1963 Fleer #43 Maury Wills Rookie - SGC MINT 96

Sold For: $529

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 731

Item Year: 1963

Category: Postwar Baseball Cards (1948-present)

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Graded MINT 96 by SGC. One of only four graded at this level by SGC, with none graded higher. Stunning pack-fresh example of this classic rookie card of popular Dodgers' player Maury Wills. This card has a fascinating story and special historical significance to baseball cards. Wills was an average player for most of his long minor league career. He was such an unexciting player in the eyes of Topps that the baseball-card company did not even think it worth bothering to pay him the $10 and sign him to the standard contract traditionally presented to young players who theoretically had a potential future in the majors. This was very rare and insulting. Signing all players in the minors was how Topps kept its stranglehold on the bubblegum-card business. To not be signed was quite an emphatic vote of no confidence. Even terrible players were signed! Wills eventually made the majors in 1959, and when he did, he became the first player that Topps did not sign to a bubblegum-card contract to make the majors. Wills did not forget Topps' slight, and refused to sign with Topps year in and year out, until he finally relented in 1967. That is why there are no Maury Wills Topps cards from 1959 to 1966, including 1963, the year following his historic record-setting base-stealing 1962 season. After this experience, Topps made it a policy to sign every player in the minors without exception, just to make sure they do not make the same mistake again. Wills had no issue with Fleer, however, and took special delight in allowing Fleer to include him in its 1963 set, its only effort to feature modern stars. This example is in blazing MINT condition. The card exhibits bold, bright colors, four razor-sharp corners, perfect image, a flawless surface, and snow-white borders. Perfectly crisp and clean, both front and back. This is a world-class ultra high-grade example of Maury Wills' rookie card, worthy of the finest high-grade 1963 Fleer set. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $529

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