Vintage baseball commands the lion share of the 2023 Winter Platinum Night at Heritage Auctions as more than 58% of all lots feature baseball cards and memorabilia. In total, 1,417 lots of sports collectibles are scheduled to sell and at the time of writing, 16 different items have already surpassed six-figures while one has reached $1 million.
The man whose name is synonymous with baseball, Babe Ruth's reign as the most dominate player in professional baseball started with the Boston Red Socks in 1914. Only one card, the 1914 Baltimore News, which features Ruth as a minor leaguer, predates the M101-4 and M101-5 editions, making this one of the three earliest and rarest Ruth collectibles in existence. In November 2021, Mile High Auctions sold a PSA7 graded example for $2.46 million and this SGC 7 graded copy could challenge that record as the price has already pushed above $1.7 million heading into the final days of the event.
Lot #80026: 1953 Topps Baseball PSA-Graded Complete Set
One of the most impressive card collections ever showcased, this complete set from the 1953 Topps printing is ranked fourth on PSA's registry and carries an incredible lineup of baseball legends. Leading this 274 card set is a PSA 7 graded Mickey Mantle and a PSA 8 Jackie Robinson which both price individually above $25,000. In total, 91 of the cards are graded mint while the remaining 183 carry near mint to mint designations. The average grade point average for the set is 8.62 and collectors have taken notice with a current bid of $410,000 at the time of publication.
During his 13-year tenure with the New York Yankees, Joe DiMaggio helped deliver nine World Series titles and ten American League pennants. The star outfielder also compiled an array of personal accolades that included three league MVP awards, 13 All Star appearances, two batting titles, and a 56-game hitting streak that still stands as the MLB record. This offering connects two icons of New York baseball, as the game-worn jersey once donned by DiMaggio is completed by an armband, worn by Yankee players during the 1948 season to memorialize Babe Ruth who passed away in August of that year. During that 1948 campaign, DiMaggio led the league in home runs and RBI's while securing his tenth consecutive All Star appearance. This piece of sports history has been assessed by Mears and carries an A10 designation, which means it is complete, unaltered, and displays the same condition as last worn by the player. Additionally, the jersey has been photomatched by Resolution Photomatching to an undated photo. Through initial bids, the price has reached $420,000 but based on relevant comps, could double its current price before the final hammer drops.
After a false alarm in 2022, the GOAT of America's most popular sport has officially retired. The seven-time Super Bowl Champion and three-time league MVP hung-up his cleats (for real this time) and Heritage is presenting one of the finest pieces of Tom Brady memorabilia to appear on a public market. For those who are not as well versed in game-worn football memorabilia, the population is significantly more limited than what a collector might experience within NBA and MLB markets. For starters, there are less games in the NFL season, immediately cutting down the number of potential game-worn items. Even more impactful though is the NFL's control over apparel during the season. Between the league and its Hall of Fame, game-worn jersey's of any significance rarely make it out to the secondary market and the number of authenticated TB12 New England Patriots jerseys that have sold in recent years is limited to say the least. This particular jersey was worn during a 2010 game in which Brady led the Pats to a comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens. The jersey is photomatched by MeiGray and is priced at $312,000 with two days remaining in the auction.
All Images via Heritage Auctions
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