1952 Topps #261 Willie Mays PSA 8 NM-MT
INAUGURAL TOPPS CARD!!! Willie Mays will forever reside on every historian's list as one of the premier all-time players. His batting, fielding and running exploits set the benchmark for the "five-tool" player concept, and he currently holds the distinguished title as baseball's greatest living ballplayer. This is why avid enthusiasts scramble to seize his most desirable and valuable cards with NONE more prestigious than his 1952 Topps rookie card. Although the first Willie May's card was his 1951 Bowman issue, similar to Mantle, it is his 1952 Topps rookie specimen that carries the highest prestige among elite hobbyists. Advanced collectors assembling high grade 1952 Topps sets as well as the most hallowed cardboard keepsakes certainly require a high grade 1952 Topps Mays and this scintillating PSA NM/MT 8 example offered here suffices as one of the finest you will ever come across.
Consider that PSA has encapsulated approximately 2,300 Willie Mays 1952 Topps cards with a mere 2.6% achieving this hallowed grade and only 11 graded higher! The flashes of brilliance Mays depicted in his 1951 rookie campaign excited a myriad of the New York fan base. Swatting 20 round-trippers, portraying gazelle-like base running skills and catching virtually everything hit his way, Mays would capture the "Rookie of the Year" award, with Giant's fans anxiously awaited his 1952 season. Unfortunately, due to the Korean War, Mays was drafted after playing in only 34 games, and he would not see action again until the 1954 season.
Topps celebrated his superb inaugural campaign with an imposing Mays #261 subject, and the "Say Hey Kid" never looked better than in this classic "half-body" portrait pose of the immortal center fielder. The youthful-looking Mays couldn't possibly imagine the incredible career he was about to embark on when he posed for this legendary photo highlighted by brilliant colored hues and vivid registration. Typical for this card, the "side-to-side" centering is slightly skewed, showing a modest favoritism towards the left edge. Fortunately, the "top to bottom" positioning is virtually perfect, and even more significant is the absence of any glaring image "tilt" that so often plagues the aesthetics of this world-class subject.
A bold violet background, pin-point corners, immaculate print clarity and relatively clean surfaces provide the final compliments to one of the finest 1952 Topps May's cards you could possibly encounter. In fact, its spectacular central image eye appeal literally dupes the viewer into thinking this example exhibits "3-D" like aesthetics, as the "Say Hey Kid's" robust pose appears as if it is jumping off the card. It is no secret that high-grade 1950's stars are currently realizing stratospheric pricing points for Cooperstown's finest legends such as Mantle, Clemente, Aaron, Koufax and Mays, with record setting prices seemingly recorded each and every passing day. That said, due to the extremely rare occurrences of one of those few existing "Mint 9" examples surfacing at auction, we highly expect a significant "tug-of-war" for this esteemed '52 Topps Mays PSA 8 masterpiece that will forever reside as one of the hobby's most celebrated cardboard icons!
MIN BID $7,500