Summer Premier Auction 2020

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/28/2020

Presented here is a stunning, high-grade example of Roberto Clemente's most coveted card. Yes, we said it! His 1968 Topps 3-D issue is much scarcer and far more eye-appealing than his 1955 Topps rookie. It is arguably the most valuable, sought-after card in the 1960’s all the way through the 70’s and 80’s. Released a year before Woodstock, the card’s trippy, three-dimensional effect lends itself to the times. There is nothing ordinary about this vintage card’s innovative design, decades ahead of its time, inspiring the contemporary era of holographic refractors and RPA’s [Rookie Auto Patch] that have sent the modern card market skyrocketing of late.

There are only 12 cards in the official ’68 Topps 3-D checklist, and just one other Hall of Famer (Tony Perez). Obviously, the set is all about Bob. As if a NM 7 grade from PSA wasn’t enough to boast about, this special proof/test version has the extremely rare “Visual Panographics, Inc.” ink stamp on the back. Almost every known ’68 Topps 3-D card was printed with a blank back. In fact, we can count on one hand the number of Clemente’s “XOGRAPH” stamped proofs that have surfaced. The ink stamp on the reverse reads: "This is an experimental XOGRAPH card produced as a limited edition. Not for public circulation or distribution. Not for resale. To be returned to: Visual Panographics, Inc., 488 Madison Avenue, New York, New York.”

A previous listing for this card mentions a surface flaw in the lower right. We cannot see it. In fact, PSA’s NM 7 rating seems very harsh. The front displays exceptionally well, with bright colors and excellent centering. The back remains mostly clean with a few print smudges. The corners were designed to be rounded. The term "Xograph" was a trademark of Visual Panographics, the company that co-produced the set along with Topps. Around one hundred of these test cards entered the market in 1999, sold to a dealer by a member of the original production team. It is unknown how many Clemente proofs exist, but they represent a tiny fraction of the 56 total Clementes in the PSA Pop Report. (Only 2 of 17 are properly identified in the SGC Pop Report.)

A 2014 Sports Collectors Daily article goes into further detail about the set’s limited production: https://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/whitest-whales-1968-topps-3-d-baseball/

Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $4,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $18,236
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Friday, August 28, 2020.
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