Extraordinary rookie card of Ted Williams, signed in thick, blue ink by the then-young Boston outfielder. The card boasts a wonderful midgrade appearance, well-centered and clean with honest wear at the corners. Williams' elegant signature was carefully applied diagonally, centered nearly perfectly from left-to-right. The card is the clear highlight of an original owner autograph collection featured in these pages, the result of a dedicated and patient young collector who would bring his cards to a train station near Shibe Park in Philadelphia and wait for ballplayers to disembark from incoming trains prior to games. Many of the cards were subsequently stored in an album, where they remained as he grew up, had a family and eventually passed. The cards were eventually removed from the albums and stored safely away until making their way to Love of the Game this past summer.
Autographed baseball cards were not always the desirable collectibles they are today. In earlier days, autographing a baseball card was considered taboo; collecting purists believed the signature destroyed the condition of the card, making it less desirable. Eventually, however, collectors began to realize that this unwritten rule had an unintended effect: signed vintage cards were hard to find. The result of this is that PSA has just 16 signed examples of this card in the PSA/DNA population report. This example is surely one of - if not the finest. With a beautiful vintage signature that was likely obtained in the year the card was issued, we were thrilled that PSA/DNA recognized its beauty by assigning it a grade of MINT 9, reflecting the thick, evenly-applied blue ink, the elegant signature of the Splendid Splinter virtually jumping off the card.
The card front boasts a midgrade appearance, well-centered with honest wear at the corners. We did not request a numerical grade on the card when submitting to PSA, content with an AUTHENTIC assessment. A lower technical grade would likely be assigned as a result of paper remnants on the reverse that reflect its former scrapbook mounting. Regardless, the eye appeal is tremendous.
With signed, vintage cards in high demand, this example checks all the boxes: well-centered, clean image with a beautiful vintage signature, centered well on the canvas and graded MINT 9 by the leader in autograph authentication and card grading, and with remarkable provenance. A truly outstanding card, the highlight of a wonderful original-owner collection of autographed cards obtained in person by a dedicated young autograph collector, an unknown hobby pioneer decades ahead of his time.