The March Sports Showcase hosted by Heritage Auctions features multiple of pre and post-war baseball cards, complete sets, sealed wax, graded tickets, and more. Preview three lots we'll be following as the final bids come through.
Prices for SGC 3 graded examples of the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle peaked above $80,000 in the fall but have since receded back below $60,000 in 2023. Through early action, this well-conditioned Mantle card has already reached $50,400 with buyers premium and could exceed any other SGC 3 sale year-to-date with its impressive coloration and centering. No matter the grade, the 1952 Mantle always commands attention with its historic significance for the overall card market. This Mantle was printed by the Topps Chewing Gum Company in 1952, as part of a set of 407 cards that featured some of the biggest names in baseball. At the time, Topps was a relatively new player in the sports card market, having only been founded in 1938. However, they quickly established themselves as a major player in the hobby with the release of the 1952 set, which was the largest and most ambitious set they had ever produced. The set included a number of innovative features, including a colorful design, player statistics, and trivia questions. The 1952 Topps set also marked the first time that Topps featured Mickey Mantle on a baseball card as a solo player, without any teammates in the background. This was a significant development, as Mantle was already emerging as one of the greatest players of his generation.
Promoted as the "Thrilla in Manila", the classic boxing match tied to this ticket managed to live up to its hype, with both fighters giving it their all in what is considered one of the greatest fights in boxing history. The match lasted for 14 rounds, with Ali ultimately being declared the winner when Frazier's corner threw in the towel before the 15th round. The fight was known for its intense brutality, with both fighters pushing each other to their limits in the sweltering heat of Manila. Today, the Thrilla in Manila is regarded as one of the greatest moments in sports history, and the fight between Ali and Frazier is recognized as one of the most iconic rivalries in sports history. This PSA Authentic graded stub from the event has already surpassed $5,000 heading into the final days of the auction.
In 1985, WrestleMania, also known as WrestleMania I, introduced the inaugural edition of the professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE). It took place on March 31, 1985, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event was a huge success, drawing a record-breaking attendance of 19,121 fans and generating significant revenue through pay-per-view buys. The main event of the night featured the tag team of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T taking on the team of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff in a highly anticipated match. The event marked the beginning of what would become one of the most successful and iconic annual events in professional wrestling history. This ticket is one of just two graded 1.5 by PSA and is only surpassed by two examples higher. The ticket opened with an estimate of $2,000+ but has climbed above $6,000 with premium.
All Images via Heritage
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