1948 Leaf #8 Satchel Paige Rookie PSA 6 EX-MT
This magnificent 1948 Leaf Satchel Paige marvel continues to reside as one of the most coveted rookie cards on the planet! When the Leaf Gum Co. issued their inaugural 1948 baseball set, how could anyone possibly predict that the most valuable and desirable card would be the #8 single print subject of the set, Satchel Paige. With immortal stars such as Ruth, Wagner, Robinson, Musial, Williams, and DiMaggio included in the set, one would think that Paige's first baseball card would have to take a back seat to the aforementioned list of legendary players.
Its unequivocal prestige is substantiated by some extraordinary pricing points including $432,000 for a PSA 8, $108,000 for a PSA 7 and $45,000 for a PSA 5 (there are no recent sales for a PSA 6). Due to its "single print" status, this card is certainly not readily available to the collecting community, with less than 170 total examples listed on the prestigious PSA "Pop" Chart. So why has any Satchel Paige cardboard issue, let alone his esteemed '48 Leaf Rookie, achieved such momentous stature? Simply stated, Hall of Famer Satchel Paige is the most celebrated Negro Leagues player in their illustrious history, even outdistancing the revered Josh Gibson in popularity.
Born Leroy Robert Page on July 7, 1906, Page changed the spelling of his name to "Paige" in the mid 1920's. His friends tagged him with the iconic "Satchel" nickname because of an early job whereby he was paid for each carried suitcase and ingeniously rigged a pole to carry additional suitcases at the Mobile train station. His four-decade professional pitching stint commenced in 1926 with the Chattanooga White Sox of the Negro Southern League, ending some 40 years later with the Peninsula Grays of the Carolina League at the age of 60! After finally reaching the majors in 1948 with the Cleveland Indians, he became the oldest rookie ever at the age of 42, and his career would not end following those 6 seasons with the Indians and St. Louis Browns.
He continued to barnstorm and pitch professionally until he was called up by the Kansas City A's in 1965 at the incredible age of 59, pitching 3 scoreless innings in his final Major League appearance. His uncanny success was attributed to a vast assortment of pitches, tantalizing arm angles, and speeds. Regarding the latter, Joe DiMaggio was quoted as saying "Paige was the fastest and best pitcher I ever faced", after hitting against him in a 1935 six-game tour that included one of baseball's foremost hurlers, Dizzy Dean. Regarding this elite offering, his outstanding 1948 Leaf Rookie card qualifies as one of the most significant cards in the hobby and depicts stellar aesthetics.
Paige's renowned portrait image emanates a sparkling array of facial, red and blue hues that are well projected via the bold yellow setting that has eluded the numerous horizontal print lines typically plaguing this subject. The classic illustration partly favors the lower edge right edges, and the somewhat right-angled corners still portray a majority of their original formations. With no major creasing/surface blemishes evident, and the flipside reflecting bold black print, this card has been accurately graded, with its finest attributes being its superb resolution and rich hues. One of the most renowned rookie cards extant, it represents a pitcher who many historians arguably claim to be the greatest of them all, with this PSA 6 Leaf masterpiece likewise retaining bragging rights as one of Satchel's premier cardboard keepsakes!
He would later team up with Josh Gibson on the Pittsburgh Crawfords to form possibly the finest one-team hitter/pitcher combo in the history of baseball. In addition to playing with several different Negro League teams, Paige also pitched for an amazing number of barnstorming All-Star teams, including one that bore his name. It was during these All-Star contests that other big leaguers were able to see him play.
Bob Feller commented that Paige was the best pitcher that he ever saw, himself included. The yellow and red colors highlighted in the offered 1948 Leaf Paige help create this PSA 6 EX-MT grade. With strong edging and corners, this card would compliment any high end 1948 Leaf collection. Even in his glory days, "Old Satchel" never looked better on this incredible PSA 6 EX-MT new to the hobby specimen!
MIN BID $20,000