One of the hobby’s best collections of Roberto Clemente cards, including several rarities that seldom surface, is the centerpiece of the new Love of the Game Auctions catalog. The company’s Summer Premier Auction also includes hundreds of pre-War cards, rare type cards, vintage memorabilia, World Series ticket stubs and other items.
The auction highlight is the sale of the second ranked Clemente Master Set on the PSA Set Registry, with most of the 260 items are being offered as individual lots.
“The Clemente set is really amazing in how thorough it is,” said Auction Director Al Crisafulli. “The consignor built it over a number of years, and really emphasized completion.
The entire Clemente Master Set numbers 260 cards, and a lot of them are really tough to find. This set sits at nearly 85% complete with a weighted GPA of 6.17, and includes most of the really scarce ones. It’s a testament to his diligence, and his persistence at hunting down some really incredible cards. We’re thrilled to offer it.”
Pre-War Cards and Rarities
As is the case with most Love of the Game auctions, the auction features a large assortment of cards, with a heavy focus on prewar baseball. The 19th Century section is one of the company’s strongest, highlighted by an 1888 N173 Old Judge cabinet of Hall of Famer King Kelly, graded VG-EX 4 by PSA.
Another notable 19th Century card is the 1887 Oshkosh baseball team cabinet, featuring Dummy Hoy and Hall of Famer Frank Selee.
“Selee is a quandary for Hall of Fame collectors,” explained Crisafulli. “There’s only one card of Frank Selee – literally. The 1904 Allegheny Card Co. set is the only set in which Selee appears on a card by himself, and there’s only one known example of that card. So if you want a card of Selee issued during his career, you have to widen your focus to multi-player, team cards – and there are very few of them. This is the only example of this cabinet we have ever seen, and it pictures Selee by himself in a composite photo. It’s about as close to an individual Selee card as you’re going to get.”
The auction also includes a 520-card T206 set, the third set the company has offered in the last year. Many of the Hall of Famers and top cards are PSA graded.
Collectors of Exhibit cards will find a host of rarities from 1921 right up through the Exhibit Supply Co’s 1960s issues. Among the lots is a newly-discovered 1921 Babe Ruth, one of the Babe’s tougher and more attractive cards.
The auction also offers many tough examples, color tints, and variations.
In addition to the highlights above, the auction features some rare card types, including a large assortment of 1910 and 1911 E99 Bishop & Company PCL cards. Other tough card issues represented in the auction include 1887 N175 Gypsy Queen, 1909-10 E97 Briggs Co. Lozenge, 1909 TTT Cigarettes, 1911-14 D304 Brunner/s Bread and General Baking, 1912 Boston American Postcard, 1912 E270 Colgan’s Tin Tops, 1916 Altoona Tribune, 1916 Tango Eggs, 1916-20 W-Unc “Big Head,” 1929-30 Rogers Peet, 1933 Eclipse Import, 1948 Leaf Premium, 1953 Canadian Exhibits, 1953 Glendale Hot Dogs, 1953 Johnsston Cookies, 1953 Stahl-Meyer Franks, 1953-54 Briggs Meats, 1954 Wilson Franks, 1955 Old Homestead Franks, 1957 Swift Meats, 1958 Packard-Bell, 1961 Phillies Cigar, 1961 7-11, 1962 Sugardale Weiners, 1967 Topps Punch-Outs, 1968 Topps Plaks, and many more.
“Hard Luck for Hardy” is one of Kreindler’s best-known works, and pictures Angels outfielder Mike Trout scaling the centerfield wall at Camden Yards on June 27, 2012 to rob Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy of a sure home run. The catch became a staple in highlight reels.
The auction also features an original work by artist Tim Carroll. Inspired by the hobby’s iconic cards, Carroll uses “junk era” baseball cards to recreate large-format mosaics in the designs of well-known (and far more valuable) baseball cards. The auction features a beautiful recreation of the N162 Goodwin’s Champions Cap Anson, reconstructed out of what appears to be primarily 1980s Donruss commons.
Beyond cards and artwork, the LOTG catalog will include several 19th Century team photos, and a huge run of World Series ticket stubs – one from each Series between 1920 and 2020, along with examples from 1908 and 1915.
The auction also features vintage photography, highlighted by a Type 1 news service photo taken at the 1915 World Series, picturing a youthful Babe Ruth at the end of his rookie season. The sale features more than 150 lots of memorabilia in total.
The auction is set to run through Saturday, August 20 on the Love of the Game website.