Rookie Card Year: N/A
Investment Rating: 9.5
Josh Gibson is widely considered to be one of the greatest baseball players from any league or era. He is one of the most accomplished power hitters in the history of the sport and among the very best at the catcher position. He was the unfortunate victim of playing during Major League Baseball's era of segregation. Today, his accomplishments in the sport make him a highly collectible sthlete. Josh Gibson cards are few and far between, however the ones that do exist can be quite valuable.
Josh Gibson's earliest know card is a 1931 Harrison Studios Postcard. It is considered to be very rare. The most popular early card is the 1950-51 Toleteros Josh Gibson. It is part of a 191-card set produced during the Puerto Rican Winter League season. It was one of the last baseball card sets to be inserted into smoking tobacco products.
Josh Gibson has just two cut signature autograph cards: 2003 SP Legendary Cuts and 2012 Leaf Sports Icons, which was part of a contest that concluded at the National Sports Collectors Convention. Both of these cut signature cards are one-of-ones.
His first memorabilia cards were issued by Topps in 2005. They are somewhat scarce, but not to the degree of his autograph. That being said, his 2005 Bowman Heritage and 2005 Bowman Sterling relics both use stadium seat pieces and not game-used gear.
The following year, Topps acquired a Josh Gibson game model bat and used it within several products including 2006 Allen & Ginter, 2006 Topps Sterling and 2006 Topps Triple Threads.
To date, Josh Gibson has never had a game-used or game-worn memorabilia card produced.
Josh Gibson's autographed memorabilia is at the upper-echelon of sports memorabilia. Authentic examples do exist. However, the number of forgeries in the market makes it a very risky proposition in which to invest. The majority of Gibson's signed items are cut signatures or other paper collectibles.
Top Josh Gibson Cards
This sepia-toned photograph of Gibson was made as a standard-sized United States Postal Service postcard. They are considered extremely rare. To date, no copies have been submitted to PSA for professional grading.
It's a shame that so few vintage Josh Gibson cards exist. Collectors who appreciate Gibson and other Negro League players tend to gravitate to this card. It features a colorized photo and measures 1 3/4" x 2 1/2". They can be tough cards to find in good condition and are extremely pricey.
2003 SP Legendary Cuts Josh Gibson #JG Cut Signature 1/1
When Upper Deck released this card of Gibson, it was his first, and only, cut signature for several years. It's release garnered mainstream sports coverage due to its rarity, expense and historical significance.
While not a game-used example, the Josh Gibson model bat relic cards issued in 2006 Allen & Ginter were, and still are, incredibly popular with collectors. The cards were designed in the likeness of the original N43 set and were randomly inserted as box-toppers
2012 Leaf Sports Icons Cut Signature Edition Josh Gibson Autograph 1/1
This card was part of a highly publicized promotion by Leaf Trading Cards. Randomly inserted into boxes of the product were four, "lucky clover" redemption cards. The winner was randomly selected at the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention and awarded this piece of baseball history.
Josh Gibson Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Josh Gibson's authentic signature looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, Mounted Memories and Tristar. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.