October 2019 Fall Classic Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/3/2019
The 1958 World Cup Championship Brasil team was so famous and filled with exceptional talent that most of its starting players were known the world over by single names: Gilmar, Orlando, Zito, Didi, Garrincha, Vava, and last, but certainly not least, Pele. Except for the USA's Olympic basketball Dream Teams, there may be no other team in the history of professional sports with so many legends populating its roster. The feared New York Yankees baseball teams of the 1920s and 30s come to mind, but only Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig stand out as two of the game's all-time greatest players, whereas the the 1958 Brasil team featured more than twice that number: with Gilmar in goal, Dyalma Santos at right back, Didi at midfield, Garrincha at right wing, and Pele at forward.

Offered in this lot is a virtually uncirculated 1958 Brasil Team card from the increasingly world famous 1958 Alifaboliget soccer issue. The card has been graded PSA 9 Mint and is the only one in its advanced class, with none graded higher. Recent high-grade sales of the Pele card from this set have elevated its status to hobby royalty. In February 2019 Winter Premium Auction, we realized over $13,000 for a Pele example graded PSA 8, while three months earlier Heritage Auctions had realized $26,400 for a PSA 8.5 and $57,000 for a PSA 9. Clearly, these numbers indicate the card's growing status as the hobby's definitive Pele rookie card. One obvious reason for this is because of the card's intimate, high-quality portrait of the then 18-year old. Most of the other Pele cards from 1958 are of vastly inferior quality. Another perhaps even more obvious reason, however, is because the card was printed in Sweden, the home of the 1958 World Cup which brought the 1958 Brasil team its fame and glory.

According to PSA's Set Registry standards, team cards are integral components of players' Master Set Registry checklists. It logically follows therefore that a player's team card from his rookie season can and should be considered a rookie card of that particular player. It was for this reason that Small Traditions realized over $15,000 for a 1955 Exhibits Dodgers Team card two summers ago, because that card showed a young Sandy Koufax in his rookie season. Likewise, the offered 1958 Alifaboliget Brasil Team card shows Pele in what is essentially his rookie season, and so collectors would be well-advised to consider it a Pele rookie card. As long-time proponents of PSA's Set Registry program, we've witnessed the impact of unusual or oddball items like team cards on a player's set registry countless times, so we'd be remiss not to encourage Pele collectors to strongly consider this card as they would any other Pele from 1958. Then again, it's not just any other Pele from 1958. It's from the Alifaboliget set, and it's the single highest graded copy in existence.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000
Final prices include buyers premium: $3,835
Number Bids: 7
Auction closed on Sunday, November 3, 2019.
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