Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XLIV
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Every so often a card comes along that leaves even the high end collector “speechless’, a card with eye appeal so breathtaking, it exceeds the qualities assumed by the term “pack fresh”. Such is the case for this 1968 Topps “Rookie Card” of the legendary right handed fireballer Nolan Ryan presented in an absolutely outstanding SGC Mint 92/8.5 holder! How tough is this extremely condition sensitive card to attain at this grade level? Consider that of the nearly 950 encapsulated copies, a meager 1% of those specimens have been graded higher! Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan is certainly one of the greatest pitchers who ever lived. His 5,386 strikeouts and 7 no-hitters are records that will, arguably, never be broken, and his reputation as one of the game’s immortals was solidified when he was voted as the starting pitcher on baseball’s team of the century. Likewise, this Ryan offering is a testament to aesthetic brilliance with every primary attribute pristine in nature including image contrast, coloring, print registration, edging, corners, etc. Even the centering, the standard “stigma” for the 1968 Ryan/Koosman Topps issue, is nearly “dead on” 50/50 with well-centered Ryan rookie cards few and far between. In summary, any adjectives we could possibly use to define this card’s superior eminence will most likely serve as an injustice to its world class attributes. So grand is its un-paralleled aesthetics, both Ryan and Koosman appear to project a “3-D” depth perception with their portrait images. Baseball may never again witness a pitcher with Ryan’s capabilities, and this 1968 “rookie card” offering, likewise, is one of the grandest copies in existence. Any advanced enthusiast should jump aboard the “Ryan Express” and go the distance to seize this remarkable museum worthy treasure!
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