Love of the Game Auctions, an internet-based sports auction house catering to the passionate collector of cards and memorabilia, announced today that its Summer, 2015 auction is now open for bidding. The auction closing date is Saturday, August 8.
The sale features sports and non-sports cards and memorabilia from the late 19th Century to the present, highlighted by an impossibly rare and remarkable 1930 Lou Gehrig game-used, photo-matched bat. The bat, which has been graded GU 9 by PSA/DNA, is one of the most rare and valuable of all game-used bats, and is the only known Lou Gehrig bat to be photo-matched.
“The bat is a phenomenal discovery,” said Auction Director Al Crisafulli. “It was given to its current owner by the family of a former Yankees employee. The family was aware of the bat’s legacy, but not its value – they kept it behind their door to protect them from burglars.”
Continuing with the Lou Gehrig theme, the auction also features a stunning work by noted sports artist Graig Kreindler. Titled “The Starter,” the 9×12” oil on linen painting depicts a smiling, young Gehrig from 1925. It is only the third Kreindler to appear at public auction, made available directly by the artist for this auction.
“I’ve known Graig for a few years, and his attention to detail is stunning,” said Crisafulli. “Some of his work could bring tears to your eyes. It’s an honor to offer one of his paintings in our auction.”
The sale also features a number of “blue chip” cards, including a beautiful 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle, graded PSA EX 5, a 1915 Cracker Jack “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, and a beautiful 1916 Famous & Barr Babe Ruth rookie card.
“We’re thrilled with the selection in this auction,” continued Crisafulli. “This auction has an excellent blend of cards and quality memorabilia, both prewar and post-war vintage. We’ve added significantly to our autograph selection, and we’ve seen a tremendous increase in our postwar cards sections. We’ve also added our first Americana section, which includes a number of exceptional autographs, 19th Century engravings, and political memorabilia.”
A boutique auction, the sale is specially curated to cater to the advanced collector, with the clear images and detailed, informative lot descriptions that have become a hallmark of the company. Specific auction highlights include:
Complete Card Sets: A key highlight of the Summer auction is a near-complete T206 set, with 337 graded. The set, which includes a spectacular assortment of attractive, midgrade Hall of Famers, was assembled over a long period of time by a collector with an outstanding eye for aesthetically appealing cards. Missing just the “Big Four” plus the Demmitt and O’Hara variations, the set is quite beautiful.
The auction also includes a spectacular 1967 Topps Football complete PSA-Graded set of 132 cards, with only one card – the toughest in the set, card #131 of Speedy Duncan – graded below PSA NM-MT 8. Four cards have been graded PSA NM-MT+ 8.5, and thirteen have graded PSA MINT 9. The set is simply beautiful, each card well-centered with brilliant colors.
Also included is a wonderful 1940 Playball set, with 51 of the set’s 240 cards graded by PSA. One of the most underrated prewar sets of the gum card era, the set contains players contemporary to the time as well as more historical players that had already become legendary to baseball fans.
1950s and 60s Topps, Fleer and Bowman sets are also well-represented, with complete sets from 1953 Bowman Black & White, 1954 Bowman, 1956 Topps, 1957 Topps, 1958 Topps, 1959 Topps, 1959 Fleer Ted Williams, 1960 Fleer Baseball Greats, and 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats sets, all in collector to midgrades. The roster of complete sets is rounded out by spectacular, higher-grade 1960, 1961, 1962, and 1963 Topps sets.
Vintage Cabinet Cards and Photos
The auction features a number of stunning cabinets from the 19th and early 20th Centuries, highlighted by a trio of high-end N172 Hall of Famers, including Mike “King” Kelly, Cap Anson, and a one-of-a-kind pose of John Clarkson.
Also featured in the auction is a splendid 1911 T5 Pinkerton Cabinet Honus Wagner. With simply beautiful eye appeal, this card, graded Authentic by PSA, is the only example that PSA has evaluated.
The auction includes a host of other cabinets, including a 1902-11 W600 Sporting Life Nap Lajoie, a beautiful 1910-11 T3 Turkey Red Hugh Jennings, a sensational 1895 N566 Newsboy Cabinet John Ward, and many more.
Perhaps the most interesting autographed item we have ever offered is a scarce 1906 Scranton Miners postcard, signed by Archibald “Moonlight” Graham. The postcard was signed and mailed in 1906 by the outfielder, whose single “cup of coffee” in the majors was immortalized in the story Shoeless Joe and the movie Field Of Dreams. It is, to our knowledge, the only known autograph of Graham from his playing days, on a baseball-related item.
The auction features many other interesting signed items as well. Desirable signed items from Eddie Collins, Mickey Cochrane, Chief Bender, Lou Gehrig and Honus Wagner are featured. Other interesting items include a rare, single-signed baseball from Al Simmons, an incredibly scarce baseball with signatures from Will Harridge and Ford Frick, a 1958 Topps card signed by Roberto Clemente, a gorgeous photo signed by Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, a 3×5” card signed by Thurman Munson, and much, much more.
Rare Card Types
The auction is also ripe with rare and valuable card types that are seldom seen in the hobby. Among the most rare are a 1910 Plow Boy Tobacco Shano Collins, an extraordinary high-grade 1910 T209 Contentnea Cigarettes Rube Eldridge, a 1911 D359 Williams Baking Topsy Hartsel, and a spectacular 1911 Diamond Gum Pins Christy Mathewson, graded NM-MT 8 by PSA.
Tough minor league issues are also represented. A number of 1909 and 1910 Obaks are featured, including a 1910 Ed Kusel with the rare “Just Right” slogan on the reverse and a 1911 T217 Mono Cigarettes Carl Mitze. High-grade minor league rarities, including a 1910 T211 Red Sun James LaFitte, a 1911 D310 Pacific Coast Biscuit Kid Mohler with the Aldon Candy overprint, and several impossibly high-grade Zeenuts, including this 1911 Jimmy Lewis.
Other rare card types represented in the auction include 1911 Stevens Firearms, 1912 T207 Roger Bresnahan with Blank Back, 1913 Fenway Breweries, 1913 Voskamp’s Coffee, 1916 Boston Store, 1917 Collins-McCarthy, 1917-20 Felix Mendelsohn, 1921 Clark’s Bread, 1921 Herpolsheimer, 1922 W503, 1923 Fleer, 1924 Diaz Cigarettes, and many, many more.
As always, Love of the Game aims to bring you an eclectic assortment of quality memorabilia. A highlight of this auction is a fantastic 1949-52 Los Angeles Angels PCL Game Worn home jersey and cap, attributed to Angels infielder Tod Davis. The beautifully well-preserved jersey comes from the estate of a low-level minor league ballplayer from Southern California, who likely obtained the jersey at an Angels tryout.
Also offered is a remarkable 1865 Leslie’s woodcut featuring Jim Creighton and Henry Chadwick, one of the most important 19th Century baseball woodcuts. The beautiful, framed piece depicts a variety of New York ballplayers from the era.
Perhaps our favorite item in the auction is a large, colorful 1957 advertising broadside featuring the Harlem Globetrotters. Possibly America’s favorite sports team, the Globetrotters of 1957 were led by the great Meadowlark Lemon, and included eventual baseball Hall of Famer Bob Gibson.
The final date to bid in this auction is Saturday, August 8. To register for the auction and review the selection online, visit http://www.loveofthegameauctions.com.
Love of the Game is in the process of assembling its Fall, 2015 catalog auction, which will prove to be its biggest and most exciting auction yet. For more information, or to consign your valuable material, contact Love of the Game at firstname.lastname@example.org or (973) 452-9147.
Qualifying bids must be placed by 9PM EST August 8!