One of football card collecting’s most desirable rarities, the 1952 Bowman Large Jim Lansford serves as both the player’s rookie card, a short print, and the last card in the set. The 1952 set was rife with short-printed cards, a result of printing larger cards on standard-sized press sheets. Coupled with the tale of large quantities of the Lansford card being destroyed during production, the resulting scarcity and legend have made this the hobby’s most valuable postwar football card.
Just six examples have been graded NM-MT 8 by PSA, with only two higher. This specimen boasts crisp color and wide borders, centered just a hair off from top to bottom but otherwise pristine. With three of the known 8s residing in the top three all-time registry sets, the likelihood of another example in this grade appearing at public auction in the near future is slim. A cursory internet search will reveal very few examples of this card sold in any grade, PSA 7s reaching into the thousands and no “straight” PSA 8 example having sold in years. A wonderful example of the hobby’s most valuable postwar football card.
In the spring of 1965, a young Pennsylvania boy was playing outside with his friends in the suburbs of Philadelphia, aimlessly wandering about. They came upon the parking lot of a diner which was, evidently, a frequent place where the boys played. On this particular day, the boy noticed that a desk had been discarded in the dumpster behind the restaurant. Curious, he opened the desk drawers – and found a small stack of tobacco cards which had been thrown away with the desk.
The boy – a non collector – took the cards home with him and tucked them away in a small box.
Fifty years later, now with young grandchildren, the boy called us at Love of the Game, and asked us to take a look at the cards. The astonishing collection included about 30 tobacco-era baseball cards – all T205s and T207s, mostly with Cycle backs. Included in the pile was this card of hobby favorite George “Buck” Weaver, with a blank “anonymous” reverse. We submitted the card – which we knew boasted outstanding eye appeal – to SGC, who assigned it a grade of EX 60 – the highest grade of any T207 anonymous Weaver SGC has graded, and the second-highest of any of the Weaver back varieties.
This card is a miracle! One of the most sought-after cards in the T207 set, with one of the issue’s most difficult backs, discarded into a dumpster 50 years ago, along with another group of cards, which at the time had very little value. The cards were brought home by a young boy who had the presence of mind to tuck them away where they would not be damaged or destroyed (or forgotten) for 50 years, until they were rediscovered and consigned to auction, where it sits as the highest-graded SGC anonymous Weaver known. That this card still exists is simply amazing.
Auction houses frequently get into the habit of naming their “finds” for publicity value: the “jumbo” this, the “Connecticut” that. We decided that this card needed a similar name, but the “Dumpster Weaver” didn’t seem to fit the bill. As such, we hereby christen this “The Miracle Weaver”: the card that survived being tossed into a dumpster, lived 50 years in the collection of a young man who grew, had children and then grandchildren, and was never damaged or destroyed in 50 years of storage. A true beauty with a vivid, brown background and a clean, anonymous back.