Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XLI
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/21/2012
Heart stopping to say the least! That is the best and simplest way to summarize this absolutely radiant baseball card offering of Hall of Fame pitcher Chief Bender in his “portrait” variation, graded a breathtaking PSA “Mint 9”. Over 141,000 T206’s have been encapsulated by the renowned PSA grading company, and a microscopic 0.19% have been fortunate enough to receive the hallowed “Mint 9” grade. Most high-end T206 collectors are willing to “settle” for a NM-MT 8” grade to compliment their lofty collections, especially if the subject is a prominent Hall of Famer. In the event that a Cooperstown enshrined player becomes available in a “Mint 9” holder, a frenzied chase commences, with elite hobbyists scrambling to capture it for their esteemed collection. And why not! Consider that this miraculous Bender offering is one of only 3 PSA “portrait” Benders, with NONE graded higher for ALL advertisement backs! 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.
Carl Horner’s iconic Chief Bender portrait image is immaculate, depicting vivid contrast, crystal clear clarity, and a brilliant blend of facial colored hues immensely projected via a flawless olive green background. The four corners and perimeter edging are blistering sharp, and the image is well centered between four absolutely blinding white borders with only a hint of favoritism towards the upper edge. The vibrant “Piedmont 150 Subjects” reverse has retained its original bold blue typography, and no surface flaws are evident on both sides of the card. “Pack-fresh”, to say the least, no T206 card could possibly surpass 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 supreme radiance. We can only commend the individuals who preserved this masterpiece for over a 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. This card just happens to suffice as the closest match to perfection the hobby has to offer including color, contrast, registration, edging, corners, centering, typography, etc., and is awaiting a final resting place in the most sophisticated T206 PSA Registered gathering!
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