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1951 Bowman #305 Willie Mays Rookie SGC NM+ 86
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $9,000
Graded NM+ 86 by SGC. Rookie card of legendary Hall of Famer Willie Mays, one of the most important of all 1950s bubble-gum cards. In addition to being one of the two key cards of the 1951 Bowman set, Mays is part of the scarce high-number series of the set (#253-324). This is a very attractive example, bright and clean, with four square corners and centering 75/25 T/B and 50/50 L/R. Clean reverse, with some very light wax staining present (as is common with cards from this issue). Since the centering standards employed by SGC have changed over the years, this card, which is encapsulated in a first-generation SGC holder, would more accurately be graded EX-MT+ in our opinion under today's standards. The rest of the card is perfectly Near Mint or better. The 1951 Bowman Willie Mays rookie has always been a card-collecting icon, especially among postwar cards. This is a superb example of this classic card in an extremely desirable grade. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $9,000
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