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Auction Action: Heritage Spring Sports Auction

Auction Action: Heritage Spring Sports Auction
May 10, 2023
Bradley Calleja
The Spring Sports Auction hosted by Heritage Auctions features high-profile cards and collectibles across all major sports - from hockey and baseball to football and basketball. In this edition of Auction Action we preview three lots worth watching as the final bids come through.

Lots to Watch

Lot #50950: 1962 Topps Baseball (First Series) Wax Box

Released at the height of baseball's golden era, the 1962 Topps set is one of the most sought-after productions in the company's longstanding history.  The first series was part of the larger 1962 Topps Baseball set, which featured a total of 598 cards. The First Series consisted of 88 total cards which were released in packs during the spring of 1962.
One note of uniqueness regarding the cards is that the set was the first to feature full-color photographs on both the front and back of the cards. The First Series included some of the biggest names in baseball at the time, including Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Sandy Koufax with 13 Hall of Famers included in the production.
One notable feature of the 1962 Topps Baseball set was the inclusion of "In Action" cards, which featured players in various game situations. The First Series included several In Action cards, such as Bob Friend, Don Mossi, and Ken Boyer.
Another interesting aspect of the 1962 Topps Baseball set was the inclusion of team cards. The First Series included team cards for every team in the National League and American League. These cards featured a team photo on the front, along with a checklist of all the players on the team.
Finding cards in high grade from the '62 set has been an ongoing challenge for collectors. The production process for the 1962 Topps Baseball First Series involved printing the cards on large sheets, which were then cut down into individual cards. The sheets were printed with multiple rows of cards, with each row featuring a different card from the set. This process made it more difficult to achieve perfect centering, as slight variations in the cutting process could result in off-center cards.
This box is one of the few to ever appear at public auction and is certified by Baseball Card Exchange. Through early bidding the sealed wax has reached $162,000 after the addition of buyer's premium.

Lot #51162: 1935 National Chicle Bronko Nagurski Rookie #34 PSA EX-MT 6

The 1935 National Chicle Bronko Nagurski Rookie card is one of the most iconic and valuable football cards in history. The National Chicle Company produced the set, which included 36 cards featuring some of the biggest names in football at the time.
Bronko Nagurski was a standout fullback for the Chicago Bears in the 1930s, known for his power running and hard-hitting defense. He was a three-time All-American at the University of Minnesota before joining the Bears in 1930. Nagurski helped lead the Bears to two NFL championships and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
The Nagurski Rookie card is one of the most sought after cards from the 1935 National Chicle set. It features a colorized photograph of Nagurski in his University of Minnesota uniform before he would start one of the most notable early football careers.
One of the reasons the Nagurski Rookie card is so valuable is its rarity. The National Chicle Company only produced the set for one year before discontinuing it. This exact card is set to sell for the third time in less than a decade and is poised to return yet another profit for its seller. In 2015, the card sold at Memory Lane for $23,880 before flipping in 2021 at PWCC for $66,399. With one day remaining in the auction this PSA 6 graded Nagurski has already reached $93,000.

Lot #52075: 1971-72 Dwight White Game Worn Pittsburgh Steelers Rookie Jersey

One of the staples of the famed "Steel Curtain" defense that dominated the NFL in the 1970s, Dwight White had an outstanding career as a defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Throughout the 1970s, the Steelers formed one of the NFL's first dynasty's with Super Bowl wins in 1975, 1976, 1979, and 1980.
White joined the Steelers in 1971 after being drafted in the fourth round. He quickly established himself as a standout player on the team, with his hard-hitting style and ability to rush the quarterback. Featured in all four Super Bowls, White recorded two sacks and forced a fumble, helping the Steelers to their first title, a 16-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. White was a two-time Pro Bowl selection in 1973 and 1975, and was named a first-team All-Pro in 1979. He played his entire 10-year career with the Steelers, retiring after the 1980 season.
This game worn jersey presented by Heritage is dated to White's rookie year and carries extra significance as the threads worn by the defensive menace in his Topps rookie card. The jersey shows signs of game use and a definitive photomatch pinpoints it to his most valuable card ever produced. While the jersey has yet to hit its reserve and carries an estimate of at least $25,000, previous sales of Dwight White jerseys have surpassed $30,000.

All Images via Heritage Auctions

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