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Heritage Spring Auction Shines with Rare Cobb Card and Ruth Rookie

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The Heritage Auctions' Spring Sports Card sale witnessed the sale of a rare T206 Ty Cobb card with a Cobb tobacco advertisement on the back for $432,000, highlighting its rarity and desirability among collectors. Not as widely recognized as the Honus Wagner card, this Ty Cobb variant is noted for its exclusivity, with only about 25 authenticated copies known.

Graded Good (2.5) by SGC, the T206 Cobb card features a unique "King of the Smoking Tobacco World" message on its back, unlike any other card in the set. Its rarity is attributed to its distribution with a short-lived Cobb-branded tobacco product, enhancing its collectible value alongside the also sought-after tins in which it was sold.

The auction also featured a PSA 4 graded M101-5 Sporting News Blank Back Babe Ruth rookie card, fetching $348,000. Other notable sales included a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card at $204,000 and a 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card, which sold for $210,000.

With participation from over 2,450 bidders globally, the auction generated more than $10 million, showcasing the strong market for both iconic and more niche sports cards. A 1969 Topps Nolan Ryan rookie card, one of only three PSA 10 copies, sold for $180,000, exemplifying the auction's widespread appeal.

Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage, highlighted the across-the-board strong prices, noting significant interest in four-figure cards escalating to five figures. The auction also featured a signed 1951 Bowman Willie Mays rookie card with a unique backstory, selling for $126,000 among the 31 signed copies registered by PSA.

Collectible unopened material continued to draw attention, with a 1967 Topps Football cello box and a 1970 Topps baseball (Mixed Series) cello box each achieving $81,000. Additionally, a ticket stub from Jackie Robinson’s 1939 UCLA football debut exceeded expectations, selling for $22,800.

A remarkable find at an estate sale, including eight rare 1914 Lawrence Semon issue postcards featuring Ty Cobb, sold for a total of $50,370, highlighting the potential treasures still to be discovered by collectors.

For complete results and more details on the auction's standout lots, interested parties are encouraged to visit Heritage Auctions' website.

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