Jul 13, 2021 - Sports
Tampa man's sports memorabilia collection sells for $21.5M
Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle cards were auction off for millions. Photo: Memory Lane Inc.

A Tampa man's sports cards and memorabilia collection raked in $21.5 million over the weekend, per USA Today.

State of play: The late Thomas Newman, a doctor, collected 1,000 baseball, football and hockey memorabilia items over 50 years before he died of COVID-19 complications in January.

Worth noting: These weren't all saved from his childhood. (Newman was 73.) Some of the items date back to the 1880s.

  • He spent $2o,000 on a 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth card in the '90s, which sold for more than $4.2 million — the most valuable item in the collection.
  • Another Ruth card from 1916 sold for $1,452,000. A 1952 Mickey Mantle card got $2,112,200.

His wife had no idea what they were worth until he died.

"He was just a quiet collector. He didn’t brag about it to anybody. ... He’d get them out and play with them. He called them his 'paper babies.'"
Nancy Newman to USA Today Sports
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