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Willie Mays rookie card leads Heritage $11 million sports collectibles sale

A rare Willie Mays rookie card has topped another successful sale of trading cards and sports memorabilia at Heritage.
The Sports Collectibles Catalog Auction on May 12-14 achieved a total of almost $11 million, the first sale of its kind in 2016 to bring an eight-figure result.

"In less than three months, we have dropped the hammer on over $20 million in sales,"said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Collectibles at Heritage. "It was a quick turnaround after our New York Platinum Night, but clearly the hobby’s largest bidding audience was more than ready to meet the challenge."

Vintage trading cards accounted for more than $7 million in the three-day sale, led by a 1952 Willie Mays’ Topps rookie card graded PSA Mint 9. With just one finer example known in the hobby, the card soared to a final price of $478,000.

A Mickey Mantle rookie card from the same Topps set, graded SGC 84 NM 7, brought the second-highest price of the sale at $215,100, followed by a 1951 Bowman Mantle card – considered the Commerce Comet’s true rookie card – which sold for $167,300.

Other notable cards which exceeded expectations included a 1959 Topps Bob Gibson card, graded PSA Mint 9, which sold for $45,410; a 1971 Topps Terry Bradshaw football card graded PSA Mint 9, which fetched $50,190; and a 1976 Topps Walter Payton rookie card, graded  PSA Gem Mint 10, which sold for $20,315.

Leading the selection of sports memorabilia was a pair of sneakers worn by basketball legend Michael Jordan at the 1992 Olympics, as part of the famous gold medal-winning U.S Dream Team.

The pair of sneakers, which sold for $52,580, was just one of many items from the collection of  team doctor David Fischer, which also included a team-signed commemorative basketball which realized $40,630.

Further top lots included a 1963-64 Pete Rose game-worn Cincinnati Reds rookie-era jersey, which sold for $50,190, a 1947 Cy Young signed baseball, which sold for $43,020; and a 1937 Tour of Japan team-signed baseball, featuring the signatures of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, which also fetched $43,020.

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