Thursday, July 21, 2011

1974 Topps & The New All Time Home Run King

Although the record books has the incomparable Barry Bonds atop the career Home Run list the majority of baseball fans ignore that bit of accounting. In the hearts and minds of the casual fan Hank Aaron is still the Home Run King. What's cool about this card is that it was printed and released PRIOR to Hank actually breaking the record. Topps wasn't going out on much of a limb. It was inevitable that Hank would break it but it's cool they acknowledged it as the first card and made it his base card too.

It's a great design. How come the whole set wasn't this graphic?

As far as the condition of this particular card it could be argued that you're looking at a minor miracle. Thankfully, it's now housed in a Beckett slab.  Currently, there are 25 copies listed on ranging from $9.00 - $40.00 with only 3 showing 50/50 centering. But even those are only good to excellent condition. Graders at PSA and Beckett both weigh centering the most because of how it effects the overall eye appeal of a card. However, centering is the one aspect that is completely out of the collector's hand. PSA's solution was to incorporate 'qualifiers' such as OC but Beckett didn't want to deviate from the notion that somewhere in this great big world there exists a perfect copy of any ole card. In this case, they were proven correct. It's hard to imagine how this card came to be. I would guess it was sitting in an unopened pack until recent history. Considering this was the way cards were handled (pic below) back in 1974 it's still a minor miracle that it ended up in this condition.
In a bit of good timing a BVG 9 example of this card just went to auction at eBay from Superior Investments. I'll watch it to see where it ends up. My prediction is $375.85.  The Gem Mint is owned by Pristine Paper and they are asking for $10,000.00 which I think is too high. But at least we can see a nice gauge of things. 

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