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    1952 Topps Andy Pafko (Black Back) #1 PSA NM-MT 8 - Only One Higher! In 1952, Andy Pafko was already a four-time All-Star and the starting right fielder for the beloved Brooklyn Bums, one small part of a trade between the Chicago Cubs and the Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1951 season. While Pafko may not enjoy the Hall of Fame credentials of teammates Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese and Duke Snider, it was Handy Andy who, fresh from a trade from Chicago, was honored with the #1 card for an inaugural baseball card promotion produced by Topps Gum (which also happened to be based in Brooklyn). Their choice seemed to make sense as Pafko's 158 base hits led all Dodgers in 1952, helping the Dodgers to yet another National League Championship season at Ebbets Field.

    Remarkably, his more legendary teammates did not make their appearances until late in 1952 as part of Topps' limited final push. The responsibility of being the top dog in Topps' auspicious debut fell on Pafko for the spring and summer of 1952, a fact that assigned a significance to him disproportionate to his playing credentials in hobby lore. Adding to the fun is the fact there are two versions - this is the scarcer "Black Back" variant.

    Graded PSA NM-MT 8. This is currently one of only five cards with this reverse format option with just one graded higher. This is one impressive example. The central portrait resonates with rich deep colors and pack-fresh gloss. Centering rests slightly to the northeast of complete precision, but not enough to lessen visual enjoyment. In the interest of full disclosure, we report two very small dots of stray ink which are extremely hard to see with the naked eye. Only the closest inspection reveals the very minor amount of corner tip wear. Currently, there are double the total number of PSA-graded red back versions than cards with this one-color format. The NM-MT or better population of Black Backs represents only 1.2% of their total population. Once a card like this finds a new home it tends to stay there for a long time.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2015
    10th Thursday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,832

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