This weekend, Goldin will close their June Elite Auction with over 600 lots of sports cards, memorabilia, ticket stubs, and more. The auction will deliver at least two multi-million dollar sales and could provide a new record for any sports card, in addition to the sale of multiple six-figure pieces of memorabilia. Altan Insights will provide investors with a complete review of the event next week, but before the final prices come through, it's time to preview the assets scheduled to sell this weekend.
Is a new sports card record in the crosshairs?
With a current bid of $2.16 million, the coveted LeBron Triple Logoman is already positioned to become the most expensive card sold in 2022, but should aspirations be even higher? The card has already made a world tour, appearing at dinners, photoshoots, and Times Square. There has arguably never been a card more hyped heading into auction, and whether or not you believe the hype is justified, or even real for that matter, the final price will be very real and could establish a new record for sports cards. The LeBron patch card would need to surpass the $6.6 million price paid for a T206 Honus Wagner if it wants to earn the title of 'most expensive card' and will need to exceed $5.2 million if it wants to become the most expensive NBA or LeBron card ever sold. In order to become the most expensive Logoman ever sold, bidders will need to double the current price as the top sale for a 1/1 logoman is $4.6 million, paid for a Luka Doncic auto in a private sale last year. For this card to break into the top 10 all-time sports card sale list, it will need to reach $3.2 million which seems plausible given the current number of bids. Regardless on public opinion, Goldin and this Logoman have an opportunity to bring attention to a market that is struggling to realize record sales in a difficult economic climate. The final price could represent a strong showing for the hobby, or a disappointing result, depending where the hammer drops.
What is the impact of another title for Steph Curry?
Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors secured their fourth NBA title since 2015 and some collectors of Curry are clearly looking to cash in on the recent catalyst. There are 23 different lots at this Goldin auction featuring Curry and the offerings range from cards and memorabilia to an NFT granting the winner access to Curry's birthday party. Total sales for the Curry-related items could push seven-figures as multiple cards are expected to sell above $50,000 while the top sale will likely come from a photo-matched jersey from the 2016 NBA Finals. The Curry market has actually been relatively flat in the first days after the championship although that could be due to a surge in volume. More Curry cards were transacted on June 16th, the day of Game 6, then any other day in this year. The increased volume had capped prices, as there have not been signs of immediate appreciation in the week following the final game.
Lots to Watch
While the card has already been mentioned above, I feel contractually obligated to include it in this watchlist. Controversy and criticism has followed the card from the day breakers and collectors learned of its existence and after the card was pulled by the contentious Backyard Breaks, the sales pitch started. Coined "the single most important modern trading card ever produced" by Ken Goldin, the press surrounding the card reached a fever pitch immediately after it became public that Goldin would be facilitating the sale of the prized Logoman. The card features three patches displaying the iconic Jerry West profile and the three patches come from jerseys worn by LeBron when he played in three different cities - Cleveland, Miami, and Los Angeles. Heading into the auction, estimates from industry experts ranged between $2 - $5 million and there are some who believe a bidding war could push the final price above $6 million. The current high bid on the card is $2.16 million and after 23 bids came through in the first week, there has not been an additional bid placed since June 16th. That said, 23 bids for a multi-million dollar card is significant early activity and could signal a record-breaking price on the horizon.
There will be at least two multi-million dollar cards sold at this Goldin Elite auction and both feature LeBron James. The second lot is a 2003 UD LeBron RPA out of 23 that has rarely appeared at auction. The last example sold by Goldin was also a BGS 8.5 and the card sold for $540,000 in 2020. The most expensive LeBron James card sold to date is from this parallel and was a BGS 9 that went for $5.2 million via PWCC at the height of the recent sports card bull run. There is plenty of attention on the triple Logoman, but it is not crazy to think that this RPA could sell for more - especially since it is a card from this specific print that is the current NBA card record-holder. Watch for this /23 LeBron to attract bids step-for-step with the Logoman as collectors and investors alike chase two grails of the King.
Between LeBron James and Steph Curry, this auction is stacked with modern cards and memorabilia that will capture the headlines. There are plenty of impressive vintage cards though that should also close with strong hammer prices and the top result is expected to come from this 1916 Babe Ruth Rookie Card. In April, Goldin sold a PSA 6 graded copy of this card for $1.5 million, their best Babe Ruth sale to date and the auction house will now sell a PSA 4 that has already reached $360,000 through its first 16 bids heading into the weekend. There are only 15 of these cards from Ruth's rookie print run that have been graded by PSA and this is one of the 11 highest graded copies on the market. While the centering on this example is poor, the overall edges and surface quality is impressive and should lead to a strong showing from the card when the final bids come through on Saturday.
As mentioned above, there are 23 different Steph Curry items available at Goldin's auction this week but there is a specific reason why I would recommend watching the sale of this card. Heading into 2022, the most expensive sale for one of these Steph Curry #72 /225 was $51,148 and that sale was the only that had ever surpassed $50,000. Not only were prices hitting a ceiling, but volume was also limited as there were only two public sales of this card in 2021 and four sales in 2020. Then in January, PWCC sold a PSA 10 for $102,000 which established a new record for the card and was nearly double the price paid for any other example ever sold. That same exact card, which was last sold for a record price less than 150 days ago, has remerged and is set to be sold at Goldin this week. The current price of $43,200 through seven bids and the card will be hard pressed to return a profit for the seller based on previous transaction data.
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