6th Annual Holiday Premium Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/16/2018
Seven decades before the nation got to know Bo (Jackson), another American multi-sport superstar captivated the globe. Jim Thorpe was arguably the greatest athlete in recorded history, winning gold medals in both the decathalon and pentathalon in the 1912 Olympics held in Stockholm, Sweden. Thorpe didn't just defeat his competition; he utterly dominated them. In the pentathalon, Thorpe finished first in four of the five events, besting his closest competition in the 1,500 meter run by almost five seconds. He also grabbed gold in the decathalon, a sport he never competed in until his virtuoso performance in the Olympics. When Sweden's King Gustav V presented Thorpe with trophies for his accomplishments, the monarch exclaimed, "Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world!" to which Thorpe replied simply, "Thanks."

Never one to seek the spotlight—in fact, he actively avoided it—Thorpe nevertheless enjoyed the competition of top-tier professional sports. He was a major league outfielder from 1913-19 and played pro football for 12 seasons, starring at halfback for the Canton Bulldogs and becoming the first big-ticket draw and league president of the American Professional Football Association, formed in 1920, which later became the National Football League. Infamously, Thorpe was stripped of his Olympic medals when it was discovered he was paid to play minor league baseball in 1909-10—an injustice many believe was carried out on him due to bigotry against American Indians (Thorpe claimed Sauk and Fox heritage). Although officials stole his accolades, they could not stain his legacy, which is more esteemed today than at any time during Thorpe's 65 years of life.

Offered here is one of Thorpe's first appearances on cardboard, a 1912 Olympiska Spelens Stockholm Brefkort #238 postcard. Along with a pair of American postcards, this black and white postcard from Sweden is one of three Thorpe rookie cards, and is by far the hardest of the trio to track down. The offered item is one of just ten ever certified by PSA, and is graded PSA 5.5 Excellent+, a stunning exemplar for its technical grade. Our small but savvy research team is among the best in the hobby, and even they initially had some trouble locating information about this card. Thanks to the miracle of Google Translate, they were able to decipher Swedish websites with some info on the cards. Printed by Granbergs Konstindustri-Aktiebolags Förlag (GPK) in Stockholm, this Thorpe is one of 319 postcards sold to commemorate this historic international gathering. The GPK cards were the official postcards of the Games of the V Olympiad, making this set all the more historically important. It is a hobby cliché to say "don't miss out" on a rare item, but how often does one of the top-graded rookie cards of America's greatest athlete come up for bids (printed in a foreign country, no less)? This is a truly incredible collectible for anyone who treasures baseball, football, or Olympic cards and memorabilia.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500
Final prices include buyers premium: $4,125
Number Bids: 12
Auction closed on Sunday, December 16, 2018.
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