Statement from Love of the Game Auctions

Like many collectors, we are disturbed by the recent allegations of altered cards being sold in great quantities at auction, and we are grateful to those hobbyists who discovered the magnitude of the problem and brought it to light.  It is our hope that those responsible are prosecuted.

The hobby places a premium on cards in exceptional condition because the cards have ostensibly survived that way since their date of issue.  Cards that have developed flaws in condition over the years are typically discounted accordingly by the hobby.  It has long been our belief that any process designed to disguise or remove wear or degradation that has happened to a card should be called what it is: an alteration.  We understand that some alterations are considered acceptable by many hobbyists, and that some alterations are virtually undetectable.  However, we still consider them alterations.

Love of the Game Auctions has long wished to conduct a reputable auction with reputable collectors and consignors.  As such, we reserve the right to refuse to approve bidders for any reason.  While our bidder and consignor lists are strictly confidential,  we have, since our inception, refused bidder and consignor privileges to those proven to be actively engaged in card alteration, or in actively facilitating fraud in the hobby.  It is important that we reiterate this commitment at this time.

Sadly, this latest round of allegations necessitates that we adjust our own policies to provide our customers with further assurance of our dedication to the hobby and its long-established standards.  Therefore, effective immediately, Love of the Game Auctions will institute the following procedures:

  • Any graded card valued over $500 will be reviewed carefully by LOTG under magnification, along with halogen and long-wave ultraviolet lighting.  Should we discover any issues with which we are uncomfortable, the card will be resubmitted to the grading company for review or returned to the consignor at their request.
  • Any individual card sold in our auction will be scanned at high resolution (300 dpi or greater) and watermarked versions of those scans will be made available for download during the auction so that collectors can review the largest scans possible.  Should any hobbyist discover compelling evidence that a card in our auction has been altered, we will withdraw the card immediately.
  • Love of the Game Auctions frequently receives consignments of ungraded cards that we feel are “fresh” to the hobby, either due to having never been graded or having been graded many years ago.  Cards of this nature that we submit for grading ourselves will be clearly marked in our auction, so that collectors are aware that they are bidding on a card that has been relatively uncirculated in the hobby.

While it is unfortunate that we have no choice but to add layers of scrutiny to the auction process due to the unethical behavior of others, we also feel it is the best thing to do for the hobby.  While we can never eliminate 100% of undisclosed alterations, and would never pledge to be able to catch them all or be mistake-free, we can establish procedures that help us identify and remove such items from our auction.  We hope the hobby can soon move past this regrettable phase.

Breaking News!

We’ve uncovered some interesting new information relating to our Lot# 67, Rare 1910 Philadelphia Athletics World Champions Blue Ribbon Pin w/White Elephant.

1910 Athletics Pin FrontIn our description for Lot #67, we make the comment “the souvenir pin was likely a presentational piece that served as a World Championship medal given to players and team officials in celebration of the team’s 1910 World Championship.”  Our feeling has been that the quality of the workmanship, coupled with its extraordinary rarity (we are aware of just three surviving examples), are indicators that few were made, and they were likely not made available for sale.

During the course of the auction, we have continued to research the piece.  We are now entirely convinced that this pin was given to players and other dignitaries during the weeks following the 1910 World Series, the first-ever World Championship brought to the Athletics.  Here’s why:

The 1910 Championship, being the team’s first World Series title, resulted in enthusiastic but haphazardly-planned celebrations.  Twobanquets were held for the team – the first, on October 27, was held at the prestigious Majestic Hotel.  Guests of honor included the players, mayor John Edgar Reyburn, Director of Public Safety Henry Clay, former ballplayers like Cap Anson, and members of earlier AL Championship Athletics teams.  Speeches and toasts were given, and the celebration carried on into the night.

Meanwhile, the city and the team quickly planned a much more formal celebration.  Initially postponed due to rain, nearly a million spectators watched 20,000 people parade through Philadelphia on November 6, ending at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel at an event Ban Johnson called “the greatest tribute ever paid to baseball.”  At the subsequent dinner, athletes and dignitaries were presented with a number of souvenirs and awards.

The Athletics not only won the Championship in 1910; they won it in 1911 as well.  By 1911 they were old pros; as part of the team celebration that year, they hosted a dinner on November 6, once again at the Majestic Hotel.  The dinner was a regal affair conducted at the end of a parade; the dinner was attended by players, sportswriters, and “friends of the club,” during which many speeches were given by the likes of Mayor Reyburn, crosstown rival Horace S. Fogel (president of the Phillies), Athletics players Harry Davis, Chief Bender and John Coombs.  Fourteen rows of tables were arranged, with a variety of souvenirs presented to each attendee.

Specifically noted in the description of the event that appeared in the November 11 issue of Sporting Lifemagazine as written by Francis C. Richter:

…each guest as he entered the dining hall was presented with a blue ribbon badge bearing the words ‘Philadelphia Athletics, World’s Champions, 1911’ with a metal white elephant for a pendant.

 The blue ribbon badge described in the November 11 issue of Sporting Lifeis clearly an identical badge to that which we are offering in Lot #67.

The 1910 badge was manufactured by the Caldwell Company, who made the very first World Series Press Pin the following season, 1911.  The type printed on the ribbon, as well as the ribbon itself, is virtually identical as that of the press pin, and the workmanship of both pins are of extraordinarily high quality.

While we have learned as researchers never to jump to conclusions without having facts, the quote from the 1911 Sporting Lifeleads us to believe it is entirely likely that the Caldwell Company reproduced their 1910 pin again in 1911, and it is entirely likely that the pin we are offering in lot #67 was given to players and other attendees at that first 1910 banquet, October 27 at the Majestic Hotel.

Check out our new interactive catalog!

While we’re big fans of printed matter and the way it feels to have a book in your hands, we’re also big fans of technology.  Our new interactive catalog gives you some unique advantages that the printed catalog does not:

  • You get it earlier than the printed books, which go in the mail today.
  • You can view the interactive catalog on any device – your desktop or laptop computer, your phone, or your tablet.
  • From within those devices, you can zoom in and enlarge any photo.
  • We can (and did) embed videos and links within the interactive catalog that are not available in the printed book.
  • You can search the catalog.
  • The individual lots in the catalog link right to the respective auction pages – just click the title, and it’ll open a new window right to that item in the auction, so you can bid immediately.
  • The interactive catalog lets you make notes on individual items or pages.
  • You can download the entire catalog to your desktop.
  • You can share the whole catalog or individual pages on social media.

It’s pretty versatile.  Plus, we can embed it right into our blog, so you can read it right here!

Love of the Game Auctions Fall, 2018 Catalog

We’re coming to Seattle with PSA!

Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 5.40.03 PM

When: Saturday, September 8
Where: Hilton Seattle
1301 6th Avenue
Seattle, WA  98101
Time:  10am til 6pm

Love of the Game Auctions is teaming up with PSA/DNA on an autograph authentication/consignment event at the Hilton Seattle on Saturday, September 8.

Autograph experts will be on-hand to authenticate your previously signed autographs.  Turnaround time varies with demand, and two-hour service is available for an additional fee.  Letters of Authenticity will be issued by mail within two weeks.

Love of the Game will be accepting consignments in-person at the event, for our Fall, 2018 auction.  Representatives from our Seattle and New Jersey offices will be at the event, accepting consignments and discussing whether your material might be right for inclusion into our fall auction.

Come on down, say hi, and take advantage of in-person autograph authentication or consignment!


Don Zimmer’s 1955 Dodgers World Series Ring Returns to New York Area

Love of the Game Features Rare Offering, Additional New York Sports Team Memorabilia in Summer 2018 Auction

Zimmer Ring Face

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J., July 23, 2018 – The 1955 World Series Champion ring given to Don Zimmer as a Brooklyn Dodgers player has returned to the New York area as a featured item in Love of the Game Auctions’ (LOTG’s) upcoming summer auction.

“The 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers is one of the mostly widely collected post-war teams,” noted LOTG’s Al Crisafulli, president of the Hackettstown-based, internet sports auction house. “That was first time the Dodgers won the World Series – and the only time as a New York team. After losing the Series to the Yankees five times, the Dodgers finally beat them in seven games. The win was so powerful that the team is still one of the most popular of all-time.”

With a major league career spanning more than six decades, Zimmer was a player during the Dodgers’ famed 1955 season and later served as a manager and coach for numerous American and National League teams – including the Mets and Yankees. “Don Zimmer is one of baseball’s most beloved figures and a true New York sports icon,” Crisafulli said.

World Series rings come to market infrequently in the sports memorabilia arena, which adds to their value, according to Crisafulli. In June 2018, a 1955 World Series ring originally belonging to a clubhouse attendant sold at auction for $45,000. Last year, the ring presented to 1955 Dodgers Team Manager Walter Alston sold at auction for $70,000.

“We expect the Zimmer ring to garner significant interest,” Crisafulli said. “It previously was sold by a Zimmer family member to a private collector, who consigned it to an auction 14 years ago. It has since made its way to a private collector in Florida, who consigned it for our summer auction.” Crisafulli added that, based on increasing market value for like items, the ring’s upcoming sale price is expected to meet or exceed $65,000 – besting its 2004 auction price of $45,000.

LOTG’s summer auction will open in late July and run through August 11. The Zimmer ring will share the spotlight with an impressive lineup of memorabilia from New York sports teams. This includes the oldest-known photo of Babe Ruth (from 1914), Gil Hodges’ 1959 Gold Glove award, and a Roger Maris game-used bat from the 1963 season, along with a variety of New York – and other – player trading cards, signed baseballs, autographs and more. For more information, visit


HACKETTSTOWN, NJ – NOVEMBER 10, 2017 – Love of the Game Auctions, an internet-based sports auction house catering to the passionate collector of cards and memorabilia, has named hobby veteran Jeff Prizner as Consignment Director.  The announcement was made by Al Crisafulli, founder of Love of the Game.

Prizner, a University of Texas graduate residing in Seattle, is a longtime collector who has held various buying and planning roles with a number of major retailers during his career.  During his career, he has taken an active role in the hobby, researching and authoring several articles in hobby publications, and extensively networking with collectors of prewar baseball material.

“Jeff is a long-time associate who has been supportive of our mission since Day One,” said Crisafulli.  “His extensive hobby knowledge and his wealth of business experience make him a great addition to our small, but growing team.  We know Jeff will be a tremendous asset to Love of the Game as we position the company for growth in the years to come.”

“I wanted to work with Al at Love of the Game not only because of his integrity, which is really second to none, but because of his genuine appreciation and passion for the material as well,” Prizner added.  “Love of the Game will continue to grow into something really special, a customer-centric and well-curated auction house with the most interesting and coolest items.  I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Prizner’s responsibilities will include the acquisition of quality consignments, as well as helping build customer relationships.  To compliment Love of the Game’s East Coast presence, Prizner will continue working from his Seattle location.

About Love of the Game


Press Contact: Al Crisafulli,

Auction Closing Update

Since our inception five years ago, we have been proponents of the 15-minute rule governing the entire auction as the most fair and effective of the existing internet auction closing methods.  We felt that the 15-minute method favored the person willing to pay the most for the item they wanted, regardless of budgetary issues or preferred bidding strategy – which rewarded both the bidder and the consignor of that item.

But we also recognized that this method was certainly not the most convenient.  Like the rest of the hobby, we have watched as each of our last four auctions closed after 6AM on Sunday morning – which is entirely too late.

The first time it happened, we chalked it up to a fluke and decided to wait and see.  The second time, however, we started to analyze what was happening – who was bidding, how they were bidding, and why.  We analyzed bidding data, made lots of phone calls, and asked lots of questions.  While some bidders felt we were ignoring a frustrating situation, we were not – we were learning.

Through our analysis, we discovered a few things:

  • In each of our late-running auctions, an enormous percentage of the bidding is actually over by 2AM.  For instance, about 94% of the last auction was over by 2, with just 6% of the items receiving bids after that time.  Despite this, many bidders feel the need to stay up all night with the auction in case they are outbid.  This frustrates people, and we completely understand why.
  • On some items, there are bidders who prefer doing their bidding after all the “action” is over and the bidding is down to just a few serious bidders.  Late into the night, they are often calling our offices, asking very specific questions about the items that interest them, trying to put together trades with other collectors that might help them afford to place another bid, or doing other research, working against the clock.  As a result, every auction has a few items that have spirited bidding late into the night.
  • Just the same, we have also found that there are people who, because the auction is still open so early in the morning, are waking up and placing bids, often outbidding a person who has been the high bidder well into the night.  Sometimes, a customer has been high bidder for several days, only to be outbid at 5:30 AM because the auction is still open.  We agree with bidders who think this is unfair.

One other thing we discovered:

  • We don’t like being up until 6AM any more than you do.

Other auction houses have tried a number of closing methods – lot-by-lot, hard close, simply starting the extended bidding period earlier, etc.  We commend them for their forward-thinking methods, but we’ve said for years that we felt that the other existing closing methods create different sets of problems that can hurt bidders and consignors alike.

As such, we’re trying to invent something new.  We are pleased to introduce to you a brand-new auction closing method we are calling the Double Overtime Close.

The Double Overtime method has been developed after nearly two years of extensive analysis into the bidding habits of online bidders – both in our auction and in others.

Ultimately, we wanted a closing method that accomplished the following:

  • We wanted the lots where true bidding had subsided to close, without impacting the small number of lots where bidding remained brisk well into the night.  If you’re high bidder on a lot that hasn’t had any activity, you should be able to go to bed without worrying someone will outbid you hours – or even days – after real bidding activity has stopped.
  • Lots where bidding was still active needed to remain open until actual, active bidders were finished placing their bids, regardless of the hour.  If you’re slugging it out with someone on a lot, you should be able to bid until you’re done bidding.
  • The “max bid” feature needed to remain a viable option for those Love of the Game bidders who are comfortable using that method of bidding.  It’s safe, it’s effective, and we are proud to offer a trustworthy max bid system.
  • The auction closing format could not be structured in a way that shut out legitimate buyers allocating their bids based on a budget, and could not close out bidders who were interested in multiple items but can only bid one item at a time (in other words, no hard close, and no lot-by-lot close).
  • We did not want to eliminate any of the excitement of the type of auction “events” we try to facilitate at LOTG, with multiple unique items attracting the interest of a host of bidders.

We feel the Double Overtime method accomplishes all of this.  Here’s how it works:

  • The auction will enter into the Extended (“Overtime”) Bidding period at 9:00 PM eastern time on the closing night, same as always.  The 15-minute rule will be in effect, and if the auction happens to close before 2:00 AM due to the 15-minute rule, then the auction is closed.  In order to bid on a lot when Extended Bidding begins, you need to have a bid placed on it before 9PM on closing day.
  • At 2:00 AM Eastern time (11:00 PM West Coast time), any item that has not received a bid for the past 60 minutes or longer will close.  For all those items – the overwhelming majority of the items in the auction – bidding will be over.  The high bidders will be the winners, and can go to sleep.
  • The remaining items still open will remain open, going into what we’re calling “Double Overtime.”  The “Double Overtime” period will remain in effect until none of the remaining items have received a bid for 15 minutes.  Should we communicate a Fair Warning by email, and the auction will close no more than 15 minutes after the email is sent.

This new method allows bidders who are actively bidding on open lots to continue to do so as long as they like, while allowing everyone else to go to bed with the knowledge that their lots have closed and bidding is over.

We are committed to this closing method for our Fall, 2017 auction.  Should our continuing analysis indicate that 2:00 AM Overtime could be moved up or that the 60-minute time frame can be narrowed without negatively impacting bidders, we plan to do that with future auctions.

Our Fall, 2017 auction will be the first auction in the hobby to close under this method.  We ask you to please be patient with us through any glitches or hiccups that may occur, and we also ask you to be patient over the next few auctions as we tweak the Double Overtime closing times.  We want to continue to be the most trustworthy, bidder-friendly auction in the hobby, and this is another step towards doing that.

As always, thanks go to the entire collecting community for its trust, its confidence, and in this case, its assistance in building an entirely new closing method.


An Amazing Piece of History.


Over the years, we’ve certainly had the great opportunity to offer some incredible, historically significant items.  We think that, over our five-year history, our ability to properly present such items at auction has made this our “niche” – LOTG sells items you just don’t see every day.  But this item truly takes the cake.

Next week, our Summer auction will open for bidding – and for the first time ever at an auction house, we’ll be offering some 2,000+ incredible pages of original entries into the business, and sometimes personal accounts of the fabled Philadelphia Athletics franchse, owned and managed by Connie Mack.  These ledgers span some 40+ years from 1915-1953.  The records were used exclusively by heralded author Norman Macht, for his three-book trilogy of the Athletics’ rise and fall under Mack, drew from the historially accurate and irrefutable evidence of the team’s business dealings and player salaries.  The discovery of this long-missing treasure has been highlighted in several newspaper articles, including a 2011 piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

First, the amazing story of how the ledgers themselves made the incredible journey, spanning the country for more than a century: Most historians assumed these entries were lost to the ages, never to be seen again.  For the better part of 50 years, they seemed to be correct.

Historians such as Macht were aware of the existence of these ledgers, because not long after the A’s were sold to Kansas City businessman Arnold Johnson in 1954, Philadelphia newspapers included several mentions of them.  The ledgers were moved with the franchise to Kansas City, and then Oakland, where they seemed to vanish.  Over the years, sportswriters and historials had often inquired about the records, and a new generation of club executives assumed they had vanished.  Until 2011, no one had any reason to doubt them.

Macht couldn’t uncover them in either Kansas City or Oakland.  “I found a former secretary who remembered seeing the files in a closet gathering dust,” Macht was quoted in the 2011 article, “She thought she recalled that during an office remodeling in the 1970s they had been thrown in a dumpster behind the Coliseum.”

Nellie Fox’s Philadelphia Athletics Player Record

Her recollection was accurate.  A stadium worker discovered them there, and rescued them from the trash.  They remained in his possession until 2009, when he sold them for the paltry sum of $200 at an Oakland flea market.  The dealer listed the ledgers, along with some other materials, on eBay, where they were purchased by an advanced collector for $5,000.  Two years later, that collector sold them privately to our consignor.

The historical importance of the records cannot be overstated.  They are a complete and accurate chronicle of all the business dealings of one of the game’s most important ballclubs, including every penny of income and expense over a pariod of half a century.  More than a thousand pages of financial transactions are entered, neatly handwritten in the penmanship of several different people.  The financial ledgers include data on gate receipts, concessions, even revenues from non-baseball activities like football games and advertising.  Expenses include a detailed record of every payment made to Connie Mack, used by Macht to chronicle Mack’s income for a 2015 SABR article in the Baseball Research Journal.  From these ledgers, one could reconstruct the entire business operation of the Athletics, following its financial successes straight through to the team’s early 1930s financial struggles that prompted the sale of key players.

AAA Grove
One page of Lefty Grove’s Philadelphia Athletics player record

Housed in a second volume, the player transactional records are even more fascinating.  A near-complete, page-by-page and player-by-player account of virtually every player who donned an A’s uniform between 1909 and 1954 (a few players, among them Ty Cobb and Mickey Cochrane, have been removed at some point).  Each player has his own page in the journal, which includes his name and position, and often his home address.  Underneath is a season-by-season account of the player’s performance, how the team acquired them, and their annual salary.  The pages also address contract negotiations and specific details.

For example, the page for Hall of Famer Jimmy Foxx describes his 1929 contract as follows: “Jan 18th sent him contract calling for $7,500.00.  Told him he could bring his wife to training camp as wedding present.  Signed same Feb. 3rd.”  The page for Lefty Grove includes this entry: “1930: Jan 14th sent him contract calling for $12,000.00.  Returned unsigned Jan 18th asking for $20,000.00.  Signed at $12,000.00 Feb 21st.  We promised him something in the event of our having a good season.  Gave him $3,000.00 at end of season.”  Each sentence is written in a different ink or pencil, added as events transpired.

AAA Foxx
One page of Jimmie Foxx’s Philadelphia Athletics Player Record

Other entries are more personal, describing players’ entries into the military during WWII (thus voiding their contracts), and occasionally explaining more compelling details of the club’s salary negotiations with its players, such as the 1927 entry for pitcher Sam Gray that explains “On Dec. 7th, 1926 sent him contract for $4,000.00 telling him if he behaved well during the season he would receive $3,500.00 extra.”  Gray would go 9-6 that season with a 4.59 ERA, and was traded at the end of the season.

The player records literally tell thousands of stories and answer thousands of questions that have evaded researchers over the years.  Specific details about long-forgotten players are extensively catalogued in the pages.  Combined with the financial ledgers, this is easily the most historically significant artifact we have ever handled.

The books themselves are in outstanding condition, particularly given that they were regularly used for half a century.  Each of the two bound volumes are well-worn but completely sturdy, each entry legible and neatly entered in pencil or ink.  Both books do have some loose pages, and the bolt from the bottom of the financial record has gone missing, a minor detail mentioned here solely for accuracy in description.

For more than half a century, five decades of the history of one of the game’s most storied franchises has been missing critical details.  Long thought to be lost to history, we are pleased to present the most historically important records from the Philadelphia Athletics, never before offered at public auction.  A museum-level artifact, one of the finest and most significant items we have ever offered.

One page of Connie Mack's expense ledgerAthletics 1940s Football-related revenue ledger1941 Athletics journal entries of payments to scouts

AAA Earnshaw
George Earnshaw’s Philadelphia Athletics Player Record

The beauty of passes and tickets


One of the fastest-growing – and most fun – elements of the hobby has to revolve around collecting passes and tickets.  Five years ago, ticket collectors were few and far between.  Today, it seems that everyone is seeking a ticket or a stub to add to their collection.  We’ve seen a dramatic increase in interest, and we’ve tried our best to always have an interesting group of tickets and passes included in our catalog auctions.

Someone recently asked us “What is it about tickets that you find so interesting?”

It was a good question.  There are usually no pictures of players on tickets.  No stats.  There’s no information about the individual players that we try and collect, and in most cases, you can’t glean any information about the actual game from the ticket itself.

Then again, tickets and passes have a lot going for them.

Vintage tickets are beautiful.  Really, they’re works of art.  They were exquisitely designed, usually printed in multiple colors, and they feature fantastic typography.  For anyone interested in the graphic design of yesteryear, it’s on full display with tickets.


Vintage tickets are rare.  Unlike cards, tickets were distributed to be used as a pass to get into a game, and then discarded.  If 10,000 people attended a meaningless May game at Wrigley Field in 1920, how many saved their tickets?  And how many of those tickets survived to 2017?

Vintage passes are interesting.  Above is an image of Charles Comiskey’s season ticket book from 1909.  To see the White Sox.  Why did Charles Comiskey have a season ticket book to his crosstown rivals?  Passes also have a certain mystique to them, because they were ostensibly owned by someone who was important enough – or enough of a fan – to receive a pass to see every game.  Our current auction includes three different season passes to see Yankee games that were issued to Bill Dickey’s wife.  There’s also Mel Allen’s pass to the 1953 Yankees.  A pass owned by Boston superfan Lolly Hopkins to see the Red Sox in 1956, and a lifetime pass owned by former Major Leaguer Les Nunamaker.  The stories these passes could tell.

Vintage tickets commemorate events.  What happened at the game?  What did the person who owned that ticket see?  Did Babe Ruth hit a home run?  Did Nolan Ryan pitch a no-hitter?  Did the Yankees lose a tight game in extra innings?  Our current auction includes a minor league ticket to see the 1910 New Orleans Pelicans.  Someone in attendance at that game could not possibly have understood that they were seeing a young Shoeless Joe Jackson in that game.  Similarly, the person possessing the 1972 Pittsburgh World Series ticket could not have known that it would be Roberto Clemente’s final game.  Or that the 1947 Army/Columbia tickets in this auction would admit the bearer to see the “Upset of the Decade,” as Columbia handed Army its first loss in 33 consecutive games.

Tickets and passes are excellent companion pieces.  Are you a collector of the 1953 Topps baseball set?  Why not pick up a season pass from that season, or a World Series ticket?  Do you collect a certain player?  Why not challenge yourself to try and find one full ticket from each season that player played – or even more challenging, one ticket from every game that player hit a home run?  Are you just a fan of the game?  Why not add a run of World Series or Super Bowl tickets to your collection?  It adds another dimension to the hobby.

Stubs are as cool as tickets.  In a hobby driven by condition, the concept of the ticket stub is an interesting one.  Full tickets are beautiful, sure.  But at last year’s National, we were involved in a conversation about the ticket hobby with a well-known ticket collector.  It turns out that he doesn’t like full tickets – he prefers the stub, and actually seeks out stubs over full tickets.  This seemed counterintuitive – our hobby prizes condition, and a ticket stub is a full ticket, torn in half.  When we mentioned this to him, he agreed – but followed with “But the full ticket didn’t go to the game.

Which, of course, is true.

In any event, please do check out the assortment of tickets and passes featured in this auction.  We hope it serves as a great introduction to a fast-growing segment of the hobby.

Exhibits. Exhibits EVERYWHERE.

1923-24 Exhibit Ruth

We’ve always sold a lot of Exhibit cards in our auctions.  We like them, especially the baseball Exhibits from the 1920s.  We think the photographs are fantastic – after years of tobacco companies publishing illustrated cards (with varying degrees of quality), and during an era where baseball cards were typified by either poorly-drawn strip cards or small, black-and-white photographic ones, the postcard-sized cards feature attractive photos and clean designed.  And for today’s collector, there are plenty of challenging variations and rarities to make set building tough.

Thanks to several awesome consignments, our Spring auction features the largest selection of Exhibits we’ve ever offered.  In fact, we don’t recall so many Exhibits featured anywhere – more than 150 Exhibit-related lots in total, including complete sets, display items, a couple of Exhibit vending machines, and of course, some of the toughest rarities (including the 1923-24 Exhibit Babe Ruth you see above, one of just a few known examples).

The Exhibit Supply Company of Chicago manufactured these cards – and others unrelated to sports – beginning in 1921.  They were distributed in vending machines at amusement parks, arcades, retail stores, and other establishments.  Each year the company would make additions and subtractions to the cards they produced, adding some players and deleting others, changing layouts, creating different “colors” by tinting the images, and later even changing player poses.  These additions and modifications created a host of variations and different levels of rarity, and probably most important for collectors like us, a host of mysteries to solve about how and when the cards were issued, and which variations are more difficult to find.

The majority of the Exhibits that we are offering in this auction were manufactured prior to 1948, and include all of the great names from the 1920s and 30s, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, George Sisler, and many more.  The auction features multiple examples of each player – some individually, and some sold as part of complete (or partial) sets.  The auction features fourteen different Exhibit cards of Babe Ruth – not counting the ones included in sets.

Exhibits are beautiful and fascinating, and it is our hope that the large assortment  featured in this sale helps elevate the profile of these beautiful cards by attracting some new collectors into the fascinating universe of Exhibits.