6th Annual Holiday Premium Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/16/2018
Each year since 1956, Major League Baseball has given the Cy Young Award to its best pitcher, and—beginning in 1967—to the top hurler in each league. Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick chose to name this prestigious award after a man regarded as one of the finest pitchers in the history of the game, Denton True "Cy" Young. In his 22-year big league career (1890-1911), Young set all-time records for wins (511), innings pitched (7,356) and—perhaps the most untouchable mark in the MLB record books—complete games (749). The workhouse moundsman certainly took the sport by storm when he arrived on the diamond in the Gay Nineties, earning himself a meteorological moniker. "One of the fellows called me Cyclone, but finally shortened it to 'Cy' and its been that ever since," recollected Young on the origins of his name.

Young was in the twilight of his fabled career when the American Tobacco Company released its initial print run of baseball player cards in 1909. Of the trio of Cy Young offerings in the massive T206 set—dubbed "The Monster" due to its formidable size—none is more sought-after than his portrait card. Featuring a handsome rendering of the Ohio native set in front of a sea green background, it is one of the more condition-sensitive portrait cards in T206's most popular subset. Of course, as even novice collectors know, a T206 card is not judged on condition alone, but on the scarcity of its advertising back as well. When the top-graded example of a tough ad backed Hall of Famer goes up for auction, hobbyists take notice.

Presented here is the finest extant copy of Cy Young's Portrait card with an El Principe de Gales (EPDG) back. Graded 5.5 Excellent+ by SGC, there are no examples on record scoring higher with the "Big Three" grading companies (PSA, BGS, and SGC). In fact, the top specimen PSA has ever graded is a VG+ 3.5, a full two grades lower than the gorgeous example up for bids. Exhibiting four well-formed corners, spot-on centering, clean surfaces, and a stain-free EPDG back, it is (in our humble opinion) slightly undergraded, as no collector would object if this beauty was instead in an SGC or PSA 6 or 6.5 holder. Other than perhaps vintage Babe Ruth cards, there is no safer investment in the market than graded T206 cards. Incredibly, back in September, a near complete set of The Monster sold for an astonishing $8.1 million, demonstrating the vitality and popularity of both T206 and our hobby! Whether you consider yourself primarily an investor, a collector, or both (they certainly aren't mutually exclusive!), owning the unsurpassed example of Cy Young's T206 EPDG Portrait card will be a feather in your cap. Your winning bid will secure this beautiful piece of American history for years to come.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Final prices include buyers premium: $7,911
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Sunday, December 16, 2018.
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