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    1951 Bowman Willie Mays Rookie #305 PSA EX 5. "I think I was the best ballplayer I ever saw," said Willie Mays. Hall of Famer Mays isn't noted for feigning modesty, but Willie should get credit for honesty. There's a good case for Mays being correct. Presented is the rookie card for the best ballplayer that many fans ever saw. When Willie came up to the New York Giants in 1951, he was batting .477 for the club's Triple A Minneapolis farm. But Mays had started learning his baseball long before that. His father was a noted center fielder in the Birmingham, Alabama area, and he taught Willie a great deal, and Mays started playing for the Negro League's Birmingham Black Barons when he was only 14-years-old, and learned much from the team's veteran players.

    He was the NL Rookie-of-the-Year with the 1951 Giants in their miracle comeback run against the Dodgers to take the '51 pennant. In the 1954 World Series, Willie set the tone for the Giants' World Series sweep in Game One when he made a sensational over-the -shoulder catch in deep center in the 8th inning to turn the game around. Willie was the definition of a five-tool player. He hit 660 homers, second to Ruth for many seasons, and he stole 338 bases. Willie's 12 Gold Gloves fail to covey his defensive artistry as much as seeing his actual plays. He was a 24-time All-Star, and won two NL MVPs.

    The 1951 Bowman set included rookie cards for Mays and Mickey Mantle in the set's higher numbered series, and the higher numbers are understandably scarcer than the first 252 cards in the 324-card set. Bowman was fighting new rival Topps for baseball card supremacy ad Bowman spared no effort on this set. Strong eye appeal thanks to bold colors and clean, problem-free albeit uneven borders. Graded PSA EX 5.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2021
    6th-8th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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