He’s one of the biggest names in the history of the game and he’s one not commonly found on cardboard when it comes to autographs.
But Christy Mathewson‘s ink has been found in a $25,000 box of 2016 Topps Transcendent Collection baseball cards and the Hall of Famer’s ink is definitely worthy of the record-setting pricey brand.
The asking price?
The card will cost you a cool $19,995 — no really — and that’s not bad. (Why? Keep reading.)
And that’s not that much more than Topps appears to have paid for the PSA/DNA authenticated piece to make the cut. It was a player transfer notice signed on May 15, 1923, when Mathewson was in the front office of the Boston Braves for a season. He stepped down from that role due to health issues and died two years later at age 36, having never fully recovered from his tuberculosis caused by an accidental gassing during training in World War I.
Mathewson won 373 games in 17 seasons including 37 in 1908 when he also led the league in ERA (1.43), starts (44), complete games (34), shutouts (11), innings pitched (390.2), strikeouts (259), saves (8) and plenty of other stats. He still ranks third in wins, ninth in career ERA and third in shutouts. He was among the first five inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936 alongside Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner.
But the stat that matters even more to collectors? It’s just his 12th cut autograph in existence.
Every Mathewson cut auto card except for one is a 1/1 creation — and some of them include other autographs alongside it that put it into the stratosphere price-wise beyond what a solo autograph commands.
This is the first Mathewson auto made by an MLB licensee since 2005 when Upper Deck released his ink in three products.
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