Lot # 242: Extremely Scarce 1911 T206 Nap Lajoie “Batting” American Beauty 460 PSA 4.5 VG-EX+ - This is a "POP 1" - with One of Only 6 Examples Listed on the Combined SGC & PSA “Pop” Charts & the Highest Graded Copy!

Category: 1900-1920

Starting Bid: $2,500.00

Bids: 19 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Fall Rarities Auction 2021",
which ran from 9/25/2021 12:00 PM to
10/9/2021 7:00 PM

(LOT 242)
Extremely Scarce 1911 T206 Nap Lajoie "Batting" American Beauty 460 (PSA 4.5 VG-EX+) - This card is a "Pop 1", One of Only 6 Examples Listed on the Combined SGC & PSA "Pop" Charts & the Highest Graded Copy!

Presented here is one of the great Napoleon Lajoie's rarest cards on the planet, an extremely scarce PSA "VG-EX+ 4.5" T206 "Batting" variation that includes the seldom surfacing American Beauty 460 Subjects ad-back. Both the PSA and SGC "Pop" Charts substantiate this card's ultra-obscurity with only five other examples listed on the COMBINED population reports. Indeed, not only does this eclectic offering reside as one of those four meager specimens, but it just happens to stand as the sole "VG-EX+ 4.5" copy and the undisputed finest of its kind! It is no secret that passionate T206 set builders are seeking the scarcest possible front/ad backs for any of the Monster Set's subjects, let alone one representing one of our National Pastime's legendary Cooperstown Inductees.

That notion is completely justified by the 2020 sales of a PSA 2.5 Lajoie America Beauty 460 for the staggering sum of $17,400, and an SGC 3 for $12K. The floodgates have certainly opened with regard to record prices being recorded seemingly each and every day for the most eclectic T206s, and that record-setting $17K pricing point validates the notion that no end is in sight for this pricing phenomena. Aside from the documented paucity level of this near-impossible ad/back combo, the fact that it represents one of baseball's premier all-time second-sackers simply "raises the stakes" to a pinnacle level. For 21 seasons, Nap Lajoie terrorized American League hurlers via his staggering 3,243 hits and .338 lifetime batting average.

Nicknamed "The Frenchman" and synonymous with this highest graded offering was Lajoie's 1901 .426 batting average that still reigns supreme as a modern-day record; a year in which he also claimed baseball's inaugural 20th-century Triple Crown batting award. He captured a sensational five American League modern-day batting titles, and his legacy was secured for eternity when in 1937, he was among the second group of baseball immortals to be voted into the illustrious Hall of Fame. Therefore, it should come as little surprise that in 1909, the American Tobacco Company chose to utilize a Lajoie image on three separate T206 subjects, especially considering that Lajoie had already claimed four batting titles at that juncture.

His highly coveted batting subject presents itself in outstanding fashion, with this offered example revealing crystal-clear clarity and a sparkling array of ultra-rich orange, yellow, green and uniform gray hues. No obtrusive creasing is evident, the borders reflect the typical thin width associated with any American Beauty subject (with favoritism towards the ultra-thin left edge), and the technical assessment falls short of the "EX" grade primarily due to wear at the upper left corner. The final superlative is the verso's critical "AMERICAN BEAUTY 460 SUBJECTS FCTORY NO. 42" bold green text that is affixed to a relatively clean surface. In closing, its outstanding mid-grade aesthetics, "Pop 1" pinnacle grade and super obscure Lajoie/American Beauty 460 ad-back combination all combine to merit this seldom-surfacing Lajoie tobacco marvel as a worthy choice for any esteemed T206 gathering!

MIN BID $2,500

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