Love of the Game Auctions Inaugural Sale is Open for Bidding

Bidding is now open at Love of the Game Auctions, a new Internet-based sports auction house catering to the passionate collector of memorabilia and cards.  With an inaugural auction highlighted by the most treasured and valuable of all football cards – the 1935 National Chicle Bronko Nagurski – the company is inviting new bidders to register online and begin bidding.  The auction closing date is Saturday, Oct. 27.

The auction features high-quality baseball and football memorabilia from the late 19th Century to the early 1970s, highlighted by the exceptionally high-grade Nagurski (graded NEAR MINT 7 by PSA), known throughout the trading card hobby as the most coveted and valuable football card.

“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.”

For more information on Love of the Game and how to bid in the October 2012 and future auctions, visit the company’s website at  Online bidder registration for the company’s inaugural auction is open now.

In addition to the Nagurski, the inaugural Love of the Game auction features a host of high-quality baseball and football collectibles, some of which are highlighted here.

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.

Autographed 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig

Also featured in the auction is a beautiful, autographed 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig  (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 of Ernest Barnard, the Cleveland Indians President in the early 1900s who took over for Ban Johnson as the second president of the AL is in outstanding condition, with a crisp, vivid image.  Equally beautiful is the studio 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.  Possibly most stunning of all is the Walinger Studio portrait of Hall of Fame pitcher Ed Walsh,  wearing his 1906 World Championship medallion.  The auction also features  Twelve Immortals, an original news service photo depicting the greatest assembly of ballplayers ever, from a 1943 War Bonds exhibition where the great Babe Ruth hit his last-ever home run in a big league ballpark.

High-End Football Cards

The inaugural sale also features a number of outstanding football cards, including a large run of high-grade, high numbers from the 1935 National Chicle set (highlighted by the set’s final card, Bernie Masterson, in a beautiful PSA NM 7).  Also represented is the iconic 1948 Leaf set, with several high-grade PSA cards including Hall of Famer George Connor in PSA NM-MT 8.

The auction also boasts an ultra high-grade 1972 Topps Roger 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.

Complete Sets

Highlighted by a 1963 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 include 1948 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 Famer Vic Willis with a Drum Cigarettes back.  Other scarce backs are well-represented, including Broad Leaf 350, Lenox, Carolina Brights, and several with brown Hindu Cigarettes backs.

Prewar Baseball Rarities

Prewar baseball rarities abound in the auction, including:

Interesting Baseball and Football Memorabilia

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, visit  Love of the Game is in the process of assembling its winter, 2013 sale.  For information, or to learn how to consign to Love of the Game, email

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