The extraordinary sports collection of Dr. Thomas Newman sold for more than $21.5 million in an auction at Memory Lane Inc. that ended Sunday morning.

Newman, a Tampa, Fla. neurologist who passed away from complications of COVID in January, owned one of the most extensive and impressive collections in the country. Newman, who was 73 when he died, assembled his vast collection over four decades as a sports card and memorabilia collector. Memory Lane officials predicted the collection would top $20 million.

According to Memory Lane, more than 50 of Newman’s historic cards set records during the auction, including some one-of-a-kind cards and memorabilia dating back to the 1880s.

Dr. Thomas Newman

Dr. Thomas Newman

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Highlighting the auction was a 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #53 card graded PSA 9, which sold for more than $4.2 million, a record for that card. Newman purchased the card for $20,000 in the mid-1990s.

A Mint 9 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth card is part of the Thomas Newman Collection.

1933 Goudey Babe Ruth card. 

A more common 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey card (#133, graded PSA 9) sold for $1,272,000, also a record for that card.

Other highlights of the Newman auction included:

• A near-perfect 1952 Mickey Mantle card (PSA 8) brought $2,112,200, a record price for the card in that grade. Newman purchased that card in 1986 after it was discovered in Massachusetts in an original case of 1952 Topps baseball cards.

A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, graded NM-MT 8, is part of the Thomas Newman Collection.

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. 

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• A 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth rookie card sold for $1,452,000, a record for a PSA 6 version of the card.

• One of the finest known surviving examples (PSA 5) of a gray tint 1925 Exhibit Supply Co. rookie card of Lou Gehrig was purchased for $1,032,000, a record for the card in that grade.

1925 Exhibits Lou Gehrig card from the Thomas Newman Collection.

Lou Gehrig

• A 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle #253 rookie card (PSA 8) sold for $498,000. 

Seven Babe Ruth cards sold for more than $100,000, with three topping $1 million, while five Mickey Mantle cards sold for more than $100,000.  

All prices include a 20 percent buyer’s fee and reflect the final price paid by the winning bidders.

“No one enjoyed collecting more than Tom,” Newman’s widow, Nancy Newman, said. “He jokingly called his cards his ‘paper babies,’ and spent almost every day attending to his collection in one way or another. It gave him such pleasure.”

Stewart Newman said his father began collecting cards and sports memorabilia in the early 1980s with baseball cards from 1957 and 1959.

“Those were replacements for the treasured cards of his youth that he kept in shoeboxes as a youngster and that his mom later threw out,” Stewart Newman said.

For more information on the auction, contact Memory Lane at 877-606-5263 or visit www.MemoryLaneinc.com.

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