Jan. 23, 1959-Ted (Signs For 1959) - 1959 Fleer Ted Williams

This is the key card in a unique issue devoted entirely to Ted Williams. This was Fleer's first offering and they chose a pretty special player to launch their product. Fleer was able to sign Williams to an exclusive contract for the duration of his career, depriving Topps collectors of Williams cards from 1959-1961. This 80-card set, tells the story of one of the more interesting individuals to ever walk onto the field. From fishing to military duty, the cards cover a variety of subjects. This card was pulled from production early due to an alleged contract dispute with Buck Harris (the other man depicted on the card), resulting in a higher degree of scarcity. The card, while not overly difficult to locate in PSA NM-MT 8 or better, is often found with subpar centering and blunt corners due to the way these cards were cut and packaged. This card was also heavily counterfeited at one time, dating back to the 1970s. From his game-winning home run in the 1941 All-Star Game to slugging one over the fence in his final career at-bat, Williams had a flair for the dramatic. In 1966, after leaving baseball fans with so many memorable moments, Williams was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Theodore Samuel Williams (August 30, 1918 - July 5, 2002) was one of the few people in the world who actually lived out his dream of being remembered as, “There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.” Williams began playing in the sandlots of San Diego and moved on to high school as a pitcher, often striking out a dozen of more batters per appearance. His pitching prowess notwithstanding, Ted signed with the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League and then the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association where he captured his first Triple Crown, hitting .366 with 43 home runs and 142 RBI. The Kid, as he was dubbed in Boston newspapers, was the most anticipated athletes and he did not disappoint as he led the American League in RBI with 145, blasted 31 home runs and batted .327 in his first year in Beantown. As a rookie, he finished fourth in AL MVP voting. In 1940, Williams earned his first of 19 All-Star Game appearances, but also led the league in on-base percentage for the first of 12 times during his 19-year career. He continues to hold the highest on-base percentage in the history of Major League Baseball with a .482 OBP. His preparedness was unmatched as he studied opposing pitchers and their nuances in certain situations, ultimately determining what their “out pitch” was in every case.

In 1941, Ted became the first Major League batter since Rogers Hornsby in 1924 to eclipse the elusive .400-mark batting .406 in 143 games and the last to accomplish the feat, though many have made runs. Prior to 1941, George Sisler (.420) was the last American Leaguer to hit better than .400 in 1922. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, players were lining up to enlist, but Williams chose to play out his 1942 season for personal financial reasons, to which he was chastised by the media with whom he had a strained relationship with from the early days in his career. His decision was both Boston’s and his personal gain as he won the Triple Crown, leading the American League in average (.356), home runs (36) and RBI (137). Despite this extraordinary achievement, Ted finished second in AL MVP voting behind Joe DiMaggio, who put together a 56-game hit streak, the longest in Major League history. When the season concluded, Williams joined the United States Navy as a naval aviator and served as a training instructor and never seeing any combat. After losing three prime years to World War II, Ted returned to the Red Sox in 1946 having not lost a step as he batted .342 with 38 home runs and 123 RBI to win his first AL MVP award while also leading Boston to their first World Series appearance since 1918. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Red Sox in seven games in Williams’ only World Series appearance. In 1947, he stood atop the baseball world winning his second AL Triple Crown as he hit .343 with 32 home runs and 114 RBI while also leading the AL in runs (125), walks (162), on-base- percentage (.499), slugging percentage (.634) and total bases (335).

Despite losing five years to World War II and the Korean War, The Splendid Splinter won two Most Valuable Player awards (1946, 1949), was a six-time American League batting champion, hit 521 home runs, led the AL in OBP 12 times, walks eight times, runs scored and total bases six times, RBI and home runs four times and retired with a lifetime batting average of .344 over his 19-year career. Prophetically, he became one of the greatest hitter to ever live. Ted Williams hit his 521st (and last) home run at Fenway Park in his final at-bat of his career. Theodore Samuel Williams was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. In Ted’s induction speech for Cooperstown, Williams became one of the first enshrinees to speak out in favor of Negro League players earning consideration for induction into the Hall of Fame. Upon his retirement, Ted served as the manager for the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers for four years (1969-1971/1972) where he compiled a record of 273-364 in 637 games. Williams advocated for the “Jimmy Fund”, which raised money for adult and pediatric cancer and research at the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He was an avid fisherman and teamed with Sear Roebuck to develop a line of sporting goods, both for baseball, but also for the outdoorsman. Forever recognized for his amazing hitting, Williams made one of his final public appearances at the 1999 MLB All-Star Game at Fenway Park notably shaking hands with fellow batting champions Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn and others. Ted Williams died on July 5, 2002.

Stanley Raymond “Bucky” Harris (November 8, 1896 - November 8, 1977) played and managed alongside Hall of Famers Walter Johnson and Sam Rice with the Washington Senators, guiding them to their first World Series championship in 1924 as a rookie manager gaining him the “Boy Manager” moniker. Bucky led the Senators to the American League pennant the following year, before losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a seven game series. Harris was an excellent second baseman for 12 seasons with the Senators (1919-1928) and the Detroit Tigers (1929, 1931) batting .274 with 1,297 hits and 722 runs scored. However, Bucky made a name for himself at the helm of the Senators club (1924-1928, 1935-1942, 1950-1954), beginning as a player/manager for his first stint with the organization, then as full-time manager upon returning twice more. Bucky Harris also managed the Tigers (1929-1933, 1955-1956), the Red Sox (1934), the Phillies (1943) and the Yankees (1947-1948) guiding them to a World Series championship in 1947. Harris retired after the 1956 season with a record of 2,159-2,219. The Veterans Committee elected Stanley Raymond “Bucky” Harris to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.



Condition Census (Explain)

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 GEM MT 10
2 MINT 9 (43)

AUCTION PRICES REALIZED

Date Price Grade Lot # Auction House Auction/Seller Type Cert
04/18/2010 $1,720 9 549 Memory Lane, Inc. Springtime Classic Auction Auction 06176146
04/23/2010 $1,315 9 81339 Heritage Auctions 2010 April Signature Sports Memorabilia Auction Apr 23, 2010 Auction 14117037
12/07/2012 $1,500 9 690 Greg Bussineau Auctions Fall 2012 Vintage Trading Cards and Memorabilia Auction Auction 09015375
06/06/2013 $1,534 9 31 Goodwin and Co. Auctions Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XLIX Auction 09031773
08/24/2014 $1,411 9 434 Memory Lane, Inc. 2014 Summer Rarities Auction Auction 01603375
05/16/2015 $1,195 9 81581 Heritage Auctions 2015 May 14 - 16 Sports Collectibles Catalog Auc... May 16, 2015 Auction 50053286
02/26/2017 $1,275 9 322433274402 eBay main-street-sports-cards-vt Auction 02029391
04/13/2017 $1,725 9 401302511453 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 09048789
09/14/2017 $1,630 9 142497487533 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 05008115
02/08/2018 $1,892 9 352267904520 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 14117037
03/22/2019 $2,125 9 304 Mile High Card Company March 2019 Auction Auction 60094986
03/24/2019 $1,680 9 1349 Robert Edward Auctions 2019 Spring Auction 02023787
04/18/2019 $1,826 9 192887538358 eBay jrowejr25 Auction 02023787
11/03/2019 $2,700 9 264513410297 eBay sports-cards-forever Auction 05019193
01/22/2010 $1,350 8.5 200 Mile High Card Company January 2010 Auction Auction 17099615
12/13/2013 $5,148 8.5 486 SCP Auctions Fall Premier Auction 2013 Auction 17327890
10/19/2016 $905 8.5 322292164814 eBay gradedcardsunlimited Auction 21692910
01/17/2017 $955 8.5 361876098915 eBay probstein123 Auction 14548757
08/26/2017 $1,275 8.5 322674799989 eBay docsgs Buy It Now 15960606
12/16/2007 $1,007 8 527 Memory Lane, Inc. Serious Rarities - December 8th Auction Auction 07244899
10/01/2008 $920 8 720 Mile High Card Company August 2008 Auction Auction 11542004
08/09/2009 $840 8 290 Greg Bussineau Auctions Summer 2009 Vintage Trading Cards and Memorabilia Auction Auction 14431319
07/11/2011 $832 8 171 SCP Auctions SCP Auctions July 13, 2011 Monthly Auction #1 Auction 08174315
08/18/2012 $570 8 822 Memory Lane, Inc. Historical Rarities Auction 11417872
04/19/2013 $759 8 2 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 79 Auction 14358970
08/09/2013 $690 8 9 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 87 Auction 21616780
05/09/2015 $830 8 871 Goldin Auctions Opening Day Auction Closing May 9th Auction 22381426
07/23/2015 $690 8 494 Greg Bussineau Auctions Summer 2015 Vintage Trading Cards and Memorabilia Auction Auction 24217893
09/11/2016 $751 8 401181020965 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 40258971
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11/01/2017 $894 8 362138310370 eBay probstein123 Auction 28168118
12/11/2017 $652 8 142610296208 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 26942156
12/21/2017 $759 8 25 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 201 - Ends 12/21/17 Auction 28108166
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05/06/2018 $960 8 1481 Robert Edward Auctions 2018 Spring Auction 09015056
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03/22/2019 $858 8 305 Mile High Card Company March 2019 Auction Auction 07005743
04/03/2019 $676 8 352626145616 eBay www.stevenovella.com Auction 42131640
07/15/2019 $879 8 383035928237 eBay probstein123 Auction 05006381
09/20/2019 $892 8 383150884297 eBay probstein123 Auction 50020318
11/24/2019 $640 7.5 264533430480 eBay 4_sharp_corners Auction 44648438
07/08/2008 $565 7 400 SCP Auctions SCP Auctions July 2008 Internet Auction Auction 06545414
06/10/2010 $474 7 973 Mile High Card Company June 2010 Auction Auction 16272077
06/28/2013 $481 7 242 Lelands Spring 2013 Catalog Auction Auction 90126238
06/25/2015 $518 7 211 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 136 - Ends 6/25/15 Auction 24352897
06/15/2016 $583 7 135 Mile High Card Company Extra Innings June 2016 Auction 25777232
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11/18/2018 $560 7 312308432456 eBay gregmorriscards Auction 24352897
01/02/2019 $533 7 132897687604 eBay gregmorriscards Auction 23747582
05/07/2019 $530 7 8 Mile High Card Company Extra Innings April 2019 Auction 41983131
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02/25/2007 $388 5 10069 Heritage Auctions Monthly Internet Sports Auction Feb 25, 2007 Auction 90314400
12/13/2009 $388 5 42010 Heritage Auctions Sunday Internet Sports Auction Dec 13, 2009 Auction 16020319
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01/31/2019 $375 4 132931606184 eBay tripleplayvintagestore Auction 25867898
11/11/2019 $405 4 352840661722 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 43711283
03/23/2019 $375 3.5 143177429542 eBay mightygoodproducts Auction 42602344
03/18/2018 $408 3 43084 Heritage Auctions Sunday Internet Sports Collectibles Auction Ended Mar 18th Auction 27376707
09/11/2018 $375 3 352450114509 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 41175689
11/26/2017 $234 2.5 408 Love of the Game Auctions Fall, 2017 Ringside and Premier Auction Auction 27544402
05/10/2018 $255 2 123117423734 eBay tripleplayvintagestore Auction 23765921
06/11/2019 $169 2 233253972423 eBay cardsnguitars Auction 42939792
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10/14/2019 $175 1 352814260462 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 43714013