1948 Bowman Basketball #69 - George Mikan (PSA Mint 9) - "1 of 4; Only 1 Graded Higher!
The 1948 Bowman Gum Co. set irrefutably stands as the "landmark" basketball compilation, issued long before the likes of Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Lew Alcindor, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James (just to mention a few of pro-basketball's iconic stars) stepped foot on an NBA hardwood floor. That illustrious 1948 compilation just happens to include the arguable "Holy Grail" of all vintage basketball cards, the hallowed 1948 Bowman #69 George Mikan rookie card that is presented here in an unfathomable PSA Mint 9 holder. Its immense rarity for the grade is justified by PSA's illustrious "Pop" Chart that lists only 3 other examples at the hallowed "Mint 9" tier with only a SOLE specimen graded higher! Similar to Babe Ruth's stature as a baseball icon, professional Basketball's true Hall of Fame pioneer is none other than the immortal George Mikan for no other player contributed a more significant marketable role to basketball's ultimate development than this magnificent center.
Mikan scored 11,764 career points, an average of 22.6 per game, retired as the all-time leading scorer, averaged 13.4 rebounds and compiled 2.8 assists in 520 NBL, BAA and NBA games. Adding to his impeccable resume was seven BAA and NBA championships, an All-Star MVP trophy, three scoring titles and being member of the first four NBA All-Star and the first six All-BAA and All-NBA Teams. For all these reasons, he was voted the greatest player of the first half of the century by The Associated Press, and was selected as one of the NBA 50 Greatest Players in 1996. No wonder collectors seek his most valuable cards, yet unfortunately, there are only a handful of mainstream George Mikan issues to choose from including his 1948 Bowman Rookie Card, several early 1950's Wheaties issues, Kellogg's Pep and some late 1940's Exhibits.
Yet, serious enthusiasts truly point to only one of those aforementioned issues, his highly coveted 1948 Bowman rookie card that stands alongside other sports cardboard icons such as baseball's T206 Wagner, football's National Chicle Bronko Nagurski, and hockey's Bobby Orr/Wayne Gretzky rookie cards, just to mention a few. The remarkable "Mint 9" assessment is highlighted by a myriad of "eye-popping" attributes, starting with the iconic Mikan image that reveals superb resolution and is set against a rich blue/violet hued background. The Mikan pose is relatively well centered between four snow white borders, and does portray some partiality towards the lower edge ("side-to-side" positioning is nearly dead-on 50/50). Blistering sharp corner tips that could draw blood, fine edging, and no glaring surface blemishes whatsoever more than substantiate the magnificent grade.
The final superlative for this "pack-fresh" cardboard gem is a super clean verso, with this amazing offering destined to find a final resting place in one of the foremost basketball cardboard gatherings. When you consider the staggering price tags now affiliated with some of the modern basketball cards for LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan (e.g., a LeBron James 2003-'04 Exquisite Collection Rookie Card recently sold for a staggering $5.2 million record price), we can fully expect these pricing surges to rapidly filter down to some of basketball's premier vintage issues. In fact, a PSA 8 Mikan rookie (for which there are 23 PSA examples) realized an unfathomable record-breaking $132K price tag this past winter, clearly opening the door to a seemingly unlimited pricing point for this "Mint 9" gem that resides as one of only 4 specimens. Most would agree that no pre-1980's basketball subject carries the desirability, prestige and value of a high-grade George Mikan 1948 Bowman rookie, with this extremely "rare for the grade" Mikan masterpiece truly worthy of the highest hobby accolades!
MIN BID $100,000