February 2019 Winter Premium Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/3/2019
For those who are curious about where the iconic 1960 Hemmets Journal Cassius Clay rookie card comes from, the easy answer is Sweden. Those who incorrectly assume that it is some sort of hand-cut magazine picture, however, are wrong. The 1960 Hemmets Journal was not some cheap, mass-produced magazine but rather a very high-end publication dedicated solely to showcasing athletes. Each removable page of the journal featured four athletes printed in full color with thick, enamel-like inks on front and with short biographies in Sweedish on back. Exactly why Clay appears in a Sweedish journal dominated by Sweedish athletes is somewhat of a mystery, but fellow 1960 American Olympic Gold Medalist, Wilma Rudolph, also appears in the journal, and on the same page, as shown here in the offered full panel. Given the worldwide television coverage of the 1960 Rome Olympic games, it's easy to understand why both Clay and Rudolph became such international stars as to merit inclusion in this udeniably high-end foreign publication, but another reason for Clay's inclusion is perhaps even more obvious: Sweedish boxer, Ingemar Johansson.

The reigning world heavyweight champion at the time the 1960 Hemmets Journal was printed, Johansson rose to world fame when he defeated Floyd Patterson in three rounds at Yankee Stadium in 1959, becoming just the fifth heavyweight champion in history who was born outside of the United States. For his achievement, Johahnsson was awarded the Hickok Belt as the top professional athlete of the year, the only non-American to do so in the belt's entire 27-year existence. Johansson was the pride of Sweden, and boxing was the country's newest obsession. It only seemed natural, therefore, to include the boxing world's youngest sensation, the 18-year old light heavyweight Olympic Gold Medalist from Louisville, Kentucky.

One of just 22 full panel examples on record at PSA, the single highest of which rates EX-MT 6, the offered panel has been graded PSA 2 Good but appears far better than most copies on record. Perfectly preserved mint edges meet at equally impressive mint corners around an EX-MT or better front surface free of any creases or other major defects. The sole reason for the Good 2 technical assessment lies in a small patch of paper loss on the reverse, where this page had been glued to the page beneath it. Importantly, the paper loss lies well outside the bounds of the Clay card, which could easily be excised and graded far higher than Good 2, if that's what the winner bidder chooses to do. With a PSA 8 NM-MT copy already occupying the #3 spot in the current auction, however, our consignor thought it best to offer this 1960 Hemmets Journal Cassius Clay and Wilma Rudolph page in its original form.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500
Final prices include buyers premium: $1,587
Number Bids: 7
Auction closed on Sunday, March 3, 2019.
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