January 2010 Auction
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/22/2010
Graded PSA 8 NM/MT. An immensely appealing example of "The Say Hey Kid's" regal, purple-backed 1952 Topps issue for the professional assessment of NM/MT 8 from the cardboard conservatives at PSA. Centered well-enough for MINT consideration, with a strong NM/MT to NM/MT+ perimeter with noticeably clean borders around a perfectly registered and positively stunning image for the issue. Some entirely unobtrustive periphery print can be detected in the dark backdrop beside the upper left border as well as on the top right crown of Willie's cap, arguably the only thoroughly convincing NM/MT features throughout. The reverse is 100% free of wax residue and, consistent with the profoundly commanding obverse, displays a noticeably bold and deeply saturated print impression of both the red and black colors comprising the groundbreaking 1952 Topps stat-back design. Furthermore, a close inspection of the reverse perimeter could easily convince even the most meticulous collector to deem the edges and corners NM/MT+ overall, if not better. A sharp and illustrious example of a key Mays issue that many advanced collectors believe is one of the most overlooked cards in the entire hobby. It may not be his rookie card (1951 Bowman), and it may not be a '52 Topps high-number, but the offered Mays masterpiece will unquestionably add considerable weight to even the most advanced collections in the world. In his book, The Top 200 Sportscards in the Hobby, Joe Orlando identifies the main condition concerns with the offered Mays issue: centering and tilt, cleanliness of borders, and image color and clarity, and the presented specimen scores extremely high, far in excess of the opined grade, in all categories. Further, when we consider that its population report at PSA (1,080 total copies on record with 64 at or above NM/MT 8) isn't really all that different from the population report for card #311, the Mantle high-number (954 total copies on record with 41 at or above NM/MT 8), and we continue to collectively embrace the notion that Mays was unquestionably the better player, we can't help but understand why so many collectors believe the sky's the limit for this prominent hobby icon.
1952 Topps #261 Willie Mays PSA 8 NM/MT
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