Love of the Game has opened its Summer Auction with hundreds of items on the block through August 12. The sale features sports and non-sports cards and memorabilia from the late 19th Century to the present, highlighted by the two of the finest Hall of Fame rookie cards to hit the auction block this year: A signed 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle, and a 1925 Exhibits Lou Gehrig.
The 1951 Bowman Mantle has been signed in black fiber-tip marker across the front, the signature graded Gem Mint 10 by PSA/DNA. The Exhibit Gehrig has been graded EXCELLENT 60 by SGC, with only four known examples to have graded higher.
Also featured is the most interesting and rare piece of memorabilia the company says it has ever offered: the financial and player records of the Philadelphia Athletics, spanning more than 40 years between 1909 and 1950. The records, which were believed to have been lost for more than 50 years, contain more than 2,000 pages of detailed information on revenue and expenses, player contracts, and salary information on one of the game’s most legendary franchises.
“When we received the package, we couldn’t believe what we were seeing,” said Auction Director Al Crisafulli. “I must have spent an entire day reading page-by-page accounts of virtually every player who wore an Athletics uniform between 1915 and 1953. The Player’s Record book is indexed alphabetically, with a page for each player, and year-by-year entries for every contract negotiation and signing. It’s some of the most incredible baseball history I’ve ever seen, and nobody knew it existed until now.”
That’s not the only piece of rare, vintage memorabilia collectors will have a chance to own, though. Among the other headliners is a Type 1 photo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The photo is a slightly different angle of the promotional photo taken during the pair’s 1927 “Bustin’ Babes and Larrupin’ Lous” barnstorming tour, and is perhaps the finest example in existence.
Other memorabilia items include a 1901 pocket watch presented to Detroit Tigers manager George Stallings, a rare 1910 Utica Suspenders advertising display, a 1922 silver-plated Reach trophy from a Scranton, PA amateur team, an extremely rare 1906 Waltham baseball pocket watch, a one-of-a-kind 1940s photo used for Toots Shor’s restaurant menu featuring the likes of Ty Cobb, Jimmy Foxx, Mel Ott, Mickey Cochrane, Cy Young, and more.
The auction features several important ticket stubs, including the stubs to Babe Ruth’s final appearances at Yankee Stadium – Babe Ruth Day in 1947 and 1948. Also included is a stub from Mickey Mantle’s first-ever game in a Major League ballpark – an April 14, 1951 exhibition between the Yankees and Dodgers at Ebbets field, just a few days before the start of the regular season.
Collectors of tobacco cards will find an outstanding selection of companion pieces for their dens, including a spectacular El Principe De Gales advertising sign in its original frame, a Polar Bear Tobacco tin retail display box, a 1910 Fatima Cigarettes tin sign, and a Turkey Red Cigarettes framed advertising display.
Rare pinbacks are also plentiful in the auction, led by a 1917 Honus Wagner Day button, one of fewer than ten known to exist. The auction also features a rare 1929 Chicago Cubs “Murderer’s Row” pinback, a gorgeous 1929 Cubs team composite pin, a rare 1926 Rogers Hornsby Day pin, and more.
The auction offers an impressive array of rare baseball postcards, including several higher-grade 1907-09 Novelty Cutlery Postcards graded by PSA, including Frank Chance (PSA EX 5 – the highest-graded example), Sam Crawford (PSA EX-MT 6, also the highest-graded), and Ed Walsh (PSA EX 5, with just one graded higher).
Nineteenth century baseball cards are also plentiful, including a higher-grade 1887 N172 Old Judge of Hall of Famer “Old Hoss” Radbourn. Other difficult 19th Century issues represented in the auction include 1886 Lorillard Team Cards, 1886 Tomlinson Studios, 1888-89 N173 Old Judge cabinets, and a host of additional Old Judge cards and cabinets.
In addition to the 19th Century material, the auction features an assortment of prewar baseball cards, including one of the finest examples of the 1938 Goudey #274 Joe DiMaggio in the hobby, one graded NM-MT 88 by SGC.
An ultra-rare 1910-12 Plow Boy Tobacco Frank Chance is also featured, as is a rare 1923-24 Nacionales Cuban card of Hall of Famer Cristobal Torriente. The auction also features a number of PSA-graded high-grade cards from the 1933 Delong and Tattoo Orbit gum sets.
LOTG offered a large number of autographed 1952 Topps cards in a recent catalog and the current auction includes another group of PSA/DNA-graded cards from Topps’ first major bubble gum card set (162 in total), including two cards once thought to be impossible to obtain: card #285 of Cliff Fannin, and card #387 of Bill Meyer.
The auction also includes autographed rookie cards of Hall of Famers Charles Gehringer and Burleigh Grimes, as well as signed cards of Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Jim Bottomley, Bill McKechnie, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Hank Greenberg, and others.
Among modern autographed card collections is a 2003-2006 Jewish Major Leaguers complete set with 94 of a possible 111 signed, and an enormous collection of cards from various 1975 SSPC sets with 356 different autographed, including many Hall of Famers.
Featured in the auction is an amazing 1876 Harvard vs. Yale scorecard. This is the scorecard from just the second contest between the two teams that represent the second-oldest rivalry in college sports. In addition to being an historically significant game, it is also the first college game of the “Father of Modern Football,” Walter Camp.
Highlighted by a PSA 10 example of the 1972 Topps John Riggins rookie card, the auction features a small but high-quality assortment of football cards, including a PSA MINT 9 example of Whitey Wistert’s 1949 Leaf card, a 1935 National Chicle #4 Ed Matesic graded PSA NM-MT 8, a 1952 Bowman Large Hugh McElhenny graded PSA NM-MT 8, and a complete, factory-sealed 1999 NFL Hall of Fame Signature Series Platinum Edition set with 111 cards signed.
The auction features the company’s largest-ever assortment of non-sports cards, along with several higher-ranking PSA Registry sets. Features is a stunning 1944 American Beauties complete set that ranks #14 on the Registry, 1966 Leaf Good Guys & Bad Guys set that ranks #11, a 1959 Kane “Disc Stars” set that ranks #3, and a spectacular 1964 Topps Outer Limits set that ranks #14. The auction also includes a partially-graded 1962 Topps Mars Attacks complete set and a complete, PSA-Graded 1966 Fleer Baseball Weird-Ohs set.
Other complete non-sports sets include the 1890 B458 Hard-A-Port set, along with 1890 N88 Duke Terrors, 1894 Singer Costumes of Nations, 1910 Scissors Beauties Playing Cards, 1934-35 Mickey Mouse Recipes, 1928 H572 Men of America, 1942 R169 Cameron Sales Warships, 1948 Bowman Movie Stars, 1951 Post Hopalong Cassidy, 1954 Bowman Firefighters, and more.
To register for the auction and review the selection online, visit the company’s website.
Love of the Game is in the process of assembling its Fall 2017 catalog auction. For more information on consigning, contact Love of the Game at [email protected] or (973) 452-9147.