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Auction Action: Heritage Summer Sports Auction Review

Heritage closed their 2022 Summer Sports Auction and while the event was headlined by the record-breaking sale of the 1970 Muhammad Ali WBC Title Belt, the performance across the entire auction provided strong signals for the overall sports collectibles market.

Heritage Summer Sports Auction

The Numbers

Total Lots Offered: 4,298

Total Lots Sold: 3,790

Sell-Through Rate: 88.2%

Total Sales: $17,936,820

Average Sale Price: $4,733

The Charts

Total sales increased by 27.6% year over year as Heritage recorded their highest July Summer Sports Auction handle ever. With $17.9 million in total sales, this marked their third auction in 2022 that surpassed $17 million. For further context, prior to 2020, Heritage had never closed a sports auction with more than $15 million in sales.

This auction featured a unique collection of Muhammad Ali memorabilia as 1,221 pieces of Ali and boxing collectibles were listed to sell at the event. This represented a significant increase from the 10 boxing cards and collectibles sold in their Summer Sports Auction last year. Baseball continued to dominate at Heritage as 1,542 pieces from 'America's Favorite Pastime' were featured which was an increase of 9.6% versus July 2021. Basketball delivered the biggest decline in representation as 421 items were sold this year compared to 578 last year. Golf and hockey also experienced increases as the total number of golf items sold increased 167% and hockey jumped 61% year over year.

Last years Summer Sports Auction at Heritage was extremely sports card heavy as 99.7% of all items sold were cardboard and less than 1% was game worn or game used memorabilia. In 2022, memorabilia offered a breakout performance thanks in large part to the Ali collection. The increased diversity yielded the highest amount of sports memorabilia ever sold at a single summer auction by Heritage as 1,312 items hit the market. The total representation for sports memorabilia closed at 36% of the auction with sports cards representing more than 60% of the event.

As mentioned previously, baseball was the most represented sport overall, but it was also the most represented within a list of the top sales. expensive items sold. Out of the 100 most expensive sales at the auction, baseball represented 56 of them while basketball tallied 17 and boxing closed at 12. Football and hockey also found position within the high-end of the market as the two sports recorded 8 and 7 sales out of the top 100 respectively.

Total sales were up in 2022, but did overall activity also rise? The number of bidders who participated in the sale reached a summer auction record as 3,381 individuals placed bids, an increase of 33.6% year over year. The total represents the third auction hosted by Heritage this year that attracted at least 3,000 bidders.

The Records

Lot #50057: 1970's Muhammad Ali WBC Heavyweight Championship Belt

Sale Price: $6,180,000

In a word, this sale was incredible. When the hammer finally fell, boxing memorabilia had a new all-time record sale and the attention around sports memorabilia reached a fever-pitch. There is a second belt from the 'Rumble in the Jungle' currently trading on Collectable at a $1.2 million market cap which climbed more than 300% in the aftermath of the record-breaking result.

Lot #26: 2015 Upper Deck The Cup Connor McDavid RPA (PSA 10)

Sale Price: $228,000

Modern hockey recorded a new sports card record this weekend at Heritage as this gem mint Connor McDavid RPA closed at $228,000. The sale marks the first time that a hockey card from the 2000's has cleared $200,000 and the price tag hurdled the previous record, held by a PMG Gold Sidney Crosby card, by more than $50,000.

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