August 2019 Summer Classic Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/1/2019
Proudly offered is one of the hobby's single finest graded examples of what is arguably the most iconic golf rookie card in existence, the 1926 Lambert & Butler Who's Who in Sport #2 R.T. Jones, recently and extremely conservatively graded PSA 8.5 NM-MT+ at this summer's National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago. Robert Tyre Jones, better known in clubhouses and history books around the globe as Bobby, was a lawyer by profession who excelled in the game of golf as a part-time playing amateur. Despite his decision to never turn pro, however, he remains the sport's only player to ever win the so-called Grand Slam, or all four major championships, in the same calendar year (1930). As a part of his legend, early that year before the first of these four tournaments, Jones placed a bet on himself with British bookmakers to achieve this unprecedented feat at odds of 50-1, collecting $60,000 when he did win (or roughly $900,000 in today's dollars). Further adding to his legend, Jones knew that his time on top would be limited, and so he retired from the game at just 28, famously stating that golf "is something like a cage. First you are expected to get into it and then you are expected to stay there. But of course, nobody can stay there."

Along with Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Red Grange, and tennis star Bill Tilden, Bobby Jones is remembered as one of the five giants of the American sporting world of the celebrated 1920s. Despite his too-brief brilliance, he still ranks among the game's greatest players. His four titles in the U.S. Open remain tied for the most ever in that championship. His four second-place finishes in the U.S. Open place him second all-time. His five titles in the U.S. Amateur are a record. He ranked as the fourth greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine in 2000. Jack Nicklaus was first, Ben Hogan second, and Sam Snead third. More recently, Jones was ranked as the third greatest golfer of all time in a major survey published by Golf Magazine in September 2009. Nicklaus was ranked first, Tiger Woods second, Bobby Jones third. But that's not all. In addition to his achievements on the green, he was also instrumental in designing the Augusta National Golf Club and was co-founder of the Masters Tournament, implementing various innovations which remain integral to today's tournament style of play.

Bobby Jones was like the Babe Ruth of golf, but only if The Babe had retired after winning his MVP award in the 1923 season, leaving 430 of his eventual 714 home runs un-hit. Perhaps a better comparison would be Michael Jordan, but even His Airness couldn't walk away after achieving his first threepeat at age 29 (though he certainly tried). Like the offered card itself, comparisons to Bobby Jones are few and far between. Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzy, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods are some of the names in the conversation. Likewise, only a small handful of other prominent copies of Bobby Jones' 1926 Lambert & Butler rookie card can compare to the stunning PSA 8.5 offered in this lot. PSA reports two other copies graded 8.5 and six copies graded PSA 9, with none higher. In fact, while waiting for PSA's grading results earlier this month in Chicago, we had entertained hopes of this copy potentially ranking as the first-ever PSA 10 in existence. While that unfortunately didn't happen, a close comparison of our high resolution scans to the few PSA 9s for which there are images available online shows this copy to be as good if not better than any other copy on record. The card is perfectly centered with mint corners and edges around two immaculate surfaces. Its only non-gem mint features appear to be some roughness on the back corners and edges, which are natural characteristics of this popular mid-20s issue originally produced in New Zealand. Whether you scrutinize it under magnification or simply admire it with your naked eye, it is unquestionably one of the finest copies in existence. With an image as iconic as Babe Ruth pitching on his 1916 rookie card, it is also our belief that this card is underappreciated and undervalued. We realize that calling it the T206 Wagner of the golf world would probably be overdoing it. T206, after all, was not Wagner's rookie card.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Final prices include buyers premium: $4,463
Number Bids: 4
Auction closed on Sunday, September 1, 2019.
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