Spring 2017 Major League Baseball "Set Registry Masters" Premium Auction
It's difficult to convey just how hard the nostalgic Jay Publishing 5" x 7" black and white photos and other similar team issues are to find in high-grade. Printed on a thin paper stock similar to magazine or newspaper pages in either a semi-glossy or matte finish, these memorable cards were available in team sets for a quarter each at both stadium souvenir shops and through a mail order program. Both formats were extremely popular with fans young and old, who were eager to fork over their quarters for the keepsakes. The close-up portraits and large action shots engaged fans in a way that smaller Topps and other baseball cards could not, and there weren't many young baseball fans' bedrooms in the 1960s that didn't have their favorite players pinned or taped to the wall (or their least favorite players stuck to a dartboard). Due to their delicate paper stock, the act of simply removing the photos from their envelopes can easily create small dents or kinks in their surfaces as well as mildly touched or bumped corners that make high-grade copies almost impossible to find. Indeed, to discover a Mint or Gem Mint copy today would almost certainly require that the card had never previously been handled.
Offered here is a perfect PSA 10 example of Carl Yastremski from the original 1958-61 Jay Publishing issue, which corresponded to the young Red Sox slugger's rookie season of 1961 and can therefore be considered a bona fide rookie card (so long as you're comfortable calling this relatively cheap 5" x 7" photo a card). Whether or not it can be called a rookie card, however, leaves little debate. Although Yastrzemski has a famous rookie card in the classic 1960 Topps set, he didn't take his first Major League hacks until 1961, when he appeared in 148 games for the struggling Red Sox, who finished in 6th place that season. According to today's standards for a player's official rookie card, as set forth by the MLBPA, only those cards issued in his actual rookie season can and should be considered rookie cards. We're not arguing that the famous 1960 Topps Yaz rookie should be reclassified as an XRC, but we do want to emphasize the underappreciated significance of this issue, especially in PSA 10 Gem Mint condition! These arguments aside, however, all one really needs is a simple look at the baby-faced Beantown Bomber to recognize the rookie at the very dawn of his Hall of Fame career.
1958-1961 Jay Publishing Photos Type 1 Carl Yastrzemski Portrait Pose to Chest RC Rookie Card PSA 10 Gem Mint Pop 3
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