The newest entry in the sports memorabilia auction business is officially in the game.
Love of the Game kicked off its inaugural auction Wednesday with several hundred lots up for grabs via online bidding.
The auction features 223 lots of high-quality baseball and football memorabilia from the late 19th Century to the early 1970s, highlighted by the 1935 National Chicle Bronko Nagurski card graded PSA 7 described in these pages earlier (bidding is currently at $18,000). Pre-War baseball cards including several General Baking cards from 1911-14 and an autographed 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig are also up for grabs.
“We can’t imagine a higher-quality debut auction,” said LOTG Auction Director Al Crisafulli. “The Nagurski is an outstanding card, but every item in the auction is special. It’s a small, curated selection of quality sports artifacts. Each lot is interesting in some way, either because of its scarcity, its quality, or because it tells a story. We think we’ve built an auction that will appeal to baseball and football collectors of all types.”
1911-14 D304 General Baking Cards
Highlighted by the set’s key card, that of Ty Cobb, the auction features a grouping of ten D304 General Baking cards. Graded VG 3 by PSA, the D304 Cobb is the key card from one of the hobby’s most rare and desirable vintage bakery issues. The D304 set features numerous Hall of Famers and scarce back varieties, many of which are represented in this collection, including Chief Bender, Eddie Collins, Sam Crawford, Rube Marquard and Nap Lajoie.
The rare signed Gehrig bubble gum card has been authenticated by PSA/DNA.“We’re especially thrilled about the Gehrig,” explained Crisafulli. “His is one of the most famous signatures in all of sports, and his ’33 Goudey card is instantly recognizable – a truly iconic card. Having an autographed copy blends the best of both worlds.”
American League Founding Fathers
The auction also features two cabinet photos and a rare, possibly unique studio photo of some of the American League’s founding fathers.
An original Carl Horner studio cabinet ofErnest Barnard, the Cleveland Indians President in the early 1900s who took over for Ban Johnson as the second president of the AL has been consigned along with a cabinet of Jimmy “Loafer” McAleer, the former Cleveland Spiders outfielder who helped found the AL and eventually became part owner of the 1912 Champion Boston Red Sox. Another rare image is a Walinger Studio portrait of Hall of Fame pitcher Ed Walsh, wearing his 1906 World Championship medallion.
The inaugural sale also features a large run of high-grade, high numbers from the 1935 National Chicle set (highlighted by the set’s final card,Bernie Masterson, in PSA NM 7). Also represented is the iconic 1948 Leaf set, with several high-grade PSA cards including Hall of FamerGeorge Connor in PSA NM-MT 8.
The auction also boasts an ultra high-grade 1972 ToppsRoger Staubach rookie card, a very difficult high-end example of the 1951 Bowman rookie card of Hall of Famer Lou Creekmur, and the first card of Chargers lineman Ernie Ladd from the 1962 Fleer set, all graded MINT 9 by PSA.
Highlighted by a1963 Fleer Football set that is entirely graded by PSA and ranks #13 on their registry, there are a number of complete sets represented. Other difficult complete sets to appear in the auction include1948 Swell Sport Thrills Baseball, 1960 Topps baseball, 1961 Fleer baseball, 1962 Fleer football, 1964 Topps football, 1966 Philadelphia football, and even one non-sports set: the 1945 Mutoscope Artists Pin-Up Girls.
T206 Baseball Back Variations
The highly popular T206 baseball set is also well represented, including a number of very scarce back varieties. A rare,blank-backed Harry Gasper card is featured, as is an ultra-rare card of Hall of FamerVic Willis with a Drum Cigarettes back. Other scarce backs are well-represented, includingBroad Leaf 350, Lenox, Carolina Brights, and several with brownHindu Cigarettes backs.
Other pre-war baseball rarities abound in the auction, including:
- An 1887 N690 Kalamazoo Bat card ofJoseph Mulvey (graded VG-EX 50 by SGC)
- A high-end T206 card of Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson (graded EX-MT 6 by PSA)
- An 1887 N172 Old Judge card of Hall of Famer Dan Brouthers
- An N173 Old Judge cabinet of Arlie Latham
- Two W600 Sporting Life cabinets of Hall of Famers Frank Chance and Bobby Wallace
- A high-end 1903 E107 card of Ollie Pickering
The auction also includes an assortment of memorabilia including items from the Pacific Coast League, the World Football League, and bats, photographs, team-signed baseballs and vintage uncut sheets, including a 1958 Topps uncut sheet with two Mickey Mantles and a stunning 1971 uncut sheet, loaded with Hall of Famers. Other rare and interesting card-related memorabilia includes a 1962 Topps card autographed by Mickey Mantle, a 1934 Goudey baseball card album set, a near mint 1957 Topps uncut panel, a 1950 Cleveland Indians team-issued photo pack, and a number of salesman’s samples including 1954 Bowman, 1955 Bowman, and 1955 Topps baseball.
To review the auction online, register to bid or consign visit the company’s website.