I believe Willie Mays is the greatest player of all time. He was an epic hitter while playing one of the most difficult positions in baseballl. He covered multiple generations. He is the player Mike Trout ascends to be. If he was from this generation, pundits would breathlessly speculate which team he would leave for as soon as he hit free agency. He would be the transcendent star that all other players were judged by.
The card. The man. The legacy. Willie Mays was a generational player, someone whose game is so rare that you have to squint just to judge anyone else against his legacy. His rookie card rightfully deserves a level of respect and precedent that most cards will never have.
Random Willie Mays Fact: In two total seasons for the Mets, Mays hit 14 home runs. In his 20 years as a Giant, he only hit fewer than 14 home runs twice, and one of those seasons was 1952, where he only played 34 games.