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
According to the Chinese zodiac, February 5 began the Year of the Pig. With all due respect to our porcine friends, this might turn out instead to be the Year of the Tiger. Golfer Tiger Woods's heroic comeback performance at the 2019 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Course was one of those rare transcendent moments in sports. The legendary golfer not only pulled out a victory after trailing for the first three rounds, but he overcame personal demons, a debilitating back injury, and Father Time to win his first major championship in 11 years and first Masters in 14 years. At age 43, Woods became the second-oldest man to win a major, bested only by Jack Nicklaus, who won at Augusta at age 46 in 1986. And speaking of the Golden Bear, Tiger needs three more major championships to catch Jack, a scenario that went from highly improbable to definitely possible in the course of four days earlier this month!

As far as Woods's cardboard goes, in case you were too young to remember—or simply weren't collecting at the time—golf cards were all the rage back in the first couple years of the new millennium. For a brief period in hobby history, you could make the argument that Tiger's cards were the most sought after of any player in any sport, past or present. A 2001 ESPN article details how a 1996 Sports Illustrated for Kids rookie card of the golfer sold for an astounding $125,000, which was then the highest price paid for a post-1952 sports card. Although more gem mint examples would later emerge (and thus prices would come back to earth), one fact was certain: there is a robust market out there for golf cards.

Enter the card for sale here. Without question even more condition-sensitive than his aforementioned SI Kids card, Tiger's 1997-98 Grand Slam Ventures Masters Gold Foil rookie is a black-bordered white whale in mint or better condition. Not to be confused with its more plentiful GSV cousin, which was also distributed in box set form but features duller gold ink on the obverse instead of gold foil, this oversized rookie card is one of the preeminent pieces of any serious Tiger Woods collection. This offered example, graded Mint 9 by BGS with three mint subgrades, shows minimal corner and edge wear, and exhibits virtually flawless surfaces. Between PSA and BGS, a mere two examples have graded higher than this well-centered specimen, a testament to the card's extreme scarcity in top condition.

Investment-savvy collectors know what Tiger's cards are capable of—witness their peak prices in 2001. Can he catch or even exceed Nicklaus? Only time will tell. But we are certainly not betting against Woods. You think he wants this record? Is his choice of wardrobe while out to dinner five days after winning the green jacket any indicator? Year of the Tiger, indeed.
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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