Lot # 33: 1922-23 Billiken Oscar Charleston PSA 2 GOOD - One of Only Four Graded by PSA!

Category: 1921-1939

Starting Bid: $15,000.00

Bids: 20 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed




This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Winter Rarities 2024 Auction",
which ran from 12/21/2023 9:00 AM to
1/13/2024 7:00 PM




(LOT 33)
1923-24 Billiken Oscar Charleston PSA 2 GOOD

ULTRA-RARE BILLIKEN!!! With all due respect to Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb or even Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston has often been hailed as the greatest baseball player to ever play the game. Terms like "greatest ballplayer" and "Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Tris Speaker rolled into one" and "I've… yet to see (a ballplayer) greater than Charleston", with each of these coming from future Cooperstown inductees. He was the second player to capture the Triple Crown (batting or pitching) after Grover Cleveland Alexander in back-to-back seasons, and is the ONLY player in Major League history to win the Triple Crown three times (1921, '24 & '25).

Over the course of his 43 years in professional baseball, Charleston played for center field 13 different clubs, managing six including playing for the Homestead Grays (1930-31) and serving as player/manager of the Pittsburgh Crawfords (1932-38). In Pittsburgh, he led the Crawfords to three Negro National pennants ('33, '35 & '36) and was a three-time East-West All-Star. But not only was he an exceptional player, his managerial skills were likened to those of New York Giants legendary skipper John McGraw. Oscar Charleston had it all. Over his 43 years on the diamond, Oscar hit .3648, second only to Ty Cobb's .3662 average, with his best year coming in 1925 when he hit .427 with 109 hits, including 20 home runs while driving in 97 runs—all league-high marks.

Offered here is a 1923-24 Billiken Oscar Charleston issue graded 2 GOOD by PSA. This extraordinarily rare example features absolute clarity of the Charleston when he hit .446 in the Cuban League for his Santa Clara team. To complement the image clarity are the strong borders and only softly age-marked reverse from a century of storage. At right, across his Santa Clara chest logo to the border, is a notable surface stain and an unobtrusive crease can be seen at the upper left quadrant, likely accounting for its lesser assessment, though neither flaw can reduce the allure of this remarkable image of one of baseball's greatest ever. Considering that only four copies of the great Oscar Charleston have ever been graded by PSA, this scarce Charleston rarely ever comes up for auction. Only 121 rare 1923-24 Billiken examples have ever been graded or encapsulated by PSA, and a scant four Oscar Charleston examples are holdered, making this one of the scarcest examples in the hobby!

MIN BID $15,000
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