The now-famous 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings team card found last summer in an antique store by Bernice Gallego sold for $64,073 (before buyer’s premium).
By 3 p.m. eastern on the final day of the auction, the price jumped some $16,000 to $52,573 mark before some late bidding pushed it to its final realized price. Dan Wulkan, the auction director of Memory Lane, the company auctioning off the collectible of the first openly all-professional baseball team, said a final price of $100,000 to maybe $150,000 for the card is quite possible.
Encapsulated by PSA with an “Authentic” designation, Dan Wulkan, the auction director of Memory Lane said the card does have some creasing and discoloration issues but emphasized it does have strengths in the condition arena, as well. “For its age it’s in really nice shape. The registration on the picture is really good,” he said.
On the last day of the auction the 1869 card went from about $36,000 to a hammer price of $64,073 ($75, 286 including the 17 1/2 % buyer’s premium). “It was unbelievable,” said Wulkan. “That final price is about 150 percent or more than the highest price paid for one of these cards.”
“We made history,” said Mirigian, “and it’s nice to have been a part of it.”
The high bidder was Jeff Rosenberg, president of TriStar Productions, “This card is at the top of all baseball cards,” said Rosenberg, “it’s a true piece of Americana and something we really wanted to own.”
TriStar, a multi-faceted sports memorabilia company, promotes hobby shows nationwide and packages pieces of memorabilia (cards, packs, autographs) in various ways—including its “Hidden Treasures” line. “This is the perfect piece for that (a Hidden Treasures promotion),” he said, “and down the road, who knows, we might just give the card away.”
And lastly there is Bernice Gallego, who found the 1869 hidden treasure to start this whole story. She and her husband partied as they watched the auction on a big-screen TV at their friend George Huddleston’s home. “We had balloons all over the house, a lot of food and friends, it was like New Year’s Eve,” she said. “I’m so delighted with the auction, it was a great finale.”
Look for the full story on this card in the April issue of Tuff Stuff’s Sports Collectors Monthly.