1909 T204 Ramly Walter Johnson PSA 8 NM-MT - POP 2; Highest PSA Graded Example!
BIG TRAIN'S FINEST RAMLY!!! "On August 2, 1907, I encountered the most threatening sight I ever saw in the ball field. He was a rookie, and we licked our lips as we warmed up for the first game of a doubleheader in Washington. Evidently, manager Pongo Joe Cantillon of the Nats had picked a rube out of the cornfields of the deepest bushes to pitch against us. He was a tall, shambling galoot of about twenty, with arms so long they hung far out of his sleeves, and with a sidearm delivery that looked unimpressive at first glance. One of the Tigers imitated a cow mooing, and we hollered at Cantillon: Get the pitchfork ready, Joe—your hayseed's on his way back to the barn. The first time I faced him, I watched him take that easy windup. And then something went past me that made me flinch. The thing just hissed with danger. We couldn't touch him and every one of us knew we'd met the most powerful arm ever turned loose in a ball park." – Ty Cobb's recollection of the first time he ever saw Walter "Big Train" Johnson.
This unequivocal quote from none other than the immortal Tyrus Raymond Cobb truly sums up the sheer greatness of 1936 Charter HOF Inductee Walter Johnson, whose arguable status as baseball's greatest all-time pitcher coincides perfectly with this miraculous PSA 8 NM-MT 1909 T204 Ramly representation of the flame-throwing right-hander. Indeed, both Johnson's unbridled legacy and this remarkable Ramly offering proudly stand tall with a single other copy as the undisputed king of the hill! The hobby's most iconic cards continue to realize staggering price tags seemingly every day, and one of those pinnacle cardboard keepsakes is the highly coveted 1909 T204 Ramly Walter Johnson, which suffices as one of his inaugural MLB conventional-sized cards. Indeed, along with his 1909 T206 150 Subjects issue, the 1909 Ramly Walter Johnson resides as his traditional-sized rookie card, and while the extremely rare Johnson 1908 Rose Postcard (only three known) certainly precedes his Ramly issue by a single year, many hobby purists still negate the concept of postcards sufficing as true baseball cards. Most significant, regardless of your viewpoint on the Big Train's rookie card status, his T204 subject just may be his most desirable cardboard keepsake. For some inexplicable reason, the ornate and stylish 1909 T204 Ramly set does not include most of the incomparable turn of the century Hall of Famers, excluding such legends as Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Cy Young and Napoleon Lajoie.
While some of the game's second-tier stars were included in this Turkish cigarette brand issue (Plank, Brown, Collins, etc.), it remains a mystery as to why the elite aforementioned players were omitted from its distribution. Loaded with common players from the dead ball era, fortunately, one of those aspiring young players just happened to develop into the greatest pitcher who ever toed a Major League pitching rubber, Washington's strapping side-armed flame thrower Walter Johnson. To own any pre-WWI cardboard artifact of the Big Train is every vintage collector's goal, let alone Johnson's most sought-after card in pack-fresh condition. Johnson's accomplishments are virtually insurmountable, which explains why most baseball experts nominate him as the greatest pitcher who ever lived. 417 lifetime wins, 3,508 strikeouts, a lifetime 2.17 ERA, and an incredible 110 shutouts (including 38 "1-0" wins!) certainly substantiate this notion. He succeeded the great Christy Mathewson as our National Pastime's consummate professional and was idolized by thousands of aspiring young ballplayers. Consistent with Johnson's supreme status as baseball's greatest pitcher are the outstanding technical attributes of this resounding world-class card.
A superb black and white central illustration of Carl Horner's legendary Johnson portrait image emanates near-perfect contrast and crystal-clear focus, with Johnson's youthful image serving as a strong reminder of his transition from a simple farm boy to our National Pastime's pinnacle hurler. Encompassed by the popular gold-bordered oval and flamboyant background gold designs, the iconic pose is positioned virtually dead-on 50/50 between nearly flawless gold borders that have managed to elude notable surface chipping. Both of these extremely rare superlatives are rarely seen on any Ramly subject, with most examples exhibiting skewed images as well as severe gold border chipping. Only a microscopic hint of surface loss is situated at the two lower utmost corner tips, with the four corners all depicting blisteringly sharp tips. Immaculate front and back surfaces complete this timeless gem that simply defies logic, still offering its viewers impeccable eye appeal after 114 years. Finding ANY T204 subject in a PSA 8 holder is a seemingly insurmountable task, let alone capturing a NM-MT example of baseball's finest all-time hurler. It was only several years ago that this example sold for north of a quarter of a million dollars, and considering the continuous pricing upticks of the hobby's finest and rarest pre-WWI vintage cards, we will defer to you, the sophisticated collectors, to ultimately determine its true worth. To reiterate, with only a single other PSA specimen existing at this pinnacle plateau, this Cooperstown-worthy masterpiece truly stands as one of the most extraordinary baseball cards on the planet!
MIN BID $50,000