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Just one example has ever graded higher!1955 Topps Roberto Clemente #164 PSA Mint 9. The folks at Topps turned the baseball world on its ear for 1955, abandoning the portrait format that dominating the hobby since its inception for a landscape design that provided exciting new options for company artists. Yet this pioneering distinction tends to be an afterthought for collectors today, whose primary association with the Eisenhower-era issue is the rookie debut of two of the most beloved Cooperstown residents. Presented is one of the finest known examples thereof, one of just eleven unqualified Clemente rookies assessed at a Mint 9 level by PSA, a lofty rating exceeded only once in history.
The other key rookie from the 1955 Topps set, Sandy Koufax, is more than three times as common as an unqualified Mint 9, a fact widely attributed to the difficulty in finding well-centered representations from the Puerto Rican hero. But here the brightly-colored and perfectly-registered image enjoys flawless centering, with a pack-fresh state of preservation that completely ignores six decades of existence. A gorgeous tribute to one of the most noble men ever to wear the uniform of a Major League team.
Our last offering of a Mint 9 example of a Topps Clemente rookie, in our July 2015 Platinum Night auction, commanded a sale price of $310,700.
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas