2023 February Finest Auction


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/5/2023

Before Maradona, Di Stéfano and Messi, there was José Manuel Moreno. The Argentine striker starred for famed Buenos Aires club River Plate (1935-44, 1946-48), gaining the reputation in his day as the greatest footballer in the world. Moreno was part of River Plate's La Máquina ("The Machine") dynasty which dominated Argentina's Primera Division in the 1940s. His teammate and eventual River Plate manager, Carlos Peucelle, once joked that they used a "1-10" formation with "a goalkeeper and 10 forwards." A brief pro tenure in the Mexican league earned him the nickname "El Charro" (Mexican cowboy) and endeared him to soccer fans throughout all of the Americas. In international competition, he led the Argentina National Team to South American Championships in 1941, '42 and '47.

In 1999, JMM was ranked as the fifth best South American player of the 20th Century (behind Pelé, Maradona, Di Stéfano and Garrincha) by IFFHS. Positioned primarily as an inside forward, he had exceptional vision and technique and was a lethal scorer with his head in the penalty area. The chances of coming across any game-used memorabilia from Moreno's career are about as likely as finding a T-Rex fossil. His trading cards aren't quite extinct, but they are certainly endangered. And coming off La Albiceleste's thrilling 2022 FIFA World Cup victory where Messi forever cemented his name in Argentine lore, the passion and pursuit for all-time-greats who wore the sky blue and white will only heat up.

Offered here is José Manuel Moreno's official rookie card from the rarely surfacing 1936 Nobleza de Tabacos Leyes del Foot Ball issue. He is pictured in a circular frame wearing his River Plate uniform (the famous red stripe on their shirts shown in black & white). The reverse diagrams a corner kick play in Spanish. Card #30 comes in two versions, Green Front and Black Back, and this is the latter. PSA has graded this example PR 1 (MK). Its incredible picture quality would warrant a much grade if not for its edge issues and tiny tear on the bottom. An errant pen stroke on the upper left accounts for the mark qualifier. PSA reports a population of just two others in this grade and a total authenticated pop (in any grade) of just eight Black Back examples, the highest being one GD+ 2.5. (Only two Green Front versions of Moreno have been authenticated by PSA.) It should also be noted that SGC has graded just seven cards in this 1936 Nobleza de Tabacos set, and not one is JMM.

1936 Nobleza de Tabacos Leyes Del Football #30 José Manuel Moreno (Argentine Legend) "El Charro" Rookie Card - PSA PR 1 (MK)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,630
Number Bids:3
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