October/November 2021 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/12/2021
Whether it's Ruth, Cobb, Bonds, Williams, Mays, or someone else, the argument over who was the greatest baseball payer of all time is a valid one. As for the "someone else", many baseball historians point to a player who never appeared in a major league game; Josh Gibson. Many called him "The black Babe Ruth', while others thought so highly of him that they insisted Babe Ruth was "The white Josh Gibson." A casualty of the unwritten "gentleman's agreement" among major-league owners that excluded non-whites during his lifetime, Gibson was forced to display his talents in the Negro Leagues as well as professional leagues in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The lack of verifiable statistics from the various leagues makes it impossible to accurately record Gibson's lifetime achievements, but it’s thought that Gibson amassed “close to 800” lifetime home runs with a career batting average in the .350-.370 range. Legend has it that Gibson hit a home run in a Negro League game at Yankee Stadium that struck just below the top of the wall circling the center field bleachers, approximately 580 feet from home plate, and smashed another over the third deck next to the left-field bullpen that would stand as the only fair ball ever hit out of Yankee Stadium. Since he never got the opportunity to don a major league uniform, he also never graced the surface of an American baseball card issue. But in 1950, when Toleteros released the last of three annual issues that featured players from the Puerto Rican Winter League, Josh Gibson was a posthumous addition as a tribute to his league record .480 batting average in 1941-42. With no other known cards featuring Josh Gibson as the subject, the thin cardboard-stocked 1950-1951 Toleteros issue is his rookie card, even though it was released three years after his passing from a stroke at age 35. It may never be known exactly how many of these cards exist, though it is commonly thought to be no more than a few dozen with the PSA pop report showing 14 graded examples. The featured specimen is graded PSA 4, and the combination of extreme scarcity and condition sensitivity makes this museum-worthy prize one of the most treasured specimens in the entire industry. Spared the usual paper loss on the back from being mounted in an album, a common practice among Cuban and South American baseball card issues, the relatively clean white reverse is complemented by an alabaster border on the front that surrounds a well-centered image of the fabled superstar and provides a rare glimpse of Gibson. Minor corner wear is negligible and the card projects better than the grade would suggest. One of the hobby's most elusive celebrated masterpieces, and a fitting testimonial to perhaps the greatest player to ever step on a baseball field.
1950-51 Toleteros Joshua Gibson PSA 4 VG-EX
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $6,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $104,047.20
Number Bids:51
Competitive in-house shipping is not available for this lot.
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