Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, More Rare Baseball Cards Expected to Auction for Millions

Former New York Yankees teammates Babe Ruth, right, and Lou Gehrig pose together at a spring training game in St. Petersburg, Fla., March 16, 1935 as they met for the first time after Ruth left the Yankees for the Boston Braves.  The Braves defeated the Yankees 3-2 in the exhibition game. (AP Photo/Tom Sande)

TOM SANDE/Associated Press

A baseball card and memorabilia collection worth millions of dollars that includes Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig autographed cards is set to be auctioned off beginning this month.

According to NJ.com’s Casey Roland2,000 separate lots will be put up for bid by Wheatland Auction Services, with the first 650 lots going up Sunday. The collection was owned by New Jersey native James Micioni, who died at the age of 97 in March.

Micioni, who was affectionately known as Uncle Jimmy, left a collection that consisted of over 1,000 baseball cards and collectibles.

Most notably, Micioni owned six 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth cards that were autographed by the New York Yankees legend himself. Of the six cards, four of them are different versions and two of them are duplicates.

The best of the bunch is a card that earned a grade of 4 based on its condition, with the autograph earning a grade of 8 from the grading service PSA.

Also included in the collection is a 1933 Goudey Gehrig card graded a 4.5 with an 8 autograph and a 1933 Goudey Jimmie Foxx card graded a 4 with a 9 autograph.

Ruth, Gehrig and Foxx are all Hall of Famers and are widely considered to be three of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball. Ruth and Gehrig are best known for starring for the Yankees, while Foxx had his best years with the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox.

Wheatland owner Chuck Whisman noted that nobody was aware of the breadth and value of Micioni’s collection until after he died: “Maybe once a decade something like this comes around. The cool thing is, nobody knew of his collection. He just collected his whole life. He didn’t show it off to anyone.”

Per Roland, most of the autographs Micioni accrued were as a result of mailing cards and letters to players and teams and asking for their autographs.

In an effort to remember and immortalize Micioni for the remarkable collection he pieced together during his lifetime, many of the cards that were graded by PSA include a designation that reads “Uncle Jimmy Collection” next to the grade.

While it remains to be seen precisely how much Micioni’s family will fetch for his collection at auction, Roland noted that the cards and memorabilia are expected to go for “several million dollars” in total.