April 2018 Spring Premium Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/6/2018

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 arguably 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-MT 8 by PSA, ranks in the top tier of surviving examples. Nearly 50/50 left-right centering, a rarity for Aaron RCs, is the strongest selling point of this Golden Age masterpiece. Pack-fresh colors, perfect image registration, and true-to-grade corners lend further support to its high-grade evaluation. According to figures compiled by Vintage Card Prices, the hobby's leading sales data guide, average price for a PSA 8 example is $20,359, and rising! 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. Don't take our word for it, read Forbes analyst David Seiderman's article on how investing in baseball cards has yielded better returns than the S&P 500. No elite collection is complete without Hank Aaron's '54 Topps rookie card. And let's face it, adding a PSA 8 example of Aaron's first appearance on cardboard to your portfolio is a lot more fun (and, according to research, profitable!) than putting money into stocks and bonds.

A note about provenance: This Hank Aaron card is a part of The Cardbull Collection, a complete run of the 23 basic Topps cards printed during his Hall of Fame career (1954-76). These cards have earned a sparkling 8.87 GPA, ranking this PSA graded collection among the finest in the hobby. The work of a single, dedicated private collector, many of these cards have not been on the market for almost two decades. Click here to view the full catalog of Hammerin' Hank offerings from our 2018 Spring Premium Auction.

Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000
Final prices include buyers premium: $19,315
Number Bids: 12
Auction closed on Sunday, May 6, 2018.
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