Summer Premium Live and Catalog Auction

Lot #18: 1950-51 Toleteros Josh Gibson Rookie Card - PSA VG+ 3.5


      Graded PSA VG+ 3.5 by PSA, one of just 11 copies recorded in PSA's census totals. Hall of Famer. The most exclusive card to appear in the fabled Toleteros issue was this impossibly rare and commensurately hungered-for collectible of Josh Gibson. Toleteros was issued in Puerto Rico – in three separate releases – between 1948 and 1951, and it's thought that the cards were initially employed as elements of a table game. By the time of the '50-51 production, they'd become free-standing collectibles. Few authorities would dispute that Gibson was the greatest legend ever to perform in the Winter Leagues circuit. That he was included in this third (and final) Toleteros issue is certainly fitting, but it was a sentimental tribute: Gibson had passed away three years earlier. Although the total number of these Gibson cards still in existence can never be conclusively determined, it's virtually certain that there are only a scant few: the world's entire population is quite likely limited to less than three dozen copies. The stature of the card's revered subject – in combination with the piece's undeniable scarcity, its deserved acclaim as an essentially peerless jewel of the post-war hobby, and its condition sensitivity – elevates this treasure to the top echelon of the industry's elite prizes. The Toleteros production of 1950-51 provided for an album to mount the full, published array of cards, and close examination of the unprinted back confirms that this card was never subjected to fastening on a page. On the front, white borders surround a luscious illustration, and routine evidence-of-handling faults are generally uniform in degree and appearance. The reverse carries mild soiling, but is unmarked. One of the hobby's masterpieces – and one of the most sought-after tributes to an immortal Negro Leaguer and Hall of Famer – in estimable Very Good-plus condition.

Final Bid (Includes Buyers Premium):$20,400
Minimum Bid:$5,000
Number of Bids:16