June 2019 Summer 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 6/30/2019

According to the Chinese zodiac, February 5th 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 with his most recent Green Jacket!

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, 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, such as the perfectly perforated beauty offered in this lot, one fact was certain: there is a robust demand out there for golf cards, with relatively precious little supply.

Compare, for example, the population numbers for the now world famous 1996 Sports Illustrated for Kids Tiger Woods rookie card with the iconic 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card, arguably two of the top ten most iconic cards in the entire hobby. Dallas-based Beckett Grading services has reviewed 694 Woods rookies and awarded 106 examples with its Gem Mint designation, while Newport Beach-based PSA has reviewed 1,414 copies and awarded 24 with its Gem Mint grade. As for Jordan, BGS has reviewed 10,472 copies and awarded 507 Gems, while PSA has seen 18,090 and awarded 303 Gems. Not only is the Woods card far, far scarcer than the Jordan in any condition, but its flimsy perforated design and mail and news stand distribution method have made it a significant challenge to grade 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: $2,163
Number Bids: 6
Auction closed on Sunday, June 30, 2019.
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