Seller’s Market – The State of Card Collecting Has Never Been Better!

Less than 18 months ago, Mile High Card Company offered a 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle PSA 5 in our 2014 Summer auction. The card brought in just short of $16,000, a respectable price at the time. A few weeks ago, MHCC offered another 1952 Topps Mantle that changed hands for the sum of $21,549.00. While any collector would consider that a tidy windfall, it becomes even more impressive when you consider that the latest offering was not a PSA 5; it was graded PSA 2.5 GOOD+. The last two PSA5s have sold for over $57,000. As incredible as that sounds, it’s become a common event in an industry that is not only experiencing bull market, it’s reaching a level never before imagined!

Is it time to sell?

It would be really easy for us to just say, “YES!” We’re in the auction business, it’s what we do, so we’re definitely biased. But that doesn’t mean we’re wrong, because the results speak for themselves. When a 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente RC graded PSA 8 sells for $12,000 in an April 2014 MHCC auction and over $58,000 just a few weeks ago, or a 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan RC graded PSA 9 jumps from $15,000 a year ago to over $40,000 in the last public auction, you might conclude that there’s a few collectors out there that got a little caught up in the bidding frenzy. But it’s much more than that. When you deal with so many praiseworthy cards on a regular basis as we do, the trend becomes impossible to ignore. Look at the price changes that have taken place in just the course of a year: 1954 Topps Hank Aaron PSA 8 from $11,000 (Mar 2015) to over $28,000 (Jan 2016), 1955 Koufax PSA 8 from $3,400 (Feb 2015) to $8,600 (Feb 2016), even lower priced cards like a 1964 Topps Pete Rose PSA 8, which was selling for under $900 as recently as March and now boasts four sales of $2,200 or more since December. This incredible spike in prices has been across the board from the mid grades on up, doubling, tripling, and in the case of the Clemente RC, more than quadrupling in value, all while the stock market has fallen over the same time span.

Are we still on the way up?

Ha! If I knew the answer to that, I’d be on my own island sipping margaritas. But I do know this … nothing lasts forever. In the last MHCC auction, an incredible 1954 Topps Aaron RC PSA 9 brought in over $190,000, beating the previous high of $62,000 from a public auction in August 2014. Who can really know for sure whether that same card sells for $300,000 two months from now, stays even for the next 5 years or drops in price? Sure, most of you aren’t in the market for MINT Hank Aaron rookie cards, but everyone has an investment in their collection. The best advice we can offer is to take a good, long look at what you have. Is it something you enjoy, regardless of its monetary value? Is it something you can part with, maybe to help complete a different project or invest elsewhere? While we can’t predict the future, we do know that in the present, there’s never been a better time to sell. Whether it’s months from now, years, or even a decade away, eventually the music stops, prices recede, and balance is restored. Whatever you decide, we at Mile High Card Company are dedicated to being at your service.

1968 Topps #177 Nolan Ryan

1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle

1955 Topps #123 Sandy Koufax

1954 Topps #128 Hank Aaron PSA 8

1968 Topps #177 Nolan Ryan PSA 9

The 1933 Goudey Set: The Greatest Baseball Card Series Ever Produced!

33 goudey 144 ruth auctionIt was less than four years after the infamous Black Tuesday stock market crash and the United States was deep in the throes of a Great Depression that brought 24.9% unemployment and a collapse of the American economy. Families were torn apart and scattered to better confront an uncertain future, while struggling businesses looked for any way to survive. Baseball was the common bond that gave hope to a nation in despair, led by its immortal goodwill ambassador, Mr. George Herman “Babe” Ruth. Capitalizing on a campaign made famous by the tobacco industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, bubble gum and candy companies revived the practice of offering collector cards with a purchase of their product. Several companies made the leap into the baseball card market, but the Goudey Gum Company’s 240-card collection hails as the greatest baseball card series ever produced!

Baseball cards are back!

Boston, Massachusetts became ground-zero for the new renaissance in the baseball card industry as DeLong, George C. Miller, Goudey, U. S. Caramel, and National Chicle, located a few miles down the road in Cambridge, each offered the opportunity to build a collection through the purchase of their product. While each of these collections has earned a loyal following that continues to this day, the Goudey series hails as the king of all collections due to a simple but unique philosophy: offer colorful pasteboards with fantastic artwork and easy to read biographies on thick, sturdy cardboard. Oh … and pack in a whole bunch of Babe Ruth cards!

There’s a certain poetic element to Babe Ruth leading a Boston-based company back from extinction given his unceremonious departure by Red Sox owner Harry Frazee for the tawdry sum of $100,000. However, the Goudey collection offers much more than just “The Sultan of Swat.” Of the 240 cards in the set, 63 feature a Hall of Famer with multiple appearances by Gehrig, Hornsby, Ott, Hubbell, Foxx, and many others in addition to a quartet of Babe Ruth cards, each with its own distinct character.

“I Only Need One More Card!”

33 goudey 106 lajoie auctionFor an inaugural collection, the 1933 Goudey set initially appeared to have no “drama” other than a change to card #6 Jimmy Dykes, who was originally listed as 26 years old and later corrected to 36 years old. That is until collectors began to sense a common theme; they were all one card away from completing the set… and it was always the same card! While U.S. Caramel and George C. Miller had implemented a similar technique of short-printing one card so severely that only a few lucky patrons could complete the set, Goudey took the concept a step further by totally omitting card #106 completely, keeping customers buying their product in a futile search for the non-existent pasteboard. But it didn’t take long for Goudey’s subterfuge to be discovered and the missing card #106 was printed in the final run of the following year, explaining why it bears the design of Goudey’s 1934 product. It is unknown why Napoleon Lajoie, a star that had been retired for over 15 years, was made the subject of the missing pasteboard, but with the card produced in limited quantity and available only by mail to collectors that formally complained in writing, the “1933” Goudey #106 Lajoie ranks with the T206 Honus Wagner and the T206 Ty Cobb with “Ty Cobb” reverse as the most coveted rarities in sports card history.

1933 Goudey Break-Up: Mile High Card Company March 2015 Auction

The #9 PSA Set Registry ranked 1933 Goudey Set is being offered as individual lots and groups in our March 2015 action, with all four Babe Ruth cards (#53 PSA 7, #144 PSA 8, #149 PSA 7 and #181 PSA 8) along with the iconic #106 Lajoie (PSA 6) leading the way. Lou Gehrig’s difficult card #92 as well as examples of Dean, Hornsby, Hubbell, Grove, Dickey, Traynor, Simmons, Ott and many others are available at the grade of PSA 8. If NM/MT is more than you need, you’ll have the opportunity to bid on a huge selection of cards graded PSA 6 and PSA 7 as well, along with enticing mid-grade groups. The auction opens for bidding on March 2nd and concludes on March 19th.

33 goudey 181 ruth auction33 goudey 92 gehrig auction