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1951 Topps Major League All-Stars Near-Complete PSA-Graded Set (8/11): #3 PSA Set Registry!
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $12,000
This collection of 1951 Topps Major League All-Stars represents a near-complete set of one of the rarest and most significant Topps baseball-card issues ever created. The lot includes eight different cards (six of which feature Hall of Famers) and is missing only the virtually impossible to find unissued extreme rarities Konstanty, Roberts, and Stanky for completion. These three rarities are virtually nonexistent - only approximately three examples exist of each - and these three cards were not actually issued to the public. For this reason, the set of issued 1951 Topps Major League All-Stars cards is actually complete at eight cards, all of which are present in the offered lot. All eight cards have been graded and encapsulated by PSA (submitted by REA). One thing about 1951 Topps Major League All-Stars: because of their die-cut design, there are so many little things that can get these cards downgraded that they tend to look a lot better than their technical grades suggest. That is certainly the case here. All cards are complete with backgrounds intact. This is a gorgeous set of this significant issue! It has been carefully assembled by an advanced pioneer collector who did most of his collecting during the 1960s and 1970s and collected with a very keen focus on condition and overall eye-appeal. It is also the first complete set that we can ever recall offering!
PSA Grading Composite: Yogi Berra (VG-EX 4), Larry Doby (EX 5), Walt Dropo (VG-EX 4), Hoot Evers (EX 5 [MC]), George Kell (VG-EX 4), Bob Lemon (EX 5), Ralph Kiner (GOOD 2), and Phil Rizzuto (EX 5). This assembly currently ranks third on the PSA Set Registry, with an overall GPA of 4.15.
Because these die-cut cards are designed to stand up by folding back the backgrounds, they are particularly prone to damage and are often found with the backgrounds damaged or completely removed. This is an extraordinary collection of these legendary rarities. In the "old days" of collecting at early conventions, the sighting of even one Major League All-Star would practically cause a riot! It was an extremely rare occurrence, and these legendary rarities have not become any more plentiful during the past several decades, or any less significant. What has changed is the introduction of professional grading, and even the best examples from this set tend to be graded harshly due to their design. For Major League All-Stars, despite a small (in most cases, production-related) flaw here and there, this is an exceptionally high-grade group. (In the old days of the hobby, this set would have been considered EX-MT or better across the board!) We understand the technical issues natural to these cards that are responsible for the PSA grades, but want to emphasize that this is an exceptionally beautiful set worthy of the finest world-class collection. These cards are bright and clean, and a collection of all eight different issued cards is almost never assembled, let alone offered. Check your old auction catalogs and you will see how rarely sets or near-sets of Major League All-Stars surface. In our opinion, this issue has been seriously overlooked and undervalued by collectors in recent years (in large part because they are graded so harshly by modern grading companies). This is a remarkable collection of one of the rarest and most significant of all Topps issues. The SMR value in the assigned grades for just the Doby, Lemon, and Rizzuto cards is $2,500 (SMR values are not listed for cards graded less than EX or with qualifiers). When we compare the rarity and significance of this issue to other sets of the era, however, we cannot help but think the SMR values for even the cards that are listed have (or should have!) little significance. Only 118 examples in total of 1951 Topps Major League All-Stars (including one each of the three unissued cards) have been graded in the history of PSA. Total: 8 cards. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $12,000
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