FIVE LEGENDS DOMINATE THE YEAR’S TOP-SELLING ARTIFACTS
High-grade cards and game-worn jerseys continue dominating the “hot list” of the world’s top sports collectibles, and 2017 was no exception.
Heritage Auctions’ sports department ended the year with more than $63 million in auction revenues, with total sales, which includes private sales, of more than $100 million.
“We are proud to be the first sports collectibles auctioneer to post a nine-figure annual sales total,” says Sports Auction Director Chris Ivy. “It’s a tribute to the enduring strength of the hobby and our unrivaled ability to connect with a global audience of sophisticated collectors.”
The year’s blockbuster lot was the jersey Jackie Robinson wore at the start of his Major League career in 1947, when Robinson opened the door for the integration of baseball. Its $2.05 million price “smashed Heritage’s own previous world record of $573,600 for a post-war game-worn jersey, a 1955 rookie model from Robinson’s teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax,” Ivy says.
Here are the year’s top-performing lots, dominated by five sports legends: Robinson, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.
1947 Brooklyn Dodgers Rookie Jersey Worn by Jackie Robinson the Year he Broke the “Color Barrier” in Major League Baseball
1937 New York Yankees Jersey Worn by Lou Gehrig, Matched to Jersey Worn in his Monument Park plaque (right) at Yankee Stadium
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311, Graded PSA NM-MT 8
1916 M101-5 Blank Back (Sporting News) Babe Ruth Rookie #151, Graded PSA NM 7
1968 Mickey Mantle Game-Worn New York Yankees Jersey Attributed to 535th Home Run, the Penultimate Round-Tripper of his Career
1924 Lou Gehrig Signed New York Yankees Rookie Contract, Becomes a Permanent Member of the Yankees
1954 Mickey Mantle Game-Worn New York Yankees Jersey, One of the Earliest Mantle Gamers Known
1915 Cracker Jack Ty Cobb #30, One of Three Graded Mint 9 with None Higher
1920 Babe Ruth Game-Used Bat from his First New York Yankees Season
This story appears in the Spring/Summer 2018 edition of The Intelligent Collector magazine. Click here to subscribe to the print edition.