Oh, we’ve got football.

While we started off our blog with lots and lots of baseball, make no mistake: Love of the Game Auctions is by no means a baseball-only company.

Our first auction will also feature some of the most sought-after football cards in the hobby, including a group of high-grade 1948 Leaf football, led by this gorgeous example of HOF offensive lineman George Connor’s first card.  The Connor, which has a PSA-graded population of just sixteen examples (with only one higher), has seen recent sales as high as $2,400.

The 1948 Leaf set is popular among collectors due to being the first color football set of the postwar era, the availability of a host of color variations, as well as containing a high concentration of Hall of Famers in the set. Well-centered ’48 Leafs are particularly tough, and our selection of five high-grade rarities each host exceptional centering, as well as image clarity, color, and corners.

The set was issued in two series, #1-49 and #50-98, the second series much more scarce than the first.  Our grouping of five high-grade ’48 Leafs also include two of the scarce high number series – #58 Art Weiner (PSA 7.5 ) and the condition scarce #84 Earl Girard (PSA 8, pop. 4 with none higher).  Both cards are stunning in their color and clarity, as you can see:

The lot is rounded out by an exceptional copy of the #2 card in the set, Steve Suhey (PSA 8, pop. 9 with 2 higher), and an extraordinarily high-grade example of #30 Paul Governali (PSA 8.5, pop 3 among three variations, with just three higher).

Like its baseball counterpart, 1948 Leaf football is a fascinating set, filled with variations and Hall of Famers, and is difficult to obtain in high grade.  Our selection of Leafs, which will be offered individually, can serve as an excellent kickoff to a high-grade set, a great improvement to an existing set, a beautiful addition to a type collection, or in the case of the Connor, an excellent addition to a Hall of Fame rookies set.

Stay tuned, as we have a beautiful selection of football cards in our inaugural auction, which we will be previewing for you in this space.

1903 E107 Ollie Pickering

The Breisch Williams E107 set of 1903 is important because it was the first major baseball card set of the 20th Century.  Featuring sharp, black-and-white photographic images, the E107 set contains 147 subjects and has become a popular set among advanced collectors due to the number of rookie cards of Hall of Famers, along with its scarcity.

High-grade E107s are virtually nonexistent.  With a current graded population of 713 between PSA and SGC, just 38 have graded EX or better, with a scant two cards grading above an unqualified NM.  E107s are frequently damaged and torn, with front and back images suffering from wrinkling, staining, paper loss, and scrapbook damage.  In fact, more than half the graded population of E107s have been assessed at a grade of 2 or lower.

Given that, this example of Ollie Pickering is virtually pristine for the issue; well-centered with a crisp, clear image and only rounded corners and some mild staining along the top left border taking away from what is an otherwise beautiful specimen.  Indeed, this is the highest-graded Pickering available in an SGC holder, with only a PSA 5Q achieving a higher numeric grade, with the aforementioned qualifier.  The card is of the blank-backed variety.

It’s really, really difficult for me to objectively look at certain cards without letting hyperbole creep into my description.  When I first held this card, my eyes widened over just how perfect and unblemished the image appears, as E107s are so frequently damaged.  This is a gorgeous example of a very scarce card, one that any type collector would be thrilled to have in his/her collection.  We’re pleased to be able to offer this in our inaugural auction.