Auction houses were abuzz in 2019 with tens of thousands of cherished sports and non-sports collectibles being sold, the majority of which came with third-party certification from PSA. Once again, vintage cardboard led the way with many outstanding auction prices realized (APR), from a 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner (graded PSA Good 2) that sold for $1.35 million via Mile High Card Company in October, to a 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #144 (PSA Mint 9) that sold through Heritage Auctions for $528,000 at the start of last year. Overall, PSA is pleased to report that 10 of the top-selling collectibles auctioned last year were all certified by the industry’s leading third-party authentication and grading company.
With a combined value of $6,671,250, the lineup includes not only coveted cardboard, but a 1929 Babe Ruth game-used bat authenticated by PSA/DNA as a true Ruth gamer that’s been attributed to the Bambino’s 500th career home run! The 35-inch, 38-ounce ash bat was sold by SCP Auctions in December for an astounding $1,008,000. In addition, a rare Olympic gold medal from the 1936 Berlin Games, one that received a full Letter of Authenticity from PSA/DNA, also made the cut as it brought in $600,000 via Goldin Auctions in December. The medal is 24k gold-plated over silver and its history reveals that it belonged to none other than U.S. track-and-field star Jesse Owens, who earned four gold medals at the ‘36 Summer Olympics. This is just the second Owens’ gold medal to surface; the other two have so far been lost to history.
OTHER TOP SELLERS
Four more top-selling cards from last year, all sold through Heritage, that were authenticated and graded by PSA included a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 (PSA NM-MT+ 8.5) for $765,000 in December; a 1910 Old Mill Joe Jackson (T210) Series 8 (PSA VG+ 3.5) that garnered $600,000 in March; a 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig #160 (PSA Mint 9) that brought in $576,000 last January; and a 1916 Famous & Barr Co. Babe Ruth #151 (PSA EX-MT 6) that captured $540,000 in August. Rounding out the lineup from the 2019 auction circuit is a circa 1932 Lou Gehrig signed and personalized photo to Babe Ruth (PSA/DNA Mint 9), which fetched $480,000 via Hunt Auctions in June, and a 1998 Pokemon Japanese Promo Pikachu Illustrator – Holo (PSA Mint 9) that brought in $224,250 by way of Weiss Auctions in October.
When it came to auction prices realized in 2019, no other third-party authentication company came close to PSA. As you can plainly see, the final results speak for themselves.