Late Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron's 1954 rookie card recently sold for a record-setting price.
Joe Davis told WSB-TV in Atlanta that he sold the card of Aaron, then a member of the Milwaukee Braves, for $720,000 last week, which is the highest total for any card depicting the longtime former MLB home run king.
“In the current market, the current baseball card market, the high-end market, I think it’s worth every penny of it,” Davis said via WSB-TV in Atlanta.
Davis said he owns three of Aaron's rookie cards, but they aren't as highly valued due to their condition.
“The grade of three I have is about a $4,000 card. The four is about a $5,000 dollar card. Not exactly $720,000, because it’s all about condition,” Davis said via WSB-TV.
Aaron died in January 2021 at the age of 86.
The Mobile native spent the majority of his MLB career with the Braves organization, both in Milwaukee (1954-65) and during its first nine seasons in Atlanta (1966-75) before spending his final two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers (1975-76.)
Aaron hit 755 career home runs, which included breaking Babe Ruth's previous record of 713 on April 8, 1974, and stood as the MLB record for 33 years, before being surpassed by Barry Bonds in 2007. Aaron still holds the MLB record for 2,297 RBIs and 6,856 total bases.
Aaron, who had previously made brief appearances in the Negro Leagues and Minor Leagues, made his MLB debut in 1954 at the age of 20 and finished fourth in the rookie of the year voting, recording a .280 average with 13 home runs and 69 RBIs. By his fourth season, the Mobile, Alabama native hit 44 home runs and 132 RBI, winning the 1957 MVP award and leading the Braves to a World Series championship.
Aaron was a 25-time All-Star (1955-75), a three-time Gold Glove Award winner (1958-60), a two-time National League batting champion (1956, 1959), a four-time NL home run leader (1957, 1963, 1966, and 1967) and four-time NL RBI leader (1957, 1960, 1963, 1966.)
Off the field, Aaron was a civil rights activist, having dealt with numerous inequalities during the early years of his life and playing career. The Mobile native wasn't allowed to play high school baseball in his hometown because only white students had teams and also experienced racial backlash during the leadup to passing Ruth's home run record, which included threats made by individuals who didn't want to see a Black man break the record.
Aaron held front office roles for the Braves organization after retirement, remaining an ambassador to the game of baseball throughout the remainder of his life, aiming to help more Black players eventually follow suit and pursue executive roles after their playing careers.
"On the field, Blacks have been able to be super giants," Aaron previously said via ESPN. "But once our playing days are over, this is the end of it and we go back to the back of the bus again."
Aaron was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.
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