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

Among the rarest and most coveted Sandy Koufax items from his playing days are the 1964 Tropicana Motel Postcards, which advanced Koufax collectors know can be found in two versions, one picturing the Brooklyn-born southpaw poolside at his new Hollywood hotel in street or "civilian" clothes and the other in his Dodgers uniform. Just how desirable are these keepsakes from the famed Tropicana Motor Hotel's gift shop? In 2017, Mile High Card Company auctioned off a PSA 8 NM-MT copy of the Dodgers uniform version for $12,782. Granted, it was one of only a dozen copies ever graded by PSA, and it ranked as the second-highest on record, the only PSA 8 on the pop report with just a single PSA 8.5 copy graded higher, but that's some serious coin for a souvenir that probably cost no more than a nickel.

What many of even the most accomplished Koufax collectors don't know, however, is that these desirable postcards can been found in at least two other variations. One shows the pool at the Tropicana Motor Hotel but with no Koufax, only his facsimile signature on front in red ink. The other is a larger version of the Dodgers Uniform version that measures about 7x5" instead of 6x4". Unlike the standard-sized variation, this one shows Sandy's facsimile signature in blue ink on back. For several years, a fraudster on eBay has been pawning off reprinted copies of this card as the real deal, but they're relatively easy fakes to spot. The print on both surfaces appears noticeably shiny and inauthentic, and there is no facsimile on back. In fact, the fakes appear to be resized versions of the standard card, intentionally made to look larger in order to fool buyers into thinking they're the scarcer, large format variation.

Proudly offered in this lot is a recently graded PSA 8 NM-MT copy of the rarely encountered large format variation with the facsimile signature on back. An exceptionally desirable item with broad appeal to both baseball and music fans, the historical and cultural significance of the Tropicana Motor Hotel is undeniable. Although Koufax only owned it for a brief period during the mid 1960s, it was during this time that many of the most famous musicians from the counterculture began to make the place their home. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Bob Marley, Stevie Nicks, even beat poet William S. Burroughs all stayed at the Tropicana. According to an article in Los Angeles Magazine, "The joint was just a hop, skip, and blurry-eyed stumble from the Troubadour and Barney’s Beanery, and as the rock music scene grew up around those venues, the Tropicana became its unofficial HQ." This transition didn't fully occur until Jerry Heiner purchased the property from Koufax later in the decade, and it's unclear weather the legendary Koufax ever crossed paths with any of the many rock legends who eventually made his hotel their hazy headquarters, but it's a fascinating and fun trip to imagine the possibilities.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000
Final prices include buyers premium: $3,835
Number Bids: 12
Auction closed on Sunday, June 30, 2019.
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