High Grade Topps Sets Coming to the Block at Love of the Game

High-ranking 1964 Topps Football and 1967 Topps Baseball Among Auction Highlights

 1964 Topps Blanda1967 Topps Mantle LOTG

In preparation for its Summer Auction, Love of the Game Auctions is pleased to announce two extraordinarily high-grade Topps sets that will be included in the sale.

The 1964 Topps Football set ranks #1 on PSA’s Current Finest list with a GPA of 8.28.  The extraordinary set has been registered with PSA for more than a decade, and has been the #1 set on the registry for eight of those years.  With no cards graded lower than PSA NM-MT 8, the set (175 cards plus a checklist) includes an astounding 41 cards graded MINT 9 and 26 cards that are the highest-graded examples possible.

“The owner of the set has worked on it for years, constantly upgrading and improving cards,” said Auction Director Al Crisafulli.  “Even when he could upgrade his card by replacing a weaker 8 with a stronger example in the same grade, he would.  We were shocked when he told us he was ready to sell the set, because it’s been his ‘baby’ for years.  But none of us get to keep our cards forever, and he’s decided it’s time to pursue something different.”

1964 Topps Dawson1964 Topps HadlOne of the most attractive football sets ever produced, the 1964 Topps issue features a bold, full-color image of each subject, set against a colorful background surrounded by small stars.  The set, plagued by miscutting and centering issues, is very difficult to obtain in higher grades.  Loaded with tough short prints and HOFers, 1964 Topps football is a challenge, and a set of this magnitude coming to market is virtually unheard of.


1967 Topps Carew1967 Topps YazThe 1967 Topps Baseball set is of equally astounding quality, ranking #14 on PSA’s Current Finest list with a GPA of 8.21.  The 609-card set contains no card graded under PSA NM-MT 8, with an astonishing 120 cards graded MINT 9.

“What’s more astounding about this set than the technical grades of the cards is the unbelievable eye appeal,” explained Crisafulli.  “The set was assembled by a graphic designer with an incredible eye for sharp contrast and rich color, and an intolerance for poor centering.  The result is a degree of perfectionism that is rarely seen in this hobby – every single card was hand-selected, scrutinized by a collector with a keen eye.”

1967 Topps Mays LOTG1967 Topps Clemente LOTGChock full of Hall of Famers and rookie cards, the 1967 Topps set is considered by many collectors to be the most beautiful 1960s Topps issue.  Featuring large, bold player photography and a simple, utilitarian design, the set remains one of Topps’ most popular and enduring issues.  Featuring high number rookie cards of Hall of Famers Tom Seaver and Rod Carew, a gorgeous late-career card of Mickey Mantle, and a difficult run of high numbers, the 1967 Topps set is one of the most widely collected of all the postwar Topps issues, but still challenging to assemble in high grade.

“Both of these sets are extraordinary, and very difficult to assemble in this condition,” explained Crisafulli.  “Building sets of this caliber – not only in these grades, but with such scrutiny and attention to detail – would take an incredible amount of time and patience.  Now, collectors have the opportunity to acquire the sets complete.  It’s an amazing gift from the two original collectors.”

Crisafulli also pointed out the trust that the consignors have shown in Love of the Game.  “That collectors feel comfortable consigning such high-end sets to Love of the Game after less than a year in business is a testament to just how far we’ve come in such a short time.  Whether it be high-end complete sets like these, exceptional prewar cards, unique memorabilia, or entire collections, Love of the Game is proving itself to be an excellent resource for collectors and consignors alike.”

Love of the Game’s summer auction is slated to run through August, closing on Saturday, August 24.  Select material from the auction will be available for preview in the company’s booth (#309) at the National Sports Collectors Convention from July 31-August 4.

Exceptional Autograph Collections to be offered at Love of the Game

72 Flyers PucksMulti-sport collections include signed equipment, photos, magazines, artwork and more

In a “perfect storm” for autograph collectors, Love of the Game Auctions has announced three extensive autograph collections that will be featured in the company’s August, 2013 auction.

Featuring a wide variety of baseball, football and hockey signatures, the collections have been broken into more than 100 lots, with something for virtually everyone.

The first collection is a large assortment of autographs obtained by a husband and wife team that promoted card and autograph shows in eastern Pennsylania during the 1990s.  Heavily weighted toward Philadelphia and Pittsburgh teams, the collection features an impressive array of signatures.

NFL HOF Football 1“Virtually every one of these signatures was obtained in person, and many include the original autograph ticket from the day of the signing,” said Auction Director Al Crisafulli.  “The collection includes signed baseballs, footballs, and hockey pucks, bats, cards, 8x10s, and magazines.  Most of the players featured were active in the 1960s through 1980s.”

Among the notable components of the collection are a complete set of signed hockey pucks from the Stanley Cup Champion Philadelphia Flyers teams from 1971/72 and 1973/74, a large group of signed 8×10 photos from Hall of Fame baseball, football and hockey players, and a run of commemorative beer steins from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

GOrdie Howe 8x10 lot 1

The second collection is an extensive run of signed magazines, primarily Sports Illustrated and Street & Smith sports publications from the 1950s through the 1980s.  It primarily includes baseball, but also contains a smattering of football, hockey and boxing.

“These magazines were each obtained in person by a dedicated collector from New England,” explained Crisafulli.  “He would acquire the publications first, then bring them with him to spring training, where he’d have the player on the cover sign them.  He and his best friend have collected these magazines for decades, and he’s decided that it’s time to pare the collection down a bit.”

Included in the offering are two 1970s issues of Sports Illustrated signed by Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, a 1961 issue of Sport signed by Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio, and a number of different magazines signed by Willie Mays, Joe Namath, Hank Aaron, Bobby Orr, and more.  There are 91 different publications, broken into 37 different lots, all authenticated by SGC.


Ali Frazier A

The final collection is a continuation of a group of signatures that have been offered by Love of the Game over the course of each of its auctions.  Obtained in person or through the mail by a dedicated autograph collector who was also an employee of San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium.  When athletes were playing in San Diego, the collector would obtain their signatures in a variety of magazines and other materials.  The result has been an outstanding array of one-of-a-kind autographed memorabilia.

“In this auction, we’ve got copies of Donald Honig’s books The National League and The American League, with 88 and 53 signatures, respectively.  The collector used them as autograph albums, asking each player to sign on their picture,” expounded Crisafulli.  “He did the same thing with a 1987 Baseball Hall of Fame yearbook and a 1893 Cracker Jack Old Timers Classic program, both of which will also be featured in the auction.  We’ve been offering signed magazines and publications from this collection all year, and it still amazes us each time the consignor brings us a new group of items.  The diligence and care with which the collector acquired these autographs is amazing.”

Love of the Game’s summer auction is slated to run through August, closing on Saturday, August 24.  Select material from the auction will be available for preview in the company’s booth (#309) at the National Sports Collectors Convention from July 31-August 4.

Dallas Cowboys Mini Helmets

DiMaggio MantleMickey Mantle 3Willie Mays AHOF Yearbook Marichal Lemon FellerHank Aaron BJim Brown B

High Grade T206? We’ve got ’em.

1909 T206 Lennox FrontFor our August auction, we’re fortunate enough to have several consignments of higher-grade T206 cards, each of which will be offered individually.  With most in the 7-7.5 range, each of the cards are crisp and colorful, remarkably well-preserved, given their age (wish we could all say the same!).

We’re feverishly working on photography and descriptions, but thought you might like to get a look at some of this eye candy.  Stay tuned, as we’re preparing some more announcements about the auction for the upcoming weeks!



1909 T206 Parent Front1909 T206 OLeary Front1909 T206 McGinley Front1909 T206 Knight Front1909 T206 Ganzel Front1910 T206 Unglaub Front1910 T206 Rudolph Front1910 T206 McCormick Front1910 T206 Hoffman Front1910 T206 Clancy Front1910 T206 Abstein 84 Front1909 T206 Quinn Front

Also: our consignment deadline for this auction has passed (unless, of course, you’ve got a super high-end item you’d like us to sell).  We are now accepting consignments for our Fall, 2013 auction.

Announcing: The Full Count Find

Love of the Game Auctions’ Summer Sale Unveils New Hobby Find 

“Full Count Find” includes multi-generational card collection including a significant group of 1915 Cracker Jacks, early 20th Century caramel cards, T206 and late 1950s Topps cards

1915 Jackson Front1915 Cobb FrontCollectors and auctioneers alike pine for the day when they encounter a previously unknown collection or group of cards; such “finds” are the stuff of hobby legend.  Recent such collections to have surfaced in the hobby include the “Southern Fairway Find” of T210 Joe Jacksons and tough-backed T206s, and of course the “Black Swamp Find” of 1910 E98 cards.  News of such high-end finds invariably uncovers more finds, as people scour their attics for old collections passed down through the generations.

Such is the case with the “Full Count Find,” the third original owner collection of tobacco cards brought to the hobby by Love of the Game in the past year.  Nicknamed “Full Count” after the hobby internet forum where the cards first came to light, the collection includes a large group of 1915 Cracker Jack cards, including Joe Jackson and Ty Cobb (approximately 135 different).  The collection also includes one of the most difficult cards in the 1914 Cracker Jack set – that of Del Pratt.

“The collection began to surface on the pages of the Full Count Forum in early February,” recounted Auction Director Al Crisafulli.  “There have been so many collections that have surfaced this way over the years, but in this case the owner was interested in learning the hobby and understanding what he had.  Over the course of the next month or so, he treated the board to scans of various components of the collection while he determined the best venue to sell it.  The members of the Full Count Forum were unbelievably helpful to the owner, in identifying what he had, what it was worth, and ultimately what to do with the cards.”

1914 CJ Pratt Front1915 CJ Mathewson FrontThe early part of the collection was assembled in California by a boy who collected caramel and tobacco cards in the early 1900s.  With his passing, the cards were passed down to a family member who fell in love with them in the late 1950s and used them as the foundation of a collection of Topps cards.  Both collections remained in that same family in their entirety until now.

“This is an entirely fresh collection,” explained Crisafulli, who elected to submit all the Cracker Jacks to PSA for grading.  “None of these Cracker Jacks have seen the light of day in the hobby, and despite the lower technical grades, most of them look fantastic.”

In addition to the Cracker Jacks, the collection includes a variety of other collector-grade caramel cards including E90-1, E93 and E95, plus a large group of T206s.  “The T206s almost all have Polar Bear backs,” explained Crisafulli.  Similar to what we did with the Ernest Born collection from our last auction, we’ve elected to keep most of the Polar Bears together in one lot, in hopes that the winning bidder will keep that portion of the collection together.”

Also included are a host of baseball cards from Topps’ earlier days, beginning with 1957.  “The ‘57s are gorgeous,” said Crisafulli.  “Technically they’re midgrade, I guess, but they’re bright and clean with crisp images and bright borders.  We submitted a bunch to PSA and got back a lot of 5s and 6s, but these are also fresh to the hobby, virtually untouched for more than fifty years.”

1915 CJ Alexander FrontThe more recent part of the collection also includes groups of Topps baseball from 1958 through 1960, including many stars.

The collection will be broken into approximately 80 lots and offered in Love of the Game’s August auction.  Highlights from the find will be on display at the company’s booth at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Rosemont, Illinois, from July 31-August 4.  Love of the Game will be located in Booth 309.

1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig

1933 Goudey Gehrig Front We’ve got all sorts of announcements that we’ll be making in the next week about great collections, sets, and items that’ll be featured in our August auction.  Before we did, though, we just wanted to share with you this iconic Lou Gehrig card, which will be featured in the same auction.

It’s an absolutely beautiful EX/MT card, very well-centered with a remarkably clean image.  We were pretty excited to receive it, and thought we might share it with you before things start getting really busy around here.

We’ll also have it with us at Booth #309 at the National in Chicago next month.