March 25, 2021: Spring Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/25/2021
There are levels to trading card rarity. Some are manufactured (ie. numbered cards or short prints), others are due to circumstance (condition issues, factory errors) and still others the result of tragedy (certain autographed cards). When it comes to autographed baseball cards, one in particular stands alone due to both its legendary and devastating circumstances, the 1955 Topps Harry Agganis. Nicknamed the “Golden Greek” Agganis starred on the gridiron for Boston University, becoming that school's first All American as a Quarterback, eschewing a contract with the Cleveland Browns to play baseball with his hometown Boston Red Sox. After a solid season in the minors he was called up to the Big Leagues in 1954. There he hit .281 with 11 home runs and 57 RBIs, becoming a fan favorite in the process. Things were looking up for the Golden Greek in ‘55, and Topps jumped on the bandwagon creating an iconic rookie card for Agganis in their classic 206 card set. It's here in our story that circumstances become the stuff of Greek Tragedy. After a slow start in Spring Training, Agganis lost his starting position, but by early May had regained it with a strong performance at the plate. By May 15th, he was batting over .300. But something wasn't right, Agganis was experiencing coughing, fever and pain in his right side. After being diagnosed with pneumonia in his right lung, he spent 10 days in the hospital. He was able to rejoin the team on May 27th, and managed to get into a couple of games in early June. But Agganis’s condition worsened and he had to be hospitalized again. He sadly succumbed to a pulmonary embolism on June 27th. Agganis was only 26 years old. In the 1950s, Topps baseball cards were released generally around the beginning of the Major League season. A hobby veteran who collected at the time recalls cards coming out to coincide with the school year finishing up. This leaves a scant couple of months to have possibly acquired Harry Agganis’ autograph on his rookie card. Add to that fact, Agganis was in the hospital for several weeks during that time period, creating a near impossible situation in which to obtain his signature. These factors coincided to create an autographed trading card rarity of the utmost importance. Collecting the Autographed 1955 Topps set has been an ultimate challenge for signed card collectors for well over 50 years. The existence of three known authentic autographed 1955 Topps Harry Agganis cards (including the offered example, which is signed twice), has made that challenge one of the most difficult and rewarding to embark upon.
Harry Agganis Signed 1955 Topps No. 152 (PSA/DNA)Harry Agganis Signed 1955 Topps No. 152 (PSA/DNA)
Harry Agganis Signed 1955 Topps No. 152 (PSA/DNA)
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $27,251
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Thursday, March 25, 2021.
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