Historic Sports Memorabilia Up for Grabs in Auction

Freeman’s/Hindman’s current sports memorabilia auction is causing a stir in the collector’s world, and for a good reason. The headline-grabbing item up for grabs is a full set of 1984-85 Star Company basketball cards. What makes this set so exceptional is not just its contents, but also the fact that it is presented in its original team bags—the same way they were sold decades ago. Among these treasures lies the crown jewel: a Michael Jordan rookie card that collectors have been eagerly seeking. The entire 288-card set is estimated to fetch between $50,000 and $70,000, a testament to its scarcity and the unwavering allure of Michael Jordan in the realm of sports collectibles.

Back in the early 1980s, the Star Company made a daring move by securing the NBA’s trading card rights after the major player, Topps, decided to pass on the opportunity. As a smaller entity at the time, Star took a unique approach by distributing their cards through mail orders, select hobby shops, and sporting events. This limited accessibility made their cards all the more exclusive, with many collectors having opened their sets to store them in albums, making intact sets like this one exceedingly rare and valuable.

While basketball steals the spotlight, the auction also boasts an impressive lineup of baseball memorabilia. Notably, there are three baseballs autographed by the one and only Babe Ruth, each with its unique charm. Among them is a mini baseball with Ruth’s signature boldly sprawled across the sweet spot, serving as a living testament to the enduring legacy of the Sultan of Swat and a true gem for aficionados of historical sports artifacts.

In addition to the remarkable Jordan cards from his rookie season, such as the 1984 Gold Medalist No. 195 and the 1985 Rookie of the Year No. 288, the auction also offers a graded PSA 8 1986-87 Fleer rookie card of the basketball legend. These pieces stand as tributes to Jordan’s iconic status in the sports collectibles world, captivating the hearts of enthusiasts and investors alike.

Venturing further into the auction, collectors will find a diverse range of vintage cards and sports-related treasures. Standout lots include a signed baseball from the 1955 Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend, adorned with the signatures of 19 baseball luminaries including the likes of Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Cochrane, a singularly signed ball by Jimmie Foxx, and a Ty Cobb signed and inscribed ball from 1959.

For aficionados of vintage cards, the auction offers intriguing finds such as a scarce 1968 O-Pee-Chee Nolan Ryan rookie card graded PSA 8 and a nearly complete set of 1952 Topps baseball cards housing over 60 high numbers. The presence of multiple Mickey Mantle cards from the 1950s and 60s further adds to the auction’s appeal for enthusiasts of legendary sports figures.

Among the other notable items on the auction block are a San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl XXIV Champions ring, a 1926 New York Yankees multi-signed baseball featuring autographs from Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, and a series of 1920s-30s St. Louis Cardinals contract agreements inked by none other than Branch Rickey.

Running until June 13 on Freeman’s/Hindman’s website, this auction not only showcases the rich history embedded in these collectibles but also offers sports fans and collectors a chance to own a tangible piece of that illustrious tapestry. Whether your passion lies in basketball, baseball, or the broader landscape of American sports history, this auction guarantees a little something for everyone.


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