February 2020 Winter Premium Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/29/2020

Henry Louis Aaron's 1954 Topps #128 rookie card is one of those rare pieces of cardboard that has transcended the hobby. Like Mickey Mantle's 1952 Topps #311 and Sandy Koufax's 1955 Topps #123 cards, even non-collectors realize they are looking at something special, almost sacred, when their eyes behold a copy of Hank's '54 Topps rookie. It is, without a doubt, the most famous card in one of Topps's all-time most popular sets. Measuring 2-5/8" by 3-3/4" and featuring a bright and uncluttered design, the 1954 Topps issue presents dual images of each player—a dominant color portrait and a black-and-white action photo—along with the subject's facsimile signature. Sy Berger, the mastermind Topps executive behind the innovative look of the '54 set, had the foresight to ink Aaron to an exclusive contract, meaning competitor Bowman did not contain a first-year card of the Braves' young slugger in its set. As a result, as noted on PSA's website, Topps contains "the only recognized rookie card of The Hammer."

Little did Berger or anyone else associated with Topps—or Major League Baseball, for that matter—know back in 1954 that Hank Aaron would become one of the sport's premier players. The numbers put up by the Alabama native over his 23-year career are both eye-popping and mind-boggling. Most famously, of course, Aaron surpassed Babe Ruth to become baseball's home run king on April 8, 1974, on his way to 755 career roundtrippers, a mark that stood for 33 years until Barry Bonds (controversially) broke the record in 2007. But did you know that Hammerin' Hank is still the game's RBI king with 2,297 career runs knocked in? Or that he ranks third on baseball's all-time hit list with 3,771, trailing only Pete Rose and Ty Cobb? An all-star for 21 consecutive seasons and a member of the 1957 World Series Champion Milwaukee Braves, Hank is the game's greatest living player.

Offered here is an extremely clean example of Aaron's aforementioned 1954 Topps #128 rookie card. In a hobby where condition is everything, especially when it comes to iconic cards, this specimen, graded NM 7 by PSA, ranks in the top tier of surviving examples. Attractive centering, a rarity for most Aaron RCs, is the strongest selling point of this Golden Age masterpiece. Pack-fresh colors, perfect image registration, and above-grade corners and edges lend further support to its high-grade evaluation. According to figures compiled by Vintage Card Prices, the hobby's leading sales data guide, the average price for a PSA 7 Aaron rookie is nearly $8,000, but we can't find a single one that looks nearly as nice as this high-end beauty. We've said it time and again, but it bears repeating: there is no better investment in the sports memorabilia market than top grade rookie cards of the world's iconic athletes, and there are few athletes more iconic than Hammerin' Hank.

Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Final prices include buyers premium: $9,573
Number Bids: 10
Auction closed on Saturday, February 29, 2020.
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