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2021 was a historic year for sports collectibles, and no company proved that more than Heritage Auctions, which topped $1.4 billion in sales.

Buoyed by another banner year for sports collectibles, the 45-year-old, Dallas-based auction house topped $1 billion in sales for the first time.

Heritage set numerous auction world records in 2021, including the most valuable Michael Jordan jersey and the top-selling hockey trading card. It also set records for the most valuable comic book, J.C. Leyendecker painting, video game, Peanuts artwork and Harry Potter book.

“Heritage is built by collectors and for collectors,” says Heritage Auctions CEO and co-founder Steve Ivy. “Even when we are talking about serious money, the passionate pursuit of a collector is still a pursuit of fun, and we will never forget this. Our extraordinary success in 2021 was due to this very fact: We don’t sell things. We offer memories, passions, pursuits that bring broad grins to our clients’ faces.”

Also See: New, rare items surface from Mickey Mantle Fan Club 

Heritage’s collector-client base grew to more than 1.5 million clients worldwide in 2021 — an addition of more than 270,000 since January 2020. Those new clients also followed an industry trend — they were younger than ever, with 37 percent of first-time bidders being millennials.

Nearly all of Heritage’s more than 40 categories saw an increase in sales over 2020, including Heritage Sports, which nearly topped $200 million in total sales, more than doubling its total from a banner 2020.

Heritage Sports made headlines in May when the Canadian version of Wayne Gretzky’s 1979 rookie card sold for a world-record $3.75 million.

1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky rookie card that sold for a record $3.75 million at Heritage Auctions.

Wayne Gretzky rookie card. 

Heritage also sold two of the iconic 1909 Honus Wagner T206 cards for more than $2.2 million each. The first Wagner sale was part of a record $42 million sports month in February.

1909 T206 Honus Wager card that sold for $2.25 million at Heritage Auctions.

1909 T206 Honus Wager card that sold for $2.25 million at Heritage Auctions.

Heritage also brokered two record sales for Michael Jordan memorabilia, including the world’s first million-dollar Michael Jordan card, which sold for $1,440,000. 

1997 Upper Deck Michael Jordan card that sold for a record $1.4 million at Heritage Auctions.

1997 Upper Deck Michael Jordan card that sold for a record $1.4 million at Heritage Auctions.

Three months later, it sold the only known Jordan game-worn University of North Carolina jersey photo-matched to his "Player of the Year" season for $1,380,000, making it the most expensive Michael Jordan jersey ever sold.

A Michael Jordan jersey from his 1982-83 season at North Carolina sold for $1.3M at Heritage Auctions.

A Michael Jordan jersey from his 1982-83 season at North Carolina sold for $1.3M at Heritage Auctions.

Also See: Emmitt Smith selling own memorabilia for good cause 

Heritage also set records in Comic Books and Comic Art with more than $181 million in sales, a 117 percent increase over 2020, establishing the auction house as one of the world’s leading auctioneers of comics and comic art. Its banner year began with the record sale of the best-known copy of Batman No. 1 for $2,220,000 — the highest price ever paid for a Dark Knight comic book. It also included one of four known near-mint copies of Amazing Fantasy No. 15 for $3.6 million, making Spider-Man’s debut the most expensive comic book ever sold at auction.

Spider-Man's Amazing Fantasy No. 15 comic book that sold for $3.6 million at Heritage Auctions.

Spider-Man's Amazing Fantasy No. 15 comic book that sold for $3.6 million at Heritage Auctions.

Other record 2021 sales included:

a December 1966 Sunday strip featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas sold for $360,000.

Jack Kirby's Dr. Doom cover art for 1969's Fantastic Four No. 86 sold for $480,000 — the highest price ever paid at auction for an original work by comicdom's most influential creator.

A rare first edition of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for $471,000, the highest price ever paid for the boy wizard's debut in any form and a record for any single modern novel.

Norman Rockwell's beloved Home for Thanksgiving sold for $4.3 million in November.

Joseph Christian Leyendecker's Beat-up Boy, Football Hero sold in May for $4.12 million, shattering the previous world record for a work by the influential illustrator.

A magnificent sealed copy of Super Mario 64 sold for $1,560,000

A copy of The Legend of Zelda for $870,000

A Pokemon First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box sold for $408,000.

Heritage, which was founded in 1976 as a coin-seller, also continued to be a leader in the numismatics category with $434,062,584 in sales in 2021, a staggering 49.6% jump from the $290,103,722 seen in 2020.

Auction of the Week

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THE WINTER SHOW

SPORTS CARDS, MEMORABILIA, TOYS, COLLECTIBLES AND MORE!!! Meet WWE Hall of Fame legend "The Godfather" and International Wrestling Superstar D-Lo Brown between 10 am-4 pm.January 29th Mooresville NC. Sports Wax Promotions Winter Card Sports Card & Memorabilia Show Charles Mack Citizen Center, 215 N Main St, Mooresville, NC 28115. Hours: 9 am-4 pm. Admission: $5. 75+ Tables.