October 2009 Auction
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/7/2009
Proudly offered is a surpassing high-end 1952 Topps example of Willie Mays that has recently been graded PSA 8 NM/MT. Near perfect centering is the obvious highlight to this glittering Mays relic, but perhaps just as impressive as the sublime framing of the borders is the celebrated image contained within, which, while not perfect, could certainly pass for a higher grade. Perfectly typical for the issue, and primarily located around the purple periphery, a handful of truly microscopic pin pricks of print can be observed, but they are easily overshadowed (if they're ever even noticed at all) by the noticeably rich and accurately impressed central image. The borders are clean, if not subtly toned (as vintage cards should be), and both the corners and edges range from NM/MT to NM/MT+ or better. However you look at it, this is one heck of a high-end example in the NM/MT 8 class from PSA. In addition, we urge interested bidders to consider the statistical population spread of this prominent (and for now affordable) Mays card relative to its famous counterpart, card #311, the Mantle high-number. Despite the fact that Topps destroyed thousands upon thousands of Mantle cards, the total number of Mantle submissions to PSA (932) is surprisingly comparable to the total Mays submissions (1,056). The Mantle submissions have yielded 11 examples in excess of the NM/MT 8 grade, while the Mays entry reports just 10. They differ mostly in the NM/MT 8 column, as Mantle reports 29 examples, compared to Willie's 53, but can this really explain price differentials that exceeded $100,000 for examples traded at the opined grading tier before the global economic crunch? What other reason can there be for the latter's dominance in terms of value? Is not Willie's image just as famous, just as fantastic, just as royal as "The Mick's?" Not to confuse the matter, card #311 is bona fide American pop art, but card #261 is just as rapturous as its blue-backed big brother, if not more so. Purple, after all, is the color of magic and majesty, of royalty, and of the sublime--a perfect compliment to the peerlessness of Willie Mays. Whether you're relatively new to high stakes cards and looking for that perfect first centerpiece, or whether you're a seasoned hobby veteran seeing this card for the hundredth time, we can promise you both that you have never and will never see very many quite like this. Highly recommended!
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