51 Bowman #305 Willie Mays Rookie Card PSA NM-MT 8
<p>One of the most electrifying players to ever lace a pair of spikes isdepicted at the start of his legendary Major League career in this highgrade 1951 Bowman #305 Willie Mays Rookie card. With a superb PSA NM-MT 8grade, this is one of just 76 cards per the PSA POP report, with only 9grading higher, making this one of the best examples extant. Thankslargely to the inclusion of the Say Hey Kid's rookie card (along with the Mickey Mantle Rookie, also available in this auction), the 1951 setof an expansive 324 cards is considered the Crown Jewel of Bowman's runand this offering displays excellent print quality and contrast - betterthan the vast majority on the market. It is very slightly off-centerto the left (not uncommon for this set), with a slight touch to thebottom right corner; otherwise, the card more than lives up to its NM-MTstatus. Mays' story is a remarkable one as he played with the NegroAmerican League's Birmingham Black Barons from 1948-50, when hiscontract was purchased straight out of high school by the New YorkGiants. Willie went on to become the Rookie of the Year in '51, andafter two years in military service, he returned to earn Most ValuablePlayer honors in 1954. A small sampling of what was to follow in a22-year MLB career which culminated in his 1979 induction into theBaseball Hall of Fame.</p><p>Estimate: $200,000-$300,000</p>
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