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May 2023 Auction Preview — What Are The Best Sports Card Auctions Out There?

May sports card auction Preview

As the calendar turns to May, the weather starts to heat up. So does the sports action, with the playoffs in the NBA and NHL really starting to get interesting and the baseball season moving past the chilly initial month as it stretches its legs for the long journey until fall.

And of course, the sports card and memorabilia action starts to heat up as well. But what do this month’s auctions offer?

Classic Auctions Historical Hockey and Sports Memorabilia Auction Spring 2023

Hockey is the headliner here, and makes up the lion’s share of the lots. There is a smattering of other sports and non-sports items here, but this one is a must for hockey fans.

Auction Basics

Auction:Classic Auctions Historical Hockey and Sports Memorabilia Auction Spring 2023
Website URL:https://www.classicauctions.net/catalog.aspx
Auction Dates:End: May 2, 2023
Bid Open:OPEN
Number of Lots:1,562
Bidding Guide:https://www.classicauctions.net/rules.aspx
Buyer’s Premium20%

Items of Note

Hockey is of course the headliner, but the offerings run the gambit from vintage to more modern. There are rings and trophies, jerseys and equipment, both vintage and modern. Goalie equipment and autographs are also a bit part of the affair.

There are several interesting collections on offer, such as the personal memorabilia stash of Dino Ciccarelli. There are items from the Ted Lindsay Foundation – Impacting Autism, to help a good cause. The Brent Sobie Antique Hockey and Baseball Collection includes some really interesting, really old items.

How about a Bruins Championship banner from the Boston Garden? How about a letter signed by Lord Stanley himself? There’s a Wayne Gretzky graded rookie card. And BBCE-certified wax boxes, including 1980-81 Topps, 1981-82 O-Pee-Chee, and 1985-86 O-Pee-Chee.

Despite the focus on hockey, it wouldn’t really be a 2020’s auction without a Babe Ruth card, right? Staying on the hockey theme, it’s a Canadian-produced 1923 Maple Crispette V117, in a PSA 2 slab.

Sirius Sports Card Auction #338

This month’s Sirius auction has a mix of sports and eras, although baseball makes up the bulk of the auction. While there are certainly high-end items here, there are some lower-grade and lower-value items here that open the action up to collectors on any budget.

Auction Basics

Auction:Sirius Sports Card Auction #338
Website URL:https://siriussportsauctions.com/catalog.aspx
Auction Dates:Ends May 4, 2023
Bid Open:Open
Number of Lots:1,278
Bidding Guide:Rules
Buyer’s Premium12.5%

Items of Note

This auction features a large variety of cards, predominantly graded. These include such 1950’s gems as a PSA 2 1952 Topps Willie Mays, a 1957 Topps Frank Robinson PSA 7, and a 1951 Bowman Monte Irvin PSA 7

There’s a 1959 Topps Jim Brown in a PSA 6 slab. A PSA 9 1975 Topps Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. There’s not much hockey here, but there are some interesting ones, including a PSA 9 1981 Topps Wayne Gretzky.  

A handful of non-sports cards round things out. Appropriate, since the auction end on “Star Wars Day”, there are a number of graded Star Wars trading cards.

As is their norm, Sirius also has a good amount of supplies in the auction, something they do that many houses do not.

Memory Lane Spring ’23 Rarities

This high-end auction has some really impressive items, and is very much worth a look. Some museum-quality pieces for sure. While baseball leads the pack, there is a mix of items across sports.

Auction Basics

Auction:Memory Lane Spring ’23 Rarities
Website URL:https://memorylaneinc.com/site/Lots/Gallery
Auction Dates:May 6, 2023 7 PM ET
Bid Open:Open
Number of Lots:1,930
Bidding Guide:Terms
Buyer’s Premium20%

Items of Note

There’s a lot of beautiful high-end items in this auction. Fan of Jackie Robinson? I mean, who isn’t?! Check out the beautiful single-signed baseball and the Beckett 9 Exhibit card. Oh, and a gorgeous PSA 8 1952 Topps card. There’s a PSA 10 Roberto Clemente cut signature card, and a signed contract from Puerto Rico.

There’s a PSA 10 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan RC that should go for a king’s ransom. Don’t miss the 1/1 Beckett 9 Tom Brady Auto. All the big names are here: Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, Larry Bird,  and so many more.

Goldin Auctions Goldin 100

With items with opening bids ranging from $10,000 to $500,000, this an ultra-high-end auction featuring a mix of comic books and sports items.

Auction Basics

Auction:Goldin Auctions Goldin 100
Website URL:Goldin Auctions
Auction Dates:Extended Bidding Starts: Fri May 12 @  9:00 PM
Bid Open:Opens: May 12
Number of Lots:42
Bidding Guide:FAQ
Buyer’s Premium20% (an additional 3% for credit card payments)

Items of Note

This one is all about the high-end. For example, the 1/1 PSA 10 2004-05 UD Exquisite Collection Dual NBA Logo LeBron James/Kobe Bryant Dual-Signed Game-Used Logoman, with an opening bid of $500,000. There’s a game-used Ty Cobb bat and a Jackie Robinson one as well. . There are game-used jerseys from Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Comics in the auction include a Superman #1, Detective Comics #27 (first appearance of Batman), and Action Comics #1 (first appearance of Superman). All have opening bids of $400,000 or more. Big Superman fan? There’s even a George Reeves worn costume available.

What else? How about a partial Triceratops skull? An old video game with a $50,000 minimum bid? Or President John F. Kennedy’s rosary beads.

Heritage Auctions Spring 2023 Sports Catalog Auction

Another major auction with some real museum-quality pieces here. Baseball makes up the bulk of the option, but there are offers from across the world of sports (and beyond).

Auction Basics

Auction:Heritage Auctions Spring 2023 Sports Catalog Auction
Website URL:Heritage Auctions
Auction Dates:End May 11-13 (see site for details)
Bid Open:Open
Number of Lots:2,807
Bidding Guide:Heritage Auction Bidding Guide
Buyer’s Premium20% (min $29)

Items of Note

Some real beauties here, for sure. How about a 1952 Topps Mantle in PSA 7? Or a PSA 6? Or a PSA 5? A Babe Ruth rookie? A PSA 10 Michael Jordan RC?

How about a Ted Williams Game-Used Bat? Or if you’re a Teddy Ballgame fan, how about something really unique, like a 1957 Ted Williams “Babe Ruth Sultan of Swat Award” Crown? Or maybe his 1946 American League Championship Ring.

There is a PSA 9 Wayne Gretzky rookie card, a SGC 8 Bobby Hull rookie card, and a Shohei Ohtani game-used bat.

And all of those are just the tip of the iceberg. With over 2,800 lots in this auction, there is a lot to choose from and lots to like here.

Goldin May Vintage Elite Auction

As with most auctions this month, this one is heavy on baseball, and as the title suggests, vintage rules here.

Auction Basics

Auction:Goldin May Vintage Elite Auction
Website URL:Goldin Auctions
Auction Dates:Extended Bidding Starts: Wed May 17 @  9:00 PM
Bid Open:Open
Number of Lots:1,000
Bidding Guide:FAQ
Buyer’s Premium20% (an additional 3% for credit card payments)

Items of Note

Another auction with big names throughout. There’s a wide variety of Mickey Mantle items, for example. A PSA 9 Gretzky rookie card. Or a 1986-87 Fleer Basketball Unopened Wax Box with a possible Jordan rookie cards. A Pele autograph or rookie card.

There are some interesting historical items as well, including items related to Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Napoleon, and Theodore Roosevelt

Wheatland May Sports Card & Memorabilia Auction

This card is heavy on baseball and heavy on vintage, with lots of items that are from the 1950’s and prior. Again, other sports have a presence, including some really nice items that will be of interest of fans of all sports.

Auction Basics  

Auction:Wheatland May Sports Card & Memorabilia Auction
Website URL:https://wheatlandauctionservices.com/catalog.aspx
Auction Dates:Ends: May 21 @ 7:00 PM ET
Bid Open:Open
Number of Lots:768
Bidding Guide:Terms
Buyer’s Premium18%

Items of Note

All the big names from vintage baseball are represented here, most with several examples in the auction. Babe Ruth (1, 2), Mickey Mantle (1, 2), Ty Cobb (1, 2), Jackie Robinson (1, 2), Satchel Paige (1,2), and many more.

While baseball and vintage take center stage, other sports and more modern offerings do dot the auction. For example, there’s a 1/1 2023 Prizm Football Barry Sanders Flashback that should draw heavy bidding. Soccer fans will surely appreciate the 2022 Leaf Lionel Messi Material Red Spectrum Auto SGC 9.

There are some interesting non-sports items in this auction as well that are worth a look.

Other sports card auction notes

Goldin’s May Elite Auction runs from May 5 to May 31. At this point, no details on the lots included are available, but check their site for more details.

Goldin also has auctions weekly auctions ending on May 4, May 11, May 18, and May 25. Speaking of Goldin, don’t forget to check them out on their new Netflix show King of Collectibles: The Goldin Touch starting on April 28th.

Heritage Auctions has their weekly auctions ending on May 7, May 14, and May 21.

Final thoughts on May 2023 sports card auctions

There’s a lot of auction action going on in May, with a great mix of eras, sports, and players. The auctions also range from the “museum piece” level for high rollers down to the collector-grade items for those of us who don’t have problems like “where do I park my second yacht?”

What items are you excited about this month? Bidding on or win something? Tell us about it at card_lines on Twitter.

Mike D.

Mike D

Mike D. has collected cards for over 35 years, since he bought his first pack of Topps at the corner store in 1987. His fandom,  collecting interests, and contributions to Cardlines center around baseball in general and the Baseball Hall of Fame specifically.

Mike's collecting focus is centered on graded cards, mostly rookie cards, of Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers. Lately, he's been enjoying dabbling in graded minor league cards. A collector/investor with a "buy and hold" approach, Mike takes the long-term view with his collection.

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