Vintage grails and iconic memorabilia headline the first SCP Auctions sale of 2023. With more than 60 lots ranging from pre-war cards to memorable gold medals, we preview the top lots scheduled to sell in this edition of Auction Action.
There's no history in sports collecting quite like the T206 set. With 520 total cards and a lineup that includes names like Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, and Cy Young, the 1909-11 print run of baseball cards has long been the pinnacle of the hobby. Leading this week's auction at SCP is a near-complete set that is only missing select cards including the hallowed Honus Wagner and highly-sought-after Eddie Plank. This old tobacco card set also features the numerous branding variations printed between 1909-11 including Piedmont, Sweet Caporal, Old Mill, and Polar Bear. The set is completely graded with cards ranging from poor to good quality and carries a rating of 4.27 from PSA - which is currently ranked 17th on their T206 registry. Through the first 14 bids, this masterfully curated set has reached $172,618 and could be poised to climb even higher as vintage cardboard remains a target for collectors and investors alike.
Do you believe in miracles?
This collectible from "The Miracle on Ice" has reappeared at auction for the third time in the last decade and recent bids have already pushed the total above $250,000 heading into the final days of the event. After pulling-off an improbable upset over the Soviet Union in the semifinals, the United States still needed to defeat Finland to win gold. Despite trailing 2-1 heading into the third period, Team USA fired home two goals in the final frame to win 3-2 and secure gold in an Olympic tournament that remains one of the most iconic moments in sports history. In 2020, the gold medal sold for $312,000 and is nearing that total once again as bids continue to multiply for a medal that was earned by a pivotal part of Team USA's miraculous run.
History meets sports with this lot that showcases the last pre-war Heisman Trophy. Bruce Smith was a star running back for the University of Minnesota and helped lead the school to two consecutive national championships. At the conclusion of the 1941 season, Smith was awarded the Heisman Trophy, just two days after learning of the tragic attacks on Pearl Harbor. In the coming months, war would ensue and Smith would join the cause as a fighter pilot before playing in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams. The Heisman Trophy award presentation had only been in existence for seven years, making this one of the earliest examples in existence. At the time of publication, the trophy has garnered 7 bids and has a current price of $177,157.
Super Bowl I champion.
First ballot Hall of Famer.
Member of the NFL's 50th and 75th All-Time Team.
The list of accolades for Ray Nitschke could go on forever. Featured in this lot is one of the most important Super Bowl rings to ever surface at auction. The jewelry comes from the late NFL legend who led a dominating Green Bay Packers defense to victories in the first two Super Bowls while leaving a legacy that has been enshrined in Canton, Ohio. To date, there have been three Super Bowl I rings sold at auction over the last decade with prices ranging between $75,000 - $216,000. This particular example is already heading towards the upper-end of that range with a current bid of $189,880. The all-time Super Bowl ring record of $300,000 could even be in jeopardy given the player it was awarded too and the timeliness of Super Bowl LVII.
Thankfully, card cutting machines in the 1950s were not as precise as they are today or we wouldn't have this unique lot. In 2021, this card was sold in a SGC slab for $28,800 and has now resurfaced in a new CSG case with a current bid of $27,500 before the addition of buyer's premium. Considered the most desirable miscut on the market, the card features a clean and crisp image of Jackie Robinson with a bold red background and a facsimile signature. The card also show glimpses of number 311 in the 1952 Topps set, the highly recognizable and current sports collectible record-holder, Mickey Mantle. The sky blue background of the Mantle card is evident due to the miscut in addition to Mantle's hand and the knob of his baseball bat. The premium one will have to pay for this CSG 1 graded example over just a standard 1 is significant, as the current price range for the average 'poor' conditioned copy is between $3,000 - $4,000.
All Images via SCP Auctions
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