He’ll always be known for his epic Afro and one of the greatest baseball cards ever made — 1976 Topps Traded No. 74T — but he also was a reliable big-leaguer for a long, long time.
He’s Oscar Gamble, a former New York Yankees outfielder who died on Wednesday at age 68. A member of the Yankees for seven of his 17 seasons in MLB, he hit .265 with 200 home runs and 666 RBI in 1,584 games. He also played for the Cubs, who drafted him in the 16th round in 1968, as well as the Phillies, Indians, White Sox, Padres and Rangers.
“He was the player on the Yankees known for big hair,” said his agent, Andrew Levy, on Twitter, “but those who knew him best will remember his big heart.”
There’s no doubt that even after years out of the spotlight that O.J. Simpson remains one of the more-controversial and polarizing people on the planet, and we’ll get a new wave of discussion about the retired and incarcerated football star with the premiere of O.J.: Made in America, which is a five-part ESPN Films documentary, tonight on ABC.
Simpson, of course, is behind bars for armed robbery and kidnapping after an altercation with a memorabilia dealer back in 2007. His acquittal in the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman — and the 1997 civil suit found Simpson liable for their deaths — will be one of the main focuses of the nearly eight-hour series.
Will the new story spark any added interest in his key cards? It’s very possible and people are seemingly already interested to some degree. His 1970 Topps Rookie Card (above) actually surged in value back during the first trial and there were non-NFL-licensed card companies that actually had him sign autographs while in jail. According to one advance account of the new documentary, those autographs signed in jail are discussed in the series.
“O.J. had only been in jail for two or three days when, per his agent Mike Gilbert, he gave instructions to start ‘marketing and merchandising and generating a lot of money,'” reads one advance review. “Gilbert and memorabilia dealer Bruce Fromong brought in fabric numbers for O.J. to sign, which would later be sewn into jerseys, and leather panels that would eventually become footballs. Demand, says Fromong, was through the roof, and as photographs reveal, an O.J. autograph signed from behind bars could go for hundreds of dollars.
“‘He sat in jail,’ says Fromong, ‘and we did $3-million dollars in autographs.’ One photograph of O.J. and Johnnie Cochran got both their signatures. ‘I look back,’ says Gilbert, ‘and think, this sucked. I can’t believe we did this.’”
A near-perfect PSA 9 Hank Aaron1954 Topps Rookie Card led the way in the Mile High Card Company auction that ended during the weekend — and it was just one of 10 lots that topped the $20,000 mark.
All were graded vintage cards in high grades or key specimens slabbed by PSA or SGC — meanwhile 13 other auctions topped the $10,000 plateau in the sale.
Click the first image below to enter our gallery and get a closer look at the top 10 lots as well their final sale prices. We added an extra one so you can see a surprising sale price on the only PSA 10 Joe Torre 1962 Topps Rookie Card in existence.
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