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Vintage Sports Cards Triumph: Mile High’s Winter Auction Showcases Record-Breaking Sales

Vintage sports cards continue to hold a special place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts, as demonstrated by the Winter Auction at Mile High Card Company in 2023. The auction showcased a wide array of vintage cards and memorabilia, attracting bidders from around the world. The standout item was the highly coveted 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie card, which set a new record with a sale price of $378,997.

The 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie card holds immense significance in the world of baseball and card collecting. Graded PSA 8, this sought-after card epitomizes the greatness of the legendary Mickey Mantle and is a testament to the enduring allure of vintage sports cards.

But the Winter Auction didn’t stop at Mickey Mantle. Other notable sales included a 1916 M101-4 Sporting News Joe Jackson card, graded PSA 7, which sold for an impressive $104,302. This marked a significant leap from its previous record of $25,000, indicating the growing interest in rare vintage cards. A 1934 Goudey #61 Lou Gehrig card, graded PSA 8, fetched $101,623, while a 1953 Topps #82 Mickey Mantle card, also graded PSA 8, went for $89,635. Additionally, a 1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente card, graded PSA 8, achieved a sale price of $72,084.

The auction saw record-setting prices not just for individual players but also for cards featuring Hall of Famer Willie Stargell. A 1964 Topps #342 Willie Stargell card, graded PSA 10, fetched an impressive $30,674, surpassing its previous record of $4,154. Other Stargell cards, including those from 1966 and 1973 Topps, also achieved record prices.

The Winter Auction’s record-breaking trend extended beyond these individual cards. Several other vintage cards set new records, such as a 1962 Topps #45 Brooks Robinson card (PSA 9) that sold for $30,391, a 1952 Topps #261 Willie Mays card (PSA 3 VG) that fetched $11,732, and a 1969 Topps #100 Hank Aaron card (PSA 9) that commanded $10,665. Moreover, a 1972 Topps #229 World Series Game 7 card, graded PSA 10, reached an impressive sale price of $12,388.

The Winter Auction also featured items beyond baseball cards. A 1941 Playball #71 Joe DiMaggio card, graded SGC 8.5, attracted a high bid of $79,531, reflecting the deep nostalgia and respect for baseball heroes from that era. Other classic cards, like a 1910-11 Sporting Life M116 Hans Wagner card and a 1915 Cracker Jack #103 Joe Jackson card, also drew significant attention, with sales reaching $77,770 and $45,776, respectively.

Memorabilia items played a prominent role in the Winter Auction as well. A Babe Ruth-signed OAL (Harridge) baseball topped the memorabilia sales, selling for $40,486. Noteworthy memorabilia included a 1972 California Angels Nolan Ryan signed game-used home jersey, which fetched $56,518, and a circa 1934 Paul & Dizzy Dean “Beech-Nut Tobacco” oversized die-cut advertising sign, selling for $11,403.

Jerseys from baseball legends like Jim Palmer and Brooks Robinson also commanded high prices, with each fetching over $13,000. Additionally, a 1980 Rickey Henderson game-used Oakland A’s alternate jersey sold for $24,639, while a 1998 Ken Griffey Jr. game-used autographed bat, used for his 33rd home run of the 1998 Season, went for $17,328. One unique item in the auction was a 1962 Post Alpha-Bits unopened box featuring Sandy Koufax, which drew a bid of $11,028.

The success of the Winter Auction at Mile High Card Company not only demonstrates the continuing strength and appeal of vintage sports cards but also highlights the rich history and nostalgia these cards and memorabilia evoke. The remarkable prices fetched by items associated with legends like Mickey Mantle, Joe Jackson, Lou Gehrig, and Willie Stargell, among others, signify the deep connection and reverence fans and collectors have for the golden era of sports. As the auction results show, vintage sports cards and memorabilia remain a vital and vibrant part of the collectibles market, continuing to attract interest and investment from enthusiasts around the world.

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