For much of his career, Steve Carlton was a dominant strikeout pitcher, winning the first of his four Cy Young Awards after an incredible 1972 season in which he would win 27 of his team's 54 victories, against a stellar 1.97 ERA. Carlton would post a lifetime ERA of 3.22 across 24 seasons, dueling with Nolan Ryan throughout the 1983 season for the major league career strikeout total. Carlton would hold the top spot for the majority of the 1983 season, and for much of 1984. Carlton still ranks fourth on the all-time list, and is the all-time career strikeout leader in the National League, where he spent all but the twilight years of his career.
The key card in the 1965 Topps set and one of the most important baseball cards of the 1960s, the Carlton rookie is still underrated in comparison with his strikeout rival Ryan. Offered here is one of the most spectacular examples, and certainly one of the finest cards we have ever presented: the Steve Carlton rookie card, graded GEM MINT 10 by PSA.
One of just eight examples to reach this plateau, the card is simply perfect, well-centered and as sharp as if it were brand new. The color is vivid and clear, the surface free of the print defects that plague 1960s Topps cards, the white borders even and brilliantly bright. The reverse is also extremely well-centered, with the tiniest bit of slight chipping along the right edge of the reverse, mentioned here only for the sake of accuracy. Simply a spectacular card, beyond a doubt the finest we have seen.