WILDLY VARIED TOP 10: Only on eBay can you attract such divergent buyers and sellers of sports memorabilia that the creme-de-la-creme includes an 1887 Old Judge card featuring an ancient Hall of Famer, a couple Stephen Strasburgs, a Ken Dryden hockey rookie (the only one graded PSA Gem so far) a century-old Stockholm Olympics poster, and a pile of ratty old baseball cards from 1952 Topps cards that happens to include a Mantle authenticated by PSA. And a Maple Leafs ring from the 1940s. Also, note the names we usually see who were absent: LeBron, Jordan, Pujols, and Ruth. This week’s Top 10 gets the most “style points” of any in years.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF KEN DRYDEN: Ken Dryden is a Hall of Famer, that is for sure. What isn’t for sure is exactly what his rookie card is worth in Gem grades. His 1971-72 Topps rookie goes for $300-$400 graded Mint on eBay, the O-Pee-Chee “Canadian Topps” counterpart going for significantly more than that. But the only PSA 10 Topps Dryden rookie selling for $5,000, is that the market or an eBay mirage? Tough to tell with a statistical sample of just one, but the markers are there for its legitimacy: Singular condition, four decades old (read: printed with bad printing technology on cheap paper compared to 1990’s issues up to the present; they may as well have been issuing those with cuneiform on stone tablets) and a Hall of Fame player. For now, we’ll believe it.
VOT-WHO? Cincinnati’s Joey Votto is rushing on to baseball’s stage of good young sluggers, helping lead the surprising on a romp through the National League Central and getting voted on to the All-Star team in the last-player Internet ballot. On eBay, collectors are still a little skeptical: His top-selling card this week was a 2009 Topps Unique 1/1 Logoman ($285), followed by a 2010 Upper Deck Exquisite card. Neither of them are rookies, and might even have been won by set collectors with marginal interest in the Reds. His 2002 Bowman Chrome rookie sold for $130 this week, but it too, was unusual thanks to a BGS 10 (“Pristine”) slab. Most of his rookies sell for less than $50, in any slab. Considering his on-field performance, that’s an impressive stat indeed.
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QUICK QUIZ: Name the PSA 1/1.5 item that nailed the highest bid ($1,295) this week on eBay: 1. 1922 V61 (Type 1) Neilson’s Chocolates Babe Ruth, PSA 1; 2. 1933 Eclipse Import Babe Ruth, PSA 1; 3. 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle, PSA 1; 4. 1909 E90-1 American Caramel Ty Cobb, PSA 1.5; or 5. 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig, PSA 1.5.
They are listed in descending order, with the V61 Ruth being the correct answer. To give you an idea of the range of prices this list represents, the Gehrig sold for $560.
Online Auctioneer Top 10 List
1. $7,500: 1947-48 Toronto Maple
Leafs championship ring
2. 6,277: 1887 Old Judge Sam
3. 6,229: 1959 Topps Mickey Mantle,
4. 6,000: 1912 Stockholm Olympics
5. 5,600: 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle
Gray Back, SGC 96
6. 5,500: 2010 Bowman Orange
Stephen Strasburg, BGS 9.5
7. 5,300: 1952 Topps starter set including PSA1 Mantle
8. 5,102: 1957 Topps Baseball set
9. 5,000: 1971 Topps Ken Dryden, PSA 10
10. 5,000: 2010 Bowman Orange Stephen Strasburg, BGS 9.5