Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XXXIV
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/29/2011
The renowned Carl Horner portrait photos taken at the “turn of the century” are among our National Pastime’s most coveted images. So prestigious and desirable, it is no coincidence they were chosen to grace the obverse sides of many baseball cards from that by-gone era including a myriad of the illustrious T206 subjects. Presented here just happens to be one of those cherished T206 players, the immortal Charles Albert “Chief” Bender’s portrait subject residing in an awe-inspiring PSA 8 holder. How tough is attaining a Chief Bender T206 portrait specimen at such a stratospheric level? Consider that only a single “Sweet Caporal Cigarettes Bender” is listed on the “pop” chart with NONE graded higher! In fact, only 4 Piedmont Cigarettes Bender portraits have managed to achieve the near-impossible “PSA 9” technical assessment. Therefore, you are now afforded the opportunity of capturing a T206 Bender “Sweet Cap” that has not been surpassed by a single specimen!
Author of over 200 victories and four single season E.R.A.’s less than 2.00, Bender was called upon “time after time” by Connie Mack to deliver a crucial World Series win. Overall, Bender did not disappoint his immortal manager, winning 6 World Series games in assisting the A’s in winning three World Championships. Likewise, Carl Horner’s iconic Chief Bender portrait image depicts the finest championship cardboard caliber, depicting vivid contrast, crystal clear clarity, and a brilliant blend of facial colored hues immensely projected via a near flawless olive green background. The four corners are blistering sharp with only microscopic like touching to the utmost corner tips, and the image is extremely well centered (nearly “dead on” 50/50) between four snow white borders. The strikingly bold red “Sweet Caporal Cigarettes 350 Subjects” reverse has retained its original pristine attributes, and no surface flaws are evident on both sides of the card. “Pack-fresh”, to say the least, we cannot imagine many T206 cards projecting the nearly unparalleled aesthetics emanating from this “world class” cardboard masterpiece. If we had to choose one particular word to categorize its overall technical brilliance, options would include “blazer”, “pristine”, “incomparable”, etc. Unfortunately, any infinite list of adjectives attempting to define its unsurpassed attributes could never fully justify its pinnacle like radiance. We can only commend the individuals who preserved this masterpiece for a full century, with this esteemed offering defying “father time” of the standard wear expected from any cardboard remnant that has recently celebrated its 100th birthday. Even the aforementioned “pack fresh” term can be an injustice since many cards pulled from an unopened pack are often found with factory issued flaws such as printer marks, centering issues, etc. At first glance this card borders on perfection, making one ponder what actually prevented it from achieving an even higher technical assessment? Regardless, its current status a the finest listed Sweet Caporal Bender portrait suffices to say the least, justifying why it merits a place in the most esteemed T206 compilation!
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