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    Only a single superior example!

    1969 Topps Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) Rookie #25 PSA Mint 9. 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.

    Like Mickey Mantle before him, Alcindor's rookie trading card debut carries amplified appeal due to the significance of its specific Topps issue, the company's return to the sport after a twelve-year absence. These oversized relics both impress and frustrate, as the expanded dimensions made the set particularly susceptible to damage. We find no condition complaints here, however, as this elite specimen joins just sixteen others at a Mint 9 level. Only a single Gem Mint 10 specimen exists, a card which Heritage sold five years ago for over half a million dollars, a figure it would certainly dwarf were it to reappear on the auction block today.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2021
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,828

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Aug 21, 2021 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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