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    Population one of one!

    1969 Topps Lew Alcindor #25 PSA Gem Mint 10. It was one of the most consequential coin flips in the history of American sports. After turning down a million-dollar offer to sign as the star attraction of the Harlem Globetrotters, the three-time NCAA National Player of the Year from UCLA opted for fate instead, allowing a fifty-cent piece to determine his new home. Phoenix Suns executive Jerry Colangelo was tasked with making the call in the NBA offices for the privilege of the first pick in the 1969 draft, confident as he watched the tumbling Kennedy half dollar fall toward Commissioner J. Walter Kennedy's outstretched palm.

    The Arizona Republic newspaper had run a poll of its readers the previous week to vote heads or tails, and the residents of Phoenix had elected the former. How could they be wrong? "I just felt like we were going to win the flip," Colangelo later lamented. "We had taken a group of young guys in the expansion draft who would have fit perfectly with him (Alcindor). We would have been in prime position to have a good long run.''

    But rather than the profile of the fallen President, a stern bald eagle stared up at him, delivering the first draft pick, and thus the man who would become the most prolific scorer in the history of professional basketball, to the fledgling Milwaukee Bucks franchise. Two years later, with the help of fellow future Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, Alcindor would deliver the basketball fans of Wisconsin their first, and still only, NBA Championship.

    Presented is another singular Champion, the sole Alcindor rookie to achieve PSA's highest rating in approximately 1,800 submissions to date. The delicate "tall boy" format is notoriously difficult in high-grade--in fact, just over one in one thousand submissions from the entirety of the issue have been slabbed beneath a Gem Mint 10 label.

    We are aware of no other population-one Gem Mint 10 rookie card of equivalent significance as this example heralding the arrival of the man who would claim the most important career record in the sport. As such, it is difficult to forecast how high the financial ceiling for this utterly unique relic could rise in future years.

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 6,135

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