You will not get any arguments that Sandy Koufax, at peak value, was the greatest pitcher who ever lived. From 1962 through 1966, he dominated major league hitters as no other pitcher ever has, to the tune of 3 Cy Young awards, 4 no-hitters (including one perfect game!), 3 seasons with 25 or more wins and microscopic E.R.A.’s less than 2.00, and a southpaw record 382 strikeouts in a single season! This justifies why cardboard enthusiasts scramble to collect his most valuable cards, with one of his most popular issues the Koufax 2nd year 1956 classic “gray back” Topps card presented here in a breathtaking PSA “Mint 9” holder. Currently, PSA has only encapsulated a handful of other “gray back” 1956 specimens at this tier with only a single example achieving the oinnacle “gem mint 10” grade!
The card’s aesthetics are nothing short of miraculous. How often does a “Mint 9” card beg the question: “why isn’t it a Gem Mint 10”? Coin collectors use the term “Proof” to categorize a coin that has never been handled by human hands and in appearance alone, this term can certainly be applied to the example presented here. Let’s start with the two scintillating Koufax images portraying an awe-inspiring radiance, set against a classic baseball field green grass/dirt patch background. The color schemes for both poses is remarkable, highlighted by the detailed facial tones in Koufax’s portrait photo, as well as the pristine like quality emitted from his legendary pitching motion illustration. The pin point corners and fine edging could cut most surfaces via their blistering sharp quality, and the entire image is well centered between four blinding white borders. The reverse side print registration, likewise, depicts spectacular eye appeal including near perfect bold print registration, and both surfaces are flawless including the obverse side retaining its original gloss.
We are still trying to understand how any Koufax specimen could possibly achieve the hallowed “Gem Mint 10” grade if this offering falls slightly short? However, we fully understand that while the card may appear perfect to the naked eye, there might be some diminutive flaw only apparent via a high powered lens. The phrase “pack fresh” is synonymous with this 54 year old cardboard masterpiece, with “mouth watering” aesthetics meriting the highest hobby accolades. Over time, Sandy Koufax has evolved into an American sports hero, justified by his incredible five year run unparalleled in baseball history.