This week we are featuring the top six collectible cards (individual or sets) sold on eBay last week, priced over $15,000. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it is a representative list.
#6 - $17,000 - In 1993 Richard Garfield had a brilliant idea: combine the strategy and fun of Dungeons and Dragons-type fantasy role-playing with a collectibel trading card game. In hindsight, it seems simple, in reality, it took a long time to convince anyone to back him in what was to become the trading card game called Magic: The Gathering. It is hard to fathom the popularity of this game, but is has been called "cardboard crack," because of its addictive nature. This Magic the Gathering beta booster box from 1993 is full of sealed cards - who knows what treasures will be revealed, aside from the lucky winner of this auction.
#5 - $19,850 - The names of some of the other baseball players that made today's list are easily recognizable, for example, Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth. But have you ever heard of Walter Johnson? I hadn't, but this 1909-11 T206 Walter Johnson card made me do a bit of research:
Walter Johnson, known as the "Big Train," was one of the most dominating players in history, and still holds various pitching records that remain unbroken to this day. Take a look at the Johnson's Wikipedia page for more information. What a ballplayer!
#4 - $25,000 - Pete Rose, known as "Charlie Hustle," is another famous baseball player, whose career started in 1963 with the Cincinnati Reds. He was arguably one of the best switch-hitters ever, and holds records for the most hits, at-bats, singles, games played, and outs. Unfortunately, due to some serious questions about his betting on games where his own team was involved, he was banned from the Baseball Hall of Fame. This 1963 TOPPS Rookie Card is nothing much to look at, and certainly does not foreshadow futute events:
But its value is incontrovertible.
#3 - $25,300 - Mickey Mantle needs no introduction. This famous New York Yankees center fielder holds so many records you'd have to go to his page to read all about them. This 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle ROOKIE RC #311 is iconic:
As the listing notes:
"The image of the '52 Topps Mantle is instantly recognized by even non-collectors as the premier post-war sportscard."
We couldn't agree more. The particular card, above, is so valuable because of its rating, a PSA 5. A similar card, this 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 PSA 1:
sold for "only" $6,600. As no one's mom ever once said "Take good care of your precious things, and they will take care of you!"
#2 - $30,101 - We are back to a collection of Magic: The Gathering cards with this incredible and extensive Magic the Gathering collection of 3023 cards:
While this may seem like a lot of money for a collection of cards, the seller values them all at over $80K, so the buyer is getting a bargain. And imagine if these MTG cards increase in price like the baseball cards of old did....
#1 - $80,900 - The "Sultan of Swat," Babe Ruth is another baseball player that really needs no introduction. This 1916 M101-5 Sporting News Babe Ruth ROOKIE RC #151 PSA 5 tops our list as the most expensive collectible card sold last week:
The listing description sums it all up very nicely:
"Quite possibly the single most important rookie card in all of collecting. Words struggle to surmise the importance of this production, but we'll do our best. When gazing at this M101-5, of particular interest is Ruth's position on the pitching mound, donning his infamous Boston Red Sox attire. As most advanced Ruth enthusiasts are aware, the Sultan of Swat actually started as a south paw hurler; a position that twice won over 20 games for Boston, and three times helped propel them to World Series championships. However, despite his pitching accolades, it was Ruth's inherent love of baseball that insisted he 'play every day' and eventually he was allowed to experiment with the outfield, where he officially settled in 1919. He responded by breaking the MLB single-season home run record, single handedly ending the ‘dead ball’ era and forever changing how our American Pastime was coached and played. Such dominance is virtually unheard of in professional sport; Ruth has always been in a class of his own and as fans study his past, the status of 'immortal' doesn't seem all that grandiose. In 1993 the Associated Press reported that, worldwide, Babe Ruth was the most recognized athlete in the history of professional sport. This too, isn't all that shocking. "
For those of you who are interested in collectible cards, many of these pre-war baseball cards have been sold by a single seller, prewarcollector, who has numerous other pre-war, Magic: The Gathering, and other collectible cards for sale. Take a look, and happy collecting!