Lot # 12: 1923-24 Billiken Andy Cooper (HOF) - SGC GOOD 2

Category: Featured Items

Starting Bid: $1,000.00

Bids: 35 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Spring, 2023 Premier Auction",
which ran from 4/9/2023 12:00 PM to
4/29/2023 9:00 PM

Issued in 1923-24, the Billiken Cigarettes issue was a Cuban-issued set that featured 2" x 2 5/8" cards depicting 60 players from the Cuban Professional League.  One of the more popular Cuban league sets, this issue includes many stars of the American Negro Leagues, including Oscar Charleston, Pop Lloyd, Jose Mendez and this card of Andy Cooper.  Cooper was a well-known left-handed pitcher who played for the Detroit Stars in the Negro Leagues when this card was issued.  In 1928, Cooper was traded to the famed Kansas City Monarchs, where he played until 1929.  As manager of the Monarchs between 1937 and 1940, he won his league title three times before suffering a stroke early in the 1941 season, prematurely ending his managerial career, and shortly after, his life.

Negro League scholars generally rank Cooper among the top two or three left-handed pitchers in the history of the Negro Leagues, and while he sadly was never given the chance to compete in the major leagues, his greatness was finally recognized in 2005 when the Committee of African-American Baseball elected him to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  This example, likely Cooper's first card, is also his most desirable.  Very few examples have transacted publicly over the years, but Billiken Cooper cards are highly sought after among advanced collectors, quite desirable in any grade.  This example, as is the case with most Cuban cards, is well-worn, with considerable surface wear and soiling.  Still, one of few known examples of one of the greatest players of the American Negro Leagues.

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