REA Auction Spotlight – Day #2 – Lot 1563- Rocky Graziano Leaf Boxing Card.  #50 in the set – Highest Graded.

It may not grab the headlines of say a Mickey Mantle Rookie, or an elusive and million dollar Honus Wagner (which coincidentally a PSA 1 Example is also being offered in the current REA Auction)  – But this card is considered THE CARD for boxing card collecting enthusiasts.

Just a handful of 1948 Leaf Rocky Graziano cards have survived – no one is exactly sure why this is such a rare card.  Was it pulled early from production at Leaf?  Did Graziano have some sort of contract dispute for the use of his likeness on a sportscard?  Was it simply some sort of “sample” used by gum and candy sales reps to give away to local confectionery and sundries owners to show what they product from Leaf would look like?  No one knows…but what it known, is that it is the rarest and one of the most valuable if not THE most valuable boxing card in existence.

The number of Rocky Graziano Leaf cards in existence is up for debate.  Some put the number as low as 10.  Other think more like 20.  One thing is for sure, they are not easy to locate and they rarely come up for auction.

This is graded by SGC who is one of the leading grading companies, particularly of pre-WWII cards.  This is the highest graded example that SGC has ever graded.  PSA has graded one Graziano a graded of PSA 5 ( which would be deemed to be a bit better) and that card sold in the REA 2011 auction for a whopping $41,125.

The bidding started on this one at $5000 and is up to  $19,000 with just a few days of bidding remaining.  This is an interesting card to put a value on.  Boxing collecting is obviously not as wide-spread as collecting baseball cards – or the other “big” sports of basketball, football and even hockey.

When one gets into pricing in this stratosphere, you only get the serious bidders taking place.  I am sure a few of these are already locked up in high end collections that will not come up for sale any time soon, which makes keeping an eye on this one all the more interesting.

Remember to check out the REA auction site and get your free catalog – you can even do this after the end of the auction – if you want to learn more about this and other fantastic sports collectibles.

Stay tuned tomorrow for another article highlighting another fabulous item which is sure to be a beautiful big hitter!

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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