2021 FALL PREMIER AUCTION

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/30/2021

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson famously met first in the 1979 NCAA Final Four championship game in Salt Lake City. Magic and Michigan State spoiled Larry’s Indiana State team’s perfect season, handing the Sycamores their only loss. When these two stars met that historic Monday night in the NCAA Finals it was a seismic event in basketball history, and to this day remains the highest rated televised game in college basketball history.

Thankfully the basketball gods were not done. As Larry and Magic moved on to the NBA the next season their rivalry continued with Bird in east coast Boston Celtics green and Johnson in west coast Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold. For the next decade they competed for championships, MVP awards and in debates about the game’s greatest all-around player.

It is only fitting these two basketball icons are also connected in their rookie card, the special 1980-81 Topps Scoring Leaders gem, which features the pairing of Bird and Johnson flanked by Julius Erving. Yes, as if Bird and Magic aren’t enough, the legendary “Dr. J” joins them on this treasured card!

The Topps 1980-81 set is distinct for its perforated design, so the card can be separated into three individual cards, which some collectors did. However, these individual cards are worth a tiny fraction of full three-panel cards.

All three players featured here were “unicorns” due to their unique styles, winning ways and overall contributions to the national and global popularity of game, too many to list here. But this particular card is even more of a unicorn for collectors, one of the most sought after cards in the hobby. Not only is it a “must have” in any serious card collection, it is scarce and important in a GEM MINT 10 grade. It is proven to be quite elusive in high-grades due to centering issues or the occasional bothersome print issues that sometimes show up. But not here.

The card also includes the prestigious Mike Baker (former lead card grader at PSA) Silver Diamond designation for excellence!

As of September 2021, the SGC Population Report lists just eight (8) 10's in their library of the 1,520 examples of this card they have graded. We especially like the way the SGC black backdrop on the encapsulation brings out the colors of this special card. A 10 comes along about as often as… a Larry Bird or Magic Johnson do, which is hardly ever! We are excited to present an SGC Gem Mint 10 of the 1980-81 Topps Scoring Leaders featuring Bird/Erving/Johnson.

Bidding
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $50,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $227,856
Number Bids: 14
Auction closed on Saturday, October 30, 2021.
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