December 2019 Holiday Premium Auction
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"The Big Hurt" Frank Thomas remains one of the most collected Hall of Fame sluggers from the 1990s period of card collecting and baseball history that were both marked by some form of steroids. As far as baseball goes, we all know the story of the PED scandal, of the home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, and the eventual home run record usurpation by a bloated Barry Bonds. Thomas, however, was one of the few home run hitters of the period who remained out of the scandal, whose size and performance never increased or diminished. Indeed, he remains as big (or bigger) today in his role as baseball analyst for Fox Sports and national spokesperson for the popular Nugenix male performance enhancer.

Because he avoided the PED scandal but still clobbered 521 home runs, many of Frank Thomas's best cards have retained more interest and value than those of Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds, whose best rookie cards at one time fetched small fortunes. Unfortunately, most of Thomas's rookie cards were produced at the height of the steroid-infused era of baseball card overproduction now known as the junk wax era, and so the interest in Frank Thomas cards primarily applies to his more limited late-1990s inserts and chase cards. One exception, of course, is the infamous 1990 Topps No Name on Front rookie card, which fetches $20,000 in PSA Mint 9 condition. Another exception to the massively overproduced Topps-Score-Fleer-Donruss junk, however, can be found in some of Thomas's tougher minor league issues.

Not only were minor league cards produced at a fraction of the rate of mainstream cards, but many proved to be unusually condition sensitive. Offered here is one such example, a PSA 10 graded copy of the 1990 Donn Jennings Southern League All Star #44 card that ranks as one of just six copies to make the Gem Mint 10 grade at PSA from a staggering submission pool of 2,213 copies on record. No, it doesn't have the flash of a late 1990s gold refractor or autograph insert card, and no it doesn't carry a five-figure price tag like the 1990 Topps NNOF error, but the offered Big Hurt rookie card is nevertheless a significant and statistically challenging Hall of Fame rookie card of one of the game's most genuine and admired players.
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