1948 Leaf #8 Satchel Paige Rookie Card (PSA VG/EX+ 4.5)
This outstanding 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 and $108,000 for a PSA 7.
Hall of Famer Satchel Paige arguably resides as 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 MLB rookie ever at the age of 42, and his professional career would certainly 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 magnificent offering, Paige's hallowed 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 issue.
The classic illustration exhibits relative fine centering, only modestly favoring the lower left edges, and the somewhat right-angled corners portray an eye pleasing even wear. Most significantly, the overall resolution is excellent, with a myriad of these subjects depicting extremely off-registered images. 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 aforementioned superb registration 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 stellar PSA 4.5 Paige inaugural card boldly standing as one of the most noteworthy cardboard artifacts in the hobby!
MIN BID $5,000