This weekend, SCP Auctions will close their 2022 Spring Premier Auction and the event could establish multiple records across memorabilia and sports cards. This auction could be the strongest in SCP's history with nearly a dozen items poised to sell for six-figures and the potential for a multi-million dollar result. For reference, in their 2019 and 2020 Spring Premier auctions, SCP sold four different items for at least $100,000. There are already seven different lots that have cleared $100,000 and we could see at least four assets sell for at least $200,000 this weekend before the hammer drops. Preview the record-breaking event with Altan Insights and check-out a list of lots that caught our attention in this edition of Auction Action!
Lots to Watch
We could have a new NBA jersey record this week as SCP will sell one of the most impressive basketball threads we have ever seen. This is the only known Kobe jersey that is matched to his first career playoff series and the Laker yellow jersey is also matched to three regular-season games. The sale comes during a historic year for sports memorabilia as multiple records have been established. In the first four months of 2022, records have been established for the most expensive sports jersey, game-worn NFL jersey, golf memorabilia, and game-worn Air Jordan's. Last year, venture capitalist Bob Duggan bought a Kobe jersey that was photo matched to seven regular season games and the pre-season photoshoot for a record $3.69 million. This jersey from SCP is expected to challenge that record and has attracted 16 bids and carries a current price of $1.1 million before buyer's premium.
This 44-ounce stick of lumber was not only the tool used by Babe Ruth during his first seasons in New York, the bat is also a piece of history from the dawn of baseball's golden age. Baseball's image was scarred from the Black Sox Scandal but the end of the dead-ball era and players like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig helped heal the wounds of the 1910s. The bat carries signs of significant use with ball marks in addition to swelling within the wood fibers. Ruth's 1920 season was iconic, as he hit 12 home runs in both May, which was more home runs in a single month than any players had hit all season just two years earlier. The Babe then followed with another 12 home runs in June and would close with 54 round-trippers in total, which was nearly three times more than the second-most home runs that season. The bat has been examined and reviewed by multiple third parties including PSA/DNA, Mears, and Sports Collectors Digest. The bat has already attracted 14 bids and carries a current price of $172,618.
Card #81 for Mr. 81 will sell this week at SCP but unlike every other PMG Kobe Bryant on the market, this example features the Black Mamba's penmanship. One of the most iconic and recognized modern inserts, Precious Metal Gems were first released within the 1997 Skybox Met Universe series. This 1997 PMG Kobe is from the first print run and while it has been graded Authentic/Altered by PSA, the signature has earned a PSA/DNA 9, and this will be the first signed 1997 Kobe PMG sold at auction. Maybe just a coincidence, maybe not, but the first Kobe PGM was card #81 of the set, which is the number of points Bryant scored on 1/22/2006 against the Toronto Raptors, which is the second-most points ever scored in an NBA game and the most scored in the modern era. The unique design of Precious Metal Gems has always been enticing for collectors and investors alike and the development of inserts in the '90s provide a level of nostalgia that is difficult to capture in modern cardboard. There has long been a debate about whether or not a signature adds value to a card, but in this case, there is no question Kobe's signature provides a boost to the value and separates this card from the field.
On May 28, 2006, Barry Bonds drove a fastball from Colorado Rockies right-hander Byung-Hyun Kim 445 feet and over the centerfield wall at AT&T Park to pass Babe Ruth on the all-time MLB home run list. Two months later, Andrew Morbitzer, the fan who picked-up the ball after it landed near a concession stand, sold it via eBay for $220,100. SCP Auctions is familiar with the Barry Bonds baseball market as they sold the ball hit by Barry for his 500th home run for $303,277 in October. The sale of this 715th home run ball will be a litmus test for the Bonds memorabilia market after the MLB Hall of Fame committee left the former Pirates/Giants great off the 2022 induction list in January. Bonds had his strongest year ever at the polls, with an approval of 66% but fell short of the 75% threshold and will need to wait on a ruling from the 16-person Today's Game Committee who can still grant Barry a spot in Cooperstown.
The most expensive sports ticket ever sold at auction is a PSA 2 graded stub from the debut game of Jackie Robinson. The final hammer dropped at $480,000 in February as tickets reached new heights in the first quarter of 2022. This weekend, SCP will sell a PSA Authentic graded stub from the game that broke the color barrier and the result will offer an example of just how much stubs have appreciated over the past few years. In 2016, authentic-graded stubs carried a fair market value near $16,000 and that valuation did not increase above $20,000 until 2017-2018. The stub on SCP is already priced at $119,158 through 17 bids and could push deeper into six-figures before the winning bid is announced.
At the time of publication, lot #319 has ten more bids than any other lot at this auction. The lot features a PSA-graded photograph of Jackie Robinson, taken the day of his rookie debut. Just five days after signing his contract, Robinson would don a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform and play first base in front of 26,623 fans at Ebbets Field. Robinson would go 0-4 but reached on an error in the seventh and ultimately scored the go-ahead run to give the Dodgers a 5-3 victory. The photograph is accompanied with a caption that details the historic day and the importance of the photograph. With less than four days remaining the event, this image and caption has garnered 31 bids and sits at a price of $14,054 before buyer's premium.
In the early 20th century, Tuxedo tobacco printed these color-blasted posters and placed them as advertisements on trolley and subway cars. Three baseball stars, John McGraw (manager), Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson (pitchers) were featured in the ads and all three examples will be sold this weekend by SCP Auctions. The artistic design of these advertisements is incredible, especially when you review other pre-1940s ads. The colors, textures, and details make these 112-year-old posters look like they rolled off the printing press yesterday and they rarely surface let alone appear at public auction. The three ads could sell for a combined price of $50,000 or more as their historic appeal and rarity offers an attractive opportunity for any vintage baseball collector.
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