Long before his silhouetted image became incorporated as the NBA logo, Jerry West was a highly drafted, but unproven shooting guard from rural West Virginia. Fifteen seasons and 25,000 points later, “Mr. Clutch” left a Los Angeles legacy that even the glamour of Tinseltown could not surpass. As such, rookie cards of the Hall of Famer and “NBA’s 50 Greatest” champion are desirable in any condition. With a total population in the thousands, the 1961-62 Fleer Basketball issue is celebrated as the only source of Jerry West rookie cards...until now.
Following their move from Minneapolis to the West Coast in 1960, the Lakers became the toast of the town. Capitalizing on this public ardor, Bell Brand Potato Chips released a 10-card set of the professional squad and inserted one card per specially marked package of the greasy product. Due to a variety of reasons, only a handful of examples from this regional basketball issue have surfaced. Most advanced roundball hobbyists have never handled, let alone seen a copy from the one-time issue. Recently uncovered after decades nestled in an advanced collection, offered is the only 1961-62 Bell Brand Lakers Jerry West to be made available for public sale!
With a cropped haircut and winning smile, this cream-tinted cardboard canvas of “Mr. Inside” and “Mr. Outside” presents (EX-MT to NM) with strong corners, crisp edges a clean surface and relatively accurate centering. The brown type on the L.A. Arena schedule reverse is bold and instantly readable. This regional cornerstone is an essential proposition for the high-end basketball collector with an eye for the very best. Who knows when the next one will be offered?