Outstanding 1952 Topps #261 Signed Willie Mays - PSA 3.5 VG+ Card Grade/PSA AUTH Auto - "POP 1"; Only 4 Examples Graded Higher!
The sports memorabilia market is currently in the midst of an extraordinary pricing frenzy for "high-profile" autographed Hall of Famer cardboard rarities. That said, most would agree you can count on one hand the number of signed cards that could possibly compete with this brilliantly scripted PSA 3.5 VG+ 1952 Topps #261 Willie Mays offering that has been bested by only four PSA examples. One of the highlights of this incredible signed '52 Topps collection, although the inaugural Willie Mays card is his 1951 Bowman subject, similar to Mantle, it is his 1952 Topps rookie specimen that arguably stands as his most revered issue. The floodgates have surely opened for signed baseball cards representing our National Pastime's greatest heroes such as Ruth, Cobb, Gehrig, Mantle, Mays, Jackie Robinson, Aaron and so many more of the game's most exalted superstars of yesteryear. Goudey Ruths are fetching $150-$750+K, a T202 Ty Cobb realized a staggering $300K, Mickey Mantle's 1951 Bowman and 1952 Topps signed subjects have both eclipsed the $200K mark, and a 1951 Bowman Mays autographed rookie card recently sold for $63K!
As a further testament to this tsunami-like pricing surge, modern day cards scripted by superstars such as Mike Trout, LeBron James, Tom Brady, etc. are realizing incredible values in excess of seven-figures (a LeBron James signed low-pop rarity fetched $5.2 million)! Regarding this '52 Topps Willie Mays autographed heirloom, PSA's illustrious "Pop" Chart lists only 22 signed examples versus 59 PSA 8 unsigned specimens. That said, several of those PSA 8 NM-MT 1952 Topps Unsigned Mays subjects have sold in excess of $250K, with the current pricing of a signed copy significantly undervalued versus its PSA 8 peers. Of utmost significance is the absolutely breathtaking bold blue sharpie "Willie Mays" signature affixed directly beneath Mays' uniform collar. Portraying solid "10 Gem Mint" strength, this awe-inspiring autograph doesn't reflect a single "hiccup", and although it doesn't currently depict a PSA AUTO assessment, its immaculate aesthetics truly support the notion of a "10" grade.
Just as impressive is the superb aesthetics of the "3.5 VG+" card that atypically exhibits a near-perfectly centered "Say Hey Kid" central image that has eluded any noteworthy flaws. Most 1952 Mays subjects exhibit skewed images, and finding one extremely well-positioned is synonymous to finding a "needle in a haystack", especially when the card also includes an imposing Willie Mays script! Additional highlights include sparkling hues, crystal clear contrast and a super clean verso, with even corner wear accounting for the assessment. Most significant of course is the remarkable Willie Mays signature, pack-fresh central image and virtually dead-on 50/50 centering, with these world-class attributes placing this offering as one of the most coveted Mays cardboard artifacts in the hobby. The insatiable hobby hysteria for the immortal "Say Hey Kid" extends far beyond his unfathomable numbers. True, the Giants' star player accumulated a staggering 660 home runs in a steroid-free era, 1,903 runs batted in, and 3,283 hits to the tune of a .302 lifetime batting average.
While those figures alone would secure anyone's eternal place in Cooperstown, New York, Mays' pinnacle hobby stature stems from his unparalleled ability to play virtually every facet of the game far beyond any of his peers. The prototype for the "five-tool" concept, he could hit, throw, run, field and hit with power arguably better than any player who ever graced a baseball diamond, and his absolutely spectacular "over the shoulder" catch in the 1954 World Series in the deepest confines of the Polo Grounds will echo for eternity. No wonder this legendary Hall of Famer currently holds the prestigious title of baseball's "Greatest Living Ballplayer", and it is with distinct pleasure that we now present his outstanding 1952 Topps #261 signed subject boasting an outstanding PSA 3.5 VG+ card grade. Bested by only four paltry PSA encapsulated copies (three PSA 4s and a single PSA 4.5), we cannot imagine any of those examples possibly surpassing the unparalleled eye appeal of this resounding memento that arguably resides as the finest aesthetically pleasing example extant!
MIN BID $5,000