April 2019 Spring Premium Auction - Rare & High-Grade Cards You Won't Find Anywhere Else
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/5/2019
The current high bids for the cumulative group of singles is currently higher than the total for the complete set (this lot is currently winning)

In the two decades since the production of the famous Peyton Manning and Tom Brady Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autograph cards, the Contenders Ticket design has been replicated and recycled in dozens upon dozens of additional sets, not just in football but across all sports. To call the original 1998 issue merely innovative for its groundbreaking inclusion of autograph cards in a base set is an understatement. Its classic and enduring design and its year-after-year, indeed decade-after-decade replication have made the design itself an icon of the hobby. In short, both conceptually and aesthetically, the 1998 Playoff Contenders Ticket set was a complete and total game-changer.

Unbeknownst to most collectors, however, what is most fascinating about the groundbreaking 1998 Playoff Contenders Ticket set is that a serial-numbered parallel version to the first year's set, similar to but even scarcer than the following years’ Championship Ticket parallels, does in fact exist. As a promotion to its growing customer base in 1998, the innovators at Playoff Corporation challenged collectors to complete full sets of each of the three different Contenders sets: Leather, Pennant, and Ticket. Collectors could then submit their complete sets to Playoff for a redemption prize as well as a special treatment to their cards. Each "Registered Exchange" card would be stamped on back in gold foil with the number in which its set was received back by Playoff.

Offered in this lot is the first example of Fred Taylor's 1998 Playoff Contenders Ticket Autograph Registered Exchange rookie card to ever surface at PSA. As shown in our scans, the card has been stamped "No.1" on back because it was part of the first set to be completed and sent back to Playoff's Grand Prairie, Texas headquarters. As far as we've been able to research, less than ten total Ticket sets were ever registered, which makes sense given that only 200 of each of the the set's autograph cards were produced.

While not nearly as accomplished as the Hall of Famers in the preceding two auction lots, Fred Taylor is a member if the NFL's elite 10,000-yard rushing club. He ranks 17th on the all-time list of career rushing yards leaders, just behind Marcus Allen, Franco Harris, and Thurman Thomas and within about 1,000 yards of Tony Dorsett, Jim Brown, and Marshall Faulk. Ahead of him on this immortal list, only Jim Brown, Adrian Peterson, and Barry Sanders boast a higher yards per carry average. The offered card has been extremely conservatively graded PSA 6 EX-MT due to a single light touch to its top left corner, likely the result of handling during the Registered Exchange process. Despite this apparent touch, however, it still appears far closer to NM-MT condition in our opinion, as it is nearly perfect in almost every other facet. Regardless of its condition and its technical grade, however, it is so rare that it has taken two decades for this extraordinary card to surface at PSA, and we could not recommend it strongly enough.

Important Note: Until this auction, in over 20 years of grading the 1998 Playoff Contenders cards, PSA had graded only a small handful of the elusive and mysterious "Registered Exchange" cards from each of the three Contenders sets. With provenance that includes our consignors' original communications with Playoff Corporation, Small Traditions, LLC is very proud to bring to market full sets of each of the three different 1998 Playoff Contenders Registered Exchanges: Leather, Pennant, and Ticket. Each of the three sets is being offered in a separate lot, while the "big four" from the Contenders Ticket Autograph subset—Peyton Manning, Randy Moss, Fred Taylor, and Hines Ward—are also being offered as singles. The cards will sell via whichever format delivers the highest bidding for our consignors, whether the complete set or the combined bids on the individual cards, plus the partial set without the "big four," which appears in the last lot of the current auction.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000
Final prices include buyers premium: $1,219
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Sunday, May 5, 2019.
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