The example of the rookie card of Wayne Gretzky in ice hockey is instructive. This card was published with the same front side with a reverse in English by Topps and bilingual by O-Pee-Chee in the same year (1979). The difference may seem insignificant but it is not. The only bilingual example graded Gem Mint 10 by PSA was sold for $ 465K including premium by Goldin on August 4, 2016. Two Topps are known in the same grade. One of them was sold for $ 200K by Memory Lane 16 days later, on August 20, 2016.
At such a level of scarcity in perfection, it is nevertheless also required that the player is famous.
In the 1960s, Pete Rose and Nolan Ryan are young baseball champions. At that time Topps is editing some cards specially assigned to rookie stars by gathering several players. For Rose in 1963 and Ryan in 1968, only one piece has been graded Gem Mint 10 by PSA. Both cards are for sale by Heritage in Dallas on August 27, each one with an estimate of $ 400K, lot 80022 for Rose and lot 80026 for Ryan.
The aesthetic quality of the card is obviously a minor concern in the hobby. The four heads with caps from 1963 provide no sporting information and the two 1968 players are waiting for an unidentified action. The other fellows beside these two stars do not generate any comment in the Heritage catalog.
Results including premium :
1963 with Pete Rose : $ 720K
1968 with Nolan Ryan : $ 610K