Auctions debuts with successful online auction

IOLA, Wis.—A sole surviving set of National Copper Plate Co. portraits produced in 1898-99 depicting the eras most popular baseball players took top honors June 18 in Auctions’ debut sale. The lot opened with a $25,000 bid and slid into home with a $52,650 closing, a record price for the set. All prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.

Autographed items brought remarkable prices. A U.S. Olympic flag signed by the 1980 hockey team brought $1,170. A ball signed by Grover Cleveland Alexander, a member of the third Hall of Fame induction class, reached $936. A newspaper clipping of Babe Ruth sporting a better than average signature sold for $1,111.50.

Among the more unusual sports collectibles in the sale, two were standouts. The first, a Teterboro Aircraft fuel receipt, dated May 10, 1979, and signed by beloved Yankee catcher Thurman Munson sold for $2,340. The receipt was signed only a few months before Munson would die in a plane crash.

A rare discovery of a 1919 souvenir booklet titled Sketch Book and Complete Records of Our Sox and Cubs, sold for $877.50. The seldom offered early yearbook included very detailed statistics relating to the White Sox and Cubs, including Joe Jackson and other members of the infamous Black Sox of 1919.

Baseball cards saw strong action for prewar items. A Goudey near complete set (missing a Nap Lajoie card) sold for a stunning $5,850. Collectors consider it to be one of the most important card sets of the 1930s. The colorful classic cards, measuring 2 3/8 by 2 7/8 inches, was Goudey’s first and likely its best, marking it as arguably the greatest gum set of its time. Cards featuring Joe Jackson, Christy Mathewson and Lou Gehrig reached $585, $176 and $995. Two different lots of highly sought after Cracker Jack cards from 1914 and 1915 brought $4,973 and $2,808. Auctions’ next sale ends Aug. 27 with a consignment deadline of July 11. For more information about the sale or to list your sports or entertainment collectibles with Auctions call 888-463-4063 or visit