This is the only recognized rookie card of one of basketball's most exciting players during the 1960s. Elgin Baylor was fast, powerful and inventive. In today's game, powerful dunks and acrobatic shots fill the highlight reels but Baylor was the first to do it routinely. During his 14 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, Baylor averaged
27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds per game. This former NBA Rookie of the Year (1959) was an 11-time All-Star and named to the NBA All- First Team 10 times. What made Baylor, perhaps, most exceptional was his all-around ability on the court. During the 1962-63 season, Baylor finished the year ranked in the top five in scoring, rebounding,
assists and free-throw percentage. It was the first time in NBA history that a player ranked so high in these four major categories. Baylor was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977. This card measures approximately 2 ½" by 3 ½". While there was a find of these inaugural Fleer basketball cards, even cards that originate from the find have condition obstacles such as poor centering and
stray print defects. Keep in mind that every Baylor card contains a print mark on the right side of his face, so its existence will not hinder the grade.
Elgin Gay Baylor (September 16, 1934-March 22, 2021) was the Number 1 overall pick, held by the Minneapolis Lakers, of the 1958 NBA Draft, the 1958-59 NBA Rookie of the Year and Lakers’ franchise savior guiding them from a last place finish in 1958 to the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics in his rookie season of 1959. And so began the most storied rivalry in NBA history. Having led the Seattle Chieftans to the NCAA championship game in 1958, Baylor was highly sought after for his basketball ability, but his struggles with academics nearly derailed any potential career on the court. Baylor was convinced to forego his final collegiate season at the University of Seattle to play for Minneapolis, virtually keeping the club from going bankrupt. Baylor averaged more than 34 points per game from 1960-1963, and in the 1962 NBA Finals, he set a scoring record when he dropped 61 in an NBA Finals game against Celtics while also grabbing 22 rebounds. Elgin was an 11-time All-Star game selection, was a ten-time All-NBA First Team player and an eight-time Western Conference champion. Baylor injured his knee during the 1963-64 season, and as his career progressed, nagging knee pain led to fewer and fewer games each season until he retired nine games into the 1971-72 season. Elgin Baylor retired after 13 seasons with the Lakers in Minneapolis and Los Angeles with 23,149 point, 11,463 total rebounds and 3,650 assists. In 1996, he was named to the NBA’s All-Time Fifty Greatest Player list. Elgin Baylor was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977. Baylor coached the New Orleans Jazz from 1974-1979 before becoming the Vice President of Operations for the Los Angeles Clippers for 22 years. In 2006, he was elected NBA Executive of the Year.