- 1914 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson Authentic 937.50 2,574.
- 109-11 T206 Ty Cobb (bat on shoulder) Good 500.00 527.00
- 1921 E220 Nat'l Caramel Babe Ruth Authentic 300.00 878.00
- 1933 Sport King Babe Ruth Poor 262.50 527.00
- 1932 U.S. Caramel Lou Gehrig Poor 187.50 995.00
- 1919 W514 Strip Card Joe Jackson Authentic 125.00 585.00
Now, to be fair, there were a few Authentic and Poor cards of Ruth and Jackson that never got an opening bid, but that was likely because the minimum bid had been pegged too ambitiously. I believe my point is made by the examples cited above.
Another characteristic that most of the examples here seemed to share was "eye appeal" that significantly outshined their assigned technical grades. If a collector was buying the card, rather than its plastic wrap, the healthy competition of the auction environment created a premium price structure.
Upon reflection, I think what I see here is a trend that has developed for collectors who can never aspire to own investment-grade (NM or better) specimens of the hobby's greatest cards of the game's greatest players, are willing to stretch their budgets to acquire a genuine, career-contemporary card. I doubt that they'd be willing to make the same concessions to build a complete set, but to acquire a showpiece of this caliber evidently makes sense to them.
I think this phenomenon has already extended to the early cards of Mickey Mantle and even, perhaps, Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente. Whether it will spread deeper into the post-war cards remains to be seen.