August 2018 Summer Classic Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/1/2018
Ichiro Suzuki's career in Major League Baseball began in 2001, when the Japanese import won the American League Rookie of the Year Award as well as AL MVP honors, captivating his new U.S. audience with superb hitting, slick fielding, and catlike reflexes and speed on the basepaths and in the outfield. The Seattle Mariners superstar soon became a hot cardboard commodity, as collectors sought out unopened wax in the hope of pulling a valuable first-year card of Ichiro or fellow rookie sensation Albert Pujols. Although he is not officially retired from the game (there is rampant speculation Ichiro will suit up for the Mariners' two-game, 2019 season-opening series against the Oakland A's in Tokyo), back in May Ichi accepted a position in Seattle's front office for the remainder of the 2018 campaign. If he does call it a career, he will retire with 4,367 hits—3,089 in Major League Baseball plus 1,278 in the Japan Pacific League—which are the most by any player, ever, in top-tier professional baseball.

With hordes of fans both in Asia and North America, Ichiro is one of the world's most collected baseball players. His top cards, when they do go to market, bring home big bucks (or yen, for that matter) from frenzied hobbyists. Offered here is one such top card, certain to attract attention from Ichiro enthusiasts. This 1993 Player's Card, one of the Wizard's earliest appearances on cardboard, is a rarity from his second season with the Orix Blue Wave. These cards were part of a promotional giveaway at an annual fan appreciation day at Green Stadium Kobe, Orix's home park. Sponsored by Hyougo Ginkou (a bank), Blue Wave players personally handed these souvenirs out to fans attending the selected game. The majority of these cards were undoubtedly tossed away that day without a second thought. The examples that did survive—likely by being placed into pants pockets or mom's purse by youngsters—were certainly not well protected, which is why the BGS 7.5 NM+ copy up for bids here is a remarkably solid specimen. For Ichiro's American collectors, this might be the one-and-only opportunity you have to purchase this unique rookie card of the world's undisputed hit king.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500
Final prices include buyers premium: $894
Number Bids: 5
Auction closed on Saturday, September 1, 2018.
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