When one of your lots nearly surpasses $1 million a few days into the auction, chances are you're looking at an impressive lineup of material. When those high bids surround a T206 Honus Wagner, you really start to get attention.
Goldin Auctions is leading off its April auction with the “Jumbo” Wagner card (graded PSA 5 – MC), which has previously sold at auction for $1.62 million. The “jumbo” nickname speaks to the card’s generous borders, which Goldin states at being 1/16-inch larger than a standard border for a T206 card.
“I think the likelihood of the card selling for over $3 million is greater than the likelihood of it not hitting $2 million,” said founder Ken Goldin. “Getting a Wagner (graded) 4 or above, there’s only four in the world. The opportunity to buy after this auction is not going to happen until somebody dies. What is this going to be worth 10, 15, 20 years from now when the next one even remotely comparable comes for sale?”
Goldin continued, "I wanted to pursue this card for auction as soon as I read the news of the PSA 8 (Wagner card). "Without commenting on that card, I felt in a lot of people’s minds it elevates this card to either the best or one of the two best Wagners in existence, certainly that have been authenticated and graded.” (For more on the PSA 8 Wagner, and its controversy, CLICK HERE.)
Goldin Auctions sale is live now, with bidding ending on April 5, at www.goldinauctions.com. More than 700 lots in the baseball category are included in the lineup, led by the Holy Grail of baseball cards.
The leadoff item isn’t the only impressive card in the auction. Goldin is also offering 1909-11 E90-1 Joe Jackson PSA 4 and a 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie SGC 7.5.
"The Lajoie has gotten a lot of attention early," Goldin said. "It might be one of the highest ever graded by SGC. I expect that to be very strong."
Another Goudey card, a No. 144 Babe Ruth graded SGC 7, is expected to draw heavy bidding. The vintage card category will also feature samples from various sets such as Old Judge, Allen and Ginter, S74 White Silks, T206, Turkey Red and plenty of strip cards.
Among the treasures from the 1950s is a 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle SGC 92, 1951 Bowman Ted Williams SGC 88, 1951 Bowman Willie Mays SGC 84, 1957 Topps Ted Williams SGC 84 and a Jell-O/Post Cereal lot of 385 cards. Goldin’s personal favorites in the auction are the 1952 Tip Top Bread Labels and the 1928 Babe Ruth Fro-Joy Collection.
"That '51 Bowman Mantle rookie will continue to get a lot of attention. The Joe Jackson rookie is always an extremeley popular card," Goldin said. "We got a lot of great cards. People are going to say, 'The first auction killed us with memorabilia, this auction is going to kill us with cards.' "
The signed memorabilia portion of the Goldin auction will turn a lot of heads, led by a fine example of a Babe Ruth single-signed ball and another single-signed beauty penned by Honus Wagner, believed to be the finest single-signed Wagner example on the sweet spot of an Official National League ball.
Other signed gems include Rickey Henderson’s 1993 Toronto Blue Jays World Series jersey, Derek Jeter’s 2001 World Series bat, 1997 Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves jersey and a baseball signed by every pitcher who threw a perfect game from 1956-2012 (18 signatures total).
The Jeter bat might be the most desired game-used bat in the auction, according to Goldin, and that's with a lineup that includes pieces from Stan Musial, Roberto Clemente and Pete Rose's corked bat from 1985.
Other big-ticket items include an Alex Rodriguez 2009 N.Y. Yankees World Series ring (consigned by his cousin who was also issued a ring at Rodriguez’s request), 1949 Norm Van Brocklin game-worn college All-Stars uniform, 1975-76 Bill Bradley game-used N.Y. Knicks home jersey and Greg Maddux’s 2002 Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
If you’re a Joe Montana collector, you’ll want to check out a nine-lot grouping that includes his Kansas City Chiefs jersey from the “Vindication Bowl” on Sept. 11, 1994, and an assortment of other signed, game-used items from pants to socks to flak jackets.
“People can tell the difference between great provenance and an oridnary run-of-the-mill jersey and the differenece between historically significant event and an ordinary game,," Goldin said in reference to the Montana jersey, which is already past $14,000.
For more information, call (856) 767-8550 or visit www.goldinauctions.com. An expanded version of this story is available on the SCD website.