Pete Maravich Rookie Card Sets Record at $552,000; Notable Sales of High-End Basketball Icons

On July 9, 2023, the sports memorabilia world witnessed a landmark auction as a gem mint Pete Maravich rookie card from the 1970 Topps basketball set fetched an astounding $552,000 at PWCC Marketplace’s Vintage Premier Auction. This card, numbered 123 in the Tall Boys set, is one of only two graded PSA 10 cards of the legendary “Pistol Pete,” making it the most expensive Maravich card ever sold.

Surpassing the record set by Lew Alcindor’s (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) rookie card from the inaugural 1969-70 Topps basketball set, which sold for $501,900 in 2016, this sale ranks as the fifth-highest price ever paid for a pre-1980 basketball card.

Out of the 3,818 Maravich cards graded by PSA, this particular gem mint example stole the spotlight at the PWCC auction. It was not the only PSA 10 offering to garner attention, as the auction also featured other notable basketball greats with gem mint cards from the 1969 set.

Walt Frazier

Walt Frazier, the New York Knicks’ beloved star, saw his PSA 10 1969 rookie card sell for an impressive $252,000. This card, numbered 98 in the set, stands as the sole PSA gem mint card of Frazier in the collection, with only 46 such cards existing overall.

Willis Reed

Willis Reed, Frazier’s teammate and an iconic center, also commanded attention with his PSA 10 1969 rookie card selling for $150,000. Card number 60, the only gem-mint card of “The Captain” out of 1,257 submissions, achieved the highest price ever recorded for a Reed card.

Oscar Robertson

Oscar Robertson’s sole PSA 10 1969 card, numbered 60, fetched an impressive $186,000  in the auction. With only 15 cards attaining PSA 9 status, this sale set a new record for a Robertson card.

Jerry West

Jerry West’s 1969 Topps PSA 10 card, the highest-rated example of the Los Angeles Lakers legend, commanded $180,000. Out of the 1,698 cards submitted to PSA, only one received a gem mint designation, while 18 others achieved PSA 9 grades.

Nate Thurmond

Two more rookies cards from the 1960 Topps set also secured six-figure prices. Nate Thurmond’s card, numbered 10, reached $114,000, becoming the center’s most valuable card to date. Similarly, Wes Unseld’s rookie card, numbered 56, sold for $111,000.

Wes Unseld

The rookie card of another great center, Wes Unseld (No. 56), sold for $111,000

These sales exemplify the enduring allure of vintage basketball cards, with collectors and enthusiasts demonstrating their willingness to invest substantial amounts in acquiring these iconic pieces of sports history.

I have been collecting memorabilia for half of my life. I started very small with a few trading cards and since then I am more and more interested in the subject. I read a lot in Facebook groups, collect especially Jordan memorabilia. I'm happy if you like my content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *