August 2018 Summer Classic Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/1/2018
Topps's 1986 football release is one of those sets that even novice collectors are immediately able to recognize. Its distinctive green-and-white borders, designed to look like the yardage stripes on a grassy football field, has made it one of the most iconic gridiron sets ever released. It also contains an impressive lineup of rookie cards, a virtual who's who of recent Hall of Famers, including Steve Young, Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Andre Reed, and—above all—Jerry Rice. The link between the great San Francisco 49ers teams of QB Joe Montana in the 1980s and those of Steve Young in the 90s, Rice reigns supreme among wide receivers in NFL history. "I've never seen a player more driven or willing to work harder to become the greatest of all time. His perfectionism was evident in everything he did, in the way he carried himself both on and off the field," said former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo of his all-world wideout. A three-time Super Bowl champion with the Niners, Rice holds every major career receiving record in the game, standing alone as the sport's leader in touchdowns, receiving yards, and catches. Inducted into the halls of Canton in 2010, he will forever be one of football's immortals.

Though not considered a rarity, Rice's 1986 Topps #161 card, his only mainstream rookie, is a necessity for any sports card collection. However, examples graded above Mint 9 are extremely scarce, and command a major premium in today's robust market. The reason? Similar to the '86 Topps baseball set, the 1986 Topps football set, for all its aesthetic and nostalgic appeal, was plagued by serious quality control issues. Many of the cards emerged from packs off-center or miscut, a problem in a hobby that places a premium on well-centered specimens. Then there is the notorious chipping. "With the green borders, most of the cards that come out of wax packs, in my opinion, are [PSA NM-MT] 8s," observed Kevin Roberson, whose set ranks number one on the 1986 Topps PSA Set Registry. Offered here is a '86 Topps Jerry Rice RC two grades better than a PSA 8. This sparkling PSA 10 Gem Mint Rice rookie features perfect centering, four sharp corners, perfect photo registration, and clean edges. Perhaps most incredibly of all, it is one of only 56 of the 19,960 examples evaluated by PSA to earn a gem mint grade. The last three copies sold publicly earned $9,423, $10,500, and a cool $10,000, respectively. It makes sense that the borders are green, because this is a card that will always command a lot of dollars. You can take that to the bank!
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Final prices include buyers premium: $9,573
Number Bids: 10
Auction closed on Saturday, September 1, 2018.
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