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Vintage Baseball Card Sets and Pre-War Gems Shine at REA's Recent Encore Auction

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The latest REA Encore Auction, which closed last Sunday night, witnessed a surge in collector interest, particularly in the realm of classic baseball card set building from the 1950s. These high-grade sets and pre-war card rarities led the auction's top sales, showcasing the enduring appeal and robust market for vintage sports memorabilia.

  • The auction was highlighted by a 1958 Topps near-complete set, which secured the highest bid at $126,000. This near-complete set, missing just one card, is ranked #13 on the PSA Set Registry and boasts a GPA of 8.00.
  • Following closely was a complete 1957 Topps set, ranked #24 on the PSA Set Registry with a GPA of 8.00, which fetched $99,000.
  • Another significant sale included a complete 1959 Topps set, ranked #29 on the PSA Set Registry with a GPA of 8.01, sold for $72,000.
The auction wasn't just about sets; it also featured some remarkable pre-war baseball cards that drew considerable attention:

  • A standout item was the 1909-1911 T206 Ty Cobb Bat Off Shoulder card with a rare Uzit Back, graded PSA FAIR 1.5. It went for $54,000, establishing a new record for both the grade and the back type.
  • Additionally, a 1933 R319 Goudey #53 Babe Ruth card, graded PSA VG-EX 4, also set a new record by selling for $30,000.
In total, more than 3,600 items were put up for auction, generating close to $1.8 million in sales from over 63,000 bids. Other noteworthy sales included:

  • Roberto Clemente’s 1955 Topps rookie card (#164), graded PSA NM-MT 8, which sold for $52,800.
  • Hank Aaron’s 1954 Topps rookie card (#128), also graded PSA NM-MT 8, brought in $36,000.
  • A 1907 Wolverine News Postcard featuring a Ty Cobb Portrait Rookie, graded SGC FAIR 1.5, fetched $29,400.
  • Mickey Mantle’s 1951 Bowman rookie card (#253), graded PSA EX 5, went for $25,200.
  • Babe Ruth’s 1933 Goudey cards (#144 and #181) and Sandy Koufax’s 1955 Topps rookie card (#123), all fetching substantial sums.
  • The auction also saw strong results from other memorabilia, including an unopened wax box of 1980-1981 Topps Basketball cards, featuring the rookie cards of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, which sold for $17,400.
REA President Brian Dwyer expressed enthusiasm about the auction results, noting, "The strong turnout and exceptional prices realized underscore key trends in the hobby, particularly the resurgence of high-grade set building. These results are a positive indicator of the vibrancy of our upcoming events and the collectibles industry at large."

Looking forward, REA has scheduled its next June Encore Auction for June 13, followed by the larger Summer Catalog Auction on July 23. This upcoming auction coincides with the 44th annual National Sports Collectors Convention, where REA will host its booth.

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