Ruth, Cobb cards pace $1.6 million Memory Lane Auction

Even in lower grades, Babe Ruth’s rookie card is still a big draw.

A blank back 1916 M101-5 Ruth graded Fair brought the top price in Memory Lane’s recent Summer Auction when it sold for $79,200. Featuring The Babe as a Red Sox pitcher, it’s the first card issued during his big league career.

The auction was also headlined by a T206 Ty Cobb Red Portrait graded PSA 8, one of just 18 ever graded at that level with only two rating higher. When the dust settled, the Cobb card netted $67,200, shattering the hobby’s former record for the grade by 24 percent.

In all, more than 700 lots offered in the auction realized $1,604,355.

“We were very pleased with the steady bidding,” said Memory Lane’s J.P. Cohen. “The market is still very strong for high quality or rare items.”

Mickey Mantle items remained a major attraction with a PSA 6 example of his iconic 1952 Topps card bringing $76,000 and a signed 1951 Bowman rookie card landing at $43,378.

The auction also featured a 1970s Walter Payton game worn road jersey which soared to $35,248.

Twenty-five lots sold for $10,000 or more including a rare 1889 Old Judge (N172) Ed Delahanty rookie (PSA 5.5) which sold for $25,334. Other top pre-War prices came from a T206 Harry Covaleski PSA 9 ($10,742) and a trio of high-grade 1938 Goudey cards topped by a PSA 9 Hank Greenberg that reached $15,799. The latter was part of the breakup of a complete set which netted more than $100,000. Also offered in the auction was the fifth best set of 1939 Play Ball cards on the PSA Registry. Containing 159 of 161 cards, the compilation sold for more than $52,000.

High-grade 1950s were also popular. A 1957 Topps #407 Yankees Power Hitters sold for $19,180, a 1958 Topps Norm Siebern reached $10,130 and a pair of 1959 Topps commons graded 10 combined to bring more than $10,000.

The auction included several vintage packs and boxes including a 1957 Topps Baseball wax pack rated PSA 6 ($5,718) and a large group of Type 1 photos, headlined by a 1937 International News image of Lou Gehrig which sold for more than $7,000.

Complete results are available at

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