George Mikan rookie card sets new record price for basketball cards
A 1940s rookie card featuring basketball legend George Mikan has sold for a stunning world record price at SCP Auctions.
Card company Bowman produced just one set of basketball cards in 1948, including the Mikan NBA rookie card which is regarded as "the Honus Wagner of basketball cards".
The card offered at SCP Auctions was the world's only-known example graded PSA Gem Mint 10. Having previously sold in 2009 for a world record price of $225,000, the card once again became the world's most expensive basketball card on Sunday when it sold for $403,664.
“It’s great to see that a card of Mikan, a player who redefined his sport, is now redefining the vintage basketball card market,” said SCP Auctions Vice President Dan Imler.
Known as 'Mr. Basketball', Mikan played for the Chicago American Gears and the Minneapolis Lakers, winning seven NBL, BAA, and NBA championships, an All-Star MVP trophy, and three scoring titles during his ten-year professional career (1946-56).
Mikan was voted the greatest player of the first half of the 20th century by the Associated Press, and described as "the pioneer of Modern Age basketball".
Such was his dominance of the game that the NBA initiated several rule changes to try and level the playing field, including widening the lane from six to twelve feet (known as 'The Mikan Rule'), the introduction of the shot clock and the outlawing of defensive goaltending.
Following his playing career, Mikan became one of the founders of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and helped fight the NBA to increase former player's pensions. He was also instrumental in the forming of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959.
Further basketball card highlights from the sale included a one-of-a-Kind 1957-58 Topps Basketball complete set uncut sheet which sold for $91,000, and a 1970 Gem Mint 10 Topps Basketball Pete Maravich rookie card that sold for $130,053.
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