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    Population one, none higher!

    1923-24 Tomas Gutierrez #64 John Henry "Pop" Lloyd SGC 84 NM 7. Considered the greatest shortstop in the history of Negro League baseball, Lloyd commonly inspired comparisons to the great Honus Wagner, digging up grounders with a glove full of dirt that earned him the Spanish language nickname, "El Cuchara." Translation: The Shovel.

    His career spanned more than a quarter-century, wearing the uniform of such iconic teams as the Cuban X-Giants, the Chicago Leland Giants, the Hilldale Daisies and the Harlem Stars. The arrival of Negro League baseball at Yankee Stadium stands as one of Lloyd's more noteworthy accomplishments, an excerpt from his remarkable resume that appears on his 1977 Hall of Fame induction plaque.

    But, of course, Lloyd's tremendous service to our national pastime happened during an unenlightened age that saw his world class labors undertaken in shadow, leaving few relics from his career available to the collectors of today. Certainly the American trading card industry overlooked entirely that vast wellspring of talent, but the island nation of Cuba welcomed African-American players with open arms in both their top baseball leagues and their promotional commemoratives, of which this stands as a superlative representative.

    It derives from the famous Tomas Gutierrez issue, a tobacco card promotion that encouraged buyers of Diaz brand cigarettes to complete a collection through pasting cards into specially-designed albums, a practice that quite expectedly caused back damage to a large percentage of the surviving supply. This particular example was spared from that fate.

    Thus it survives as the finest example of its kind, one of only six to take up residency beneath an SGC label, and the only one to soar as high as 84 NM 7. Just the lightest hints of edge and corner wear suggest nearly a century of life, a fact made all the more remarkable when considering the tropical Cuban climate that challenges the survival of any vintage paper product. For the advanced collector of important Negro League collectibles, this may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.



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    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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