The 2019 Lelands Winter Classic Auction is in progress and runs until Friday, February 1st! Not only is Lelands the original sports auction house, they are the premier appraisers and auctioneers in the hobby. There experts have carefully selected some of their favorite pieces just for you.
Winter Classic Auction Spotlight Items:
Lot # 46: Fantastic 1958-59 Lou Groza Cleveland Browns Game Worn Jersey (14 Team Repairs!)
A two-position standout, excelling at both offensive tackle and place kicker, Lou Groza was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, four-time AAFC champion, four-time NFL champion, and a member of the NFL 1950’s All-Decade Team and the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. One of the hardest finds for even the most serious collectors of game worn gridiron garments is the Groza gamer. The most desirable issues are those which date from the 1950’s, are completely intact with crotch-piece and tagging, exhibit good game wear, and are still aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The incredible specimen on offer here checks all of those boxes. The road white cotton durene has aged to a delightful cream color and the combination of the number font, distinctive brown/orange sleeve striping pattern, and the absence of sleeve numbers, dates this gem to the 1958-59 period. The Toe’s identifying “76” appears on the front and verso (the latter a noticeably larger representation), all sewn-on in very soft brown twill. Groza was known for wearing long sleeves, down to the wrist, and these match those exacting specifications. He also preferred using the crotch piece and that apparatus on this specimen is fully intact, complete with all six original buttons. Best of all is the tremendous wear, with at least fourteen team repairs affected to the front, back, shoulders, and sleeves. There are also what appear to be several blood stains on the jersey. Tagging in the crotch-piece includes labels for “King O’Shea” and “Blepp Coombs Sporting Goods, Cleveland, O.” There was most likely a size tag once present to the left of the King O’Shea tag but it no longer remains. Of the current known Groza specimens currently extant in the hobby today, this exemplar is in all likelihood the finest as it dates from the 1950s, has tremendous wear, and remains in beautiful condition. It doesn’t get any better than a completely original 1950’s Groza with at least fourteen team repairs but still in great condition.
Lot # 42: 1980 Lynn Swann Pittsburgh Steelers Game Worn Jersey (Photo-Matched)
Lynn Swann has always been a winner. In 1970, while at Junipero Serra High School in California, he won the state high jump title while defeating a future Olympic gold medalist. Staying at home, he attended USC and was key component of the 1972 Trojans juggernaut which finished the season with a perfect 12-0 record, No. 1 ranking, consensus national championship, and a legacy as one of the most dominating teams in college football history. In his first six seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team went 67-20-1 with five conference championships and four Super Bowl titles, while Swann earned Pro Bowl recognition, All-Pro status, and the Super Bowl X MVP award, while the Steelers cemented their legacy as “the team of the 70’s”. Other accolades followed for Swann, including First Team All-70’s Team, College Football Hall of Fame induction, and Pro Football Hall of Fame residency. A fearless receiver with incredible leaping ability and great hands, Swann made countless acrobatic catches in heavy traffic over the middle despite his diminutive stature. Most importantly, he was at his best when it mattered the most. The black heavy durene on offer here bears the sewn-on tackle twill identifiers that every defensive secondary of the 1970’s dreaded most – “88” in white (vertically dominant full block on the front and back; horizontally dominant full block on the shoulders) and “Swann” in gold on the verso black nameplate. Tail tagging includes Medalist Sand-Knit (exclusive), Medalist Sand-Knit (fabric content), and a white year swatch with “80” stamped in black. Best of all are the incredible nine team repairs which are indicative of Swann’s fearless style. For decades, Swann gamers were one of the hobby’s “unicorns” in that they were literally unseen and impossible to acquire. Earlier this year, Leland’s sold Swann’s 1982 jersey for over $40,000. This offering is an earlier exemplar with greater wear. As such, it stands as a museum quality specimen and a welcome addition to any top tier uniform collection. Jersey has been photo-matched.
Lot # 707: One of the Finest Ty Cobb Signed Photos Known (PSA)
Gorgeous Type I photograph is as good as it gets. In absolutely beautiful condition, the photo itself is charming with an at the bat stance by Ty in his final says as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics (1927-28). This sumptuous image has a gorgeous dark tone, perfect contrast and it is quite simply a keeper. They other half of the Yin to the Yang is the signature itself. It is simply perfect in so many respects. The grade of PSA 8 though accurate does not do it justice. It does not tell the whole story of aesthetics and eye appeal. The strokes of the Georgia Peach’s pen goes out of its way to make this statement in steel tip fountain pen that it is big, beautiful and here to stay. The piece is part of a collection originally from a Boston publisher and it looks as if this was to be used for publication. The key is that it is NOT personalized. As if Cobb was being asked to sign it for ultimately facsimile purposes. For use in a book, other paper item, or even better a BASEBALL CARD. The truth remains to be seen. PSA LOA.
Lot # 223: 1924 Babe Ruth Barnstorming Real Photo Postcard w/Provenance
Look at this! Do you see it? I mean do you really see it? Yeeees, there you go. Yes, it is magnificent. Previously unknown real photo postcard of the 1924 Babe Ruth & Bob Meusel Barnstorming Tour stop in lovely Dunsmuir, California on October 22, 1924. Captivating image was taken from beside the pitcher’s mound showing a young Babe Ruth posing with bat at the ready with his touring partner Bob Meusel on the side of the dugout. Looking closer you can see that everything in the world stopped for the movement there in Dunsmuir as local photographer Paul J. Standard (name is printed on verso) takes this amazing photograph. So much so that the entire crowd in the stands behind them is staring intently at the camera as if posed for a family photo or an official photograph. There is an ethereal quality to this, somber in tone, hushed, as if they aware they are making history. As if they knew they would be written about at this very moment and in this way. The contrast is perfect; the detail is pinpoint. There is something truly special about this rare and delightful California baseball image. The piece even has provenance as it comes with a portrait real photo postcard of the attendee, Mr. Albert Souhrada, who this came from originally. He has even circled his face in green, a symbol of the pride he has for just being there. Ironically, if not for that circle that makes this piece even more special it would have graded far higher than its SGC 2. No matter. A cropped version of this image was the cover of a book on Babe Ruth published within the last 20 years whose title escapes us. The mayor of the town even declared a “half-holiday”, a tribute to how special it was that the two Yankee city folk were coming to their town. On the display in the National Baseball Hall of Fame is a cardboard poster advertising this very game. This is better.