spahn cards showing on the back and another with Mays); a 1970-71 Topps 2nd Series Basketball box; and numerous other full boxes in all four major sports from the 1970s-90s.
There are also display boxes and vintage wrappers among the listings. Also featured are a group of rare and highly sought-after Pokemon unopened boxes and packs highlighted by a factory sealed 1999 1st Edition base set.
The auction runs through Dec 4. For more details and to register for bidding, call 877-606-LANE (5263) or visit MemoryLaneInc.com.