Leland Auction House, which is arguably the largest auctioneer in the sports collectibles and memorabilia industry, kicked off its annual Spring Catalog Auction last Friday, May 18, 2012. The auction house, with more than $40 million of sales of sports collectibles and memorabilia over the past five years, has numerous lots that have great appeal to both collectors and enthusiasts.
Mike Heffner, president of Leland Auctions, said that the items he is most curious about are the rookie Honus Wagner baseball card and the Mike Tyson collection. The 1897-98 Honus Wagner is an example of where perception of value is more significant than the facts. “While there are only two graded, 1897-98 Honus Wagner rookie cards, and it is actually rarer than a Honus Wagner T206 baseball card, it is not as valuable to collectors,” said Mike Heffner.
Although the Honus Wagner card from the American Tobacco Company‘s T206 series, 1909-11, is the most coveted Honus Wagner baseball card, the 1897-99 Henry Reccius Cigars Honus Wagner card is the rarer. It was originally issued in Louisville, Kentucky, when the Louisville Colonels were members of the National League. Only two graded copies of this card are known to exist.
Overall, there are 157 graded, T-206 series cards available in the auction Leland’s Spring, including cards with images of Ty Cobb and Cy Young, members of the first group of baseball players enshrined in to the sport’s Hall of Fame.
The Mike Tyson mementos come from the Steve Lott Boxing Collection. Steve Lott was the film editor for Big Fights, the company that controlled all the fight films, for 30 years. Lott’s employers also were funding the Gus D’Amato’s training camp where Tyson trained. In 1985, Lott was Tyson’s pre-fight handler and shared an apartment, in Manhattan, with Tyson for more than two years.
“This is the most extensive collection of Mike Tyson memorabilia that has ever gone to auction,” said Mike Heffner. “The collection comes from Tyson’s former assistant trainer. There are a lot of personal items and historical documents that are available for the first time ever.” Bidding on lots for the Leland’s Spring Catalog Auction is open until 9 p.m. Eastern time, June 15, 2012. For more information, visit Lelands.com.