October 2019 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/11/2019
Though it may seem like sacrilege, especially to baseball fanatics that worship at the temple of the almighty “Bambino”, many baseball historians think the greatest baseball player that ever lived was not Babe Ruth, or Lou Gehrig, or Ted Williams. In fact, they claim the greatest baseball player that ever lived never set foot on a major-league baseball diamond. Of course, I’m talking about the legendary superstar 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 confine his talents to 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. In 1950, Toleteros released the last of three annual issues that featured players from the Puerto Rican Winter League and included Josh Gibson as a posthumous 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 12 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 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 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-EX1950-51 Toleteros Joshua Gibson PSA 4 VG-EX
1950-51 Toleteros Joshua Gibson PSA 4 VG-EX
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $6,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $20,788.80
Number Bids: 16
Auction closed on Friday, October 11, 2019.
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