This weekend, two major auctions close with multiple records at stake and plenty of headline sales to go around. Goldin Auction has an event loaded with vintage and modern cards and memorabilia that should establish new records across different sports, eras, and asset class. At the same time, Golden Age will close what is arguably their biggest auction in history as they look to establish the record for any piece of golf memorabilia. While Altan Insights will provide a review of the action next week, let’s preview what we’ll be watching for as the final bids come through.
Trends to Watch
No Playoffs for LeBron
With the Lakers eliminated from post-season contention and LeBron’s future in question, how will the greatest player of this generation close out his career? Card values for LeBron have flat-lined throughout the first quarter of 2022 and as the Lakers head into the offseason, and James heads into the final year of his current contract, are there any potential catalysts still remaining for the King?
Most expensive modern soccer card? Check. Most expensive baseball bat? Check. Most expensive golf memorabilia? Check. Most expensive Josh Allen card? Possibly. We could drag this out even more but the point is, blue-chip cards and memorabilia are climbing in 2022. While 2021 was defined by a broad market breakout, this year has witnessed a shift in money towards the top. So how many records will be broken this weekend across the various auctions and where will the money trend in the second quarter of 2022? This marks the first major auction weekend of Q2 and could lay the foundation for the rest of the year.
Lots to Watch
Another Goldin auction, another seven-figure 2003-04 Exquisite Collection LeBron RPA. Yes, we have used that line before, as Goldin continues to be the place to sell Exquisite Collection LeBron James cards. The question with this BGS 9 graded example is whether or not it will be a million dollar card, or a multi-million dollar card. On August 30, 2021, Goldin sold a BGS 9 with a tri-colored patch for $2.03 million, establishing a new record for any like-graded example. The card up for auction this weekend is a dual-colored patch and has reached $1.03 million through 19 bids heading into the weekend.
Meet what could become the most expensive Ty Cobb-related asset ever sold by Goldin and the most expensive bat ever sold at private auction. This 1928 H&B C28 Model Bat delivers an unheard of level of provenance, with photo matching from Resolution Photomatching and an LOA from Sports Collectors Digest. There are some incredible images of Ty Cobb holding this bat and this un-cracked piece of historic lumber was used at the very end of Cobbs illustrious career. The bat has garnered five bids and has a current price of $1.32 million which makes would set the record for any bat ever sold, except for the fact that it still has not met its reserve price.
Speaking of records, the Messi record books will be rewritten this weekend after Goldin sell one of the most important modern soccer cards in existence. In June, Goldin set the record for any public Lionel Messi sale when they sold a 2004 Panini Mega Cracks PSA 10 for $336,000. The price of this 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Gold Messi has already reached $432,000 through the first six bids. This card was an excellent pickup for Goldin as its auction appearances are limited and with a total population of 10 matched with a gem mint population of 2, it is unlikely we see another one of these flipped anytime soon.
Golden Age Preview
Lots to Watch
Heading into the weekend, this collection of irons and wedges has already set the record for the most expensive golf memorabilia ever sold at auction. While all Tiger-used clubs command attention when they appear at auction, these are not just your average Tiger-used clubs. The set was used by Tiger during what might be considered the greatest single season in golf history. Between 2000 and 2001, Tiger won four consecutive major championships, completing what is now known as the Tiger Slam. Not only was Tiger the first golfer in the modern era to complete the Grand Slam, but he is also still the only golfer to hold all four titles at the same time. In 2000, at just 24 years old, Tiger won the Open Championship at St Andrews with a commanding eight stroke advantage. He followed that victory with a 15-stroke win at the U.S. Open in Pebble Beach and closed out the year with a three-hole playoff win over Bob May at the PGA Championship. Tiger then opened his 2001 campaign with a win at the 65th Masters Tournament, completing the Tiger Slam and capping off one of the greatest runs in sports history.
Lot #2: 1953 Ben Hogan Irons
If the Tiger Woods irons are the greatest set in the hobby, this offering of Ben Hogan clubs is just a few steps behind. In 1949, Hogan was injured so badly in an auto accident that it seemed unlikely he would ever play professional golf again. Less than four years letter, Hogan captivated the game with one of the greatest single seasons in history. These irons were used by Hogan when he won three majors in 1953 including the Masters, U.S. Open, and British Open. This collection of clubs has reached $59,590 through 28 bids.
Golden Age will sell their first ever Masters Tournament gold medal and it comes from the man who is currently tied with Tiger Woods for the most PSA Tour victories. Snead’s career was highlighted by unmatched longevity, as he played 42 years on the pro tour and became the oldest player to win a PGA Tour event when he took the crown at Greensboro at 52 years and 311 days. The gold medallions awarded to the Masters champions have not kept pace in price with the trophies also provided to the victor, which could offer a potential opportunity for collectors and investors. While Masters Trophies have consistently sold for six-figures, this medal is priced at $45,954 heading into the final day of the auction.
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