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LOTG Auction Live, Highlighted by Cobb Letter, Prewar Cards

The "Opening Day" Auction is now live, courtesy of Love of the Game Auctions. The sale features a great single-owner prewar collection, beautiful, glossy T3s and signed memorabilia from Ty Cobb and Hank Greenberg.

Love of the Game Auctions announced that its Spring 2013 auction is now open for bidding. The auction closing date is Saturday, April 6. The sale features sports and non-sports memorabilia from the late 19th Century to the present, highlighted by a typed and handwritten letter from Ty Cobb to broadcaster Joe Clement, looking for a witness to help avoid a tax audit.

Also included is a vintage first base mitt autographed by Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg, a rare 1889 Duke Cigarettes G40 advertising poster of their “Costumes of All Nations” cards and a selection of vintage memorabilia initially produced as baseball-related merchandise targeting children.


“It’s been a long winter, and the beginning of another baseball season,” said LOTG Auction Director Al Crisafulli. “In the hobby, it’s also the beginning of another auction season. We’re thrilled to kick off both with our 'Opening Day' auction.”

The auction contains a large selection of Turkey Red baseball and boxing cabinet cards, many of which are among the highest-graded copies available. They include high-grade specimens of Hall of Famers Cy Young, Frank Chance, Bobby Wallace and Nap Lajoie, plus an outstanding group of horizontal cards from the set. There are a total of 70 cards from the Turkey Red cabinets in the auction.

“Earning this consignment was an incredible thrill,” explained Crisafulli. The cards are fantastic – almost all of them have deep, rich color and incredible gloss. Before we saw these, we had no idea how much gloss a T3 was supposed to have. Even the off-grade examples like the Walter Johnson are more attractive than most of the T3s you see today.”

On the heels of the company’s winter sale of the Rudy Strejc Collection, the auction also marks the sale of another original owner collection of tobacco cards. This collection was assembled by a young man growing up outside of Philadelphia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and consists of a number of 1887 N172 Old Judges, early 20th century tobacco and candy cards.

“The owner’s family has held onto the cards since he passed in the early 1970s,” explained Crisafulli. “Recently, they reached out to Love of the Game to determine if the cards had any value. I was surprised at the quality of the cards he saved – they’re all collector-grade, but it includes an extraordinary percentage of scarcities. Tough Old Judges like Amos Rusie, an N172 pose of Charlie Parsons that currently only has one other known example, and multiple T206s and T207s with scarce backs. Going through these cards was a collector’s dream.”

The auction features are a group of 13 N172 Old Judges, including seven Hall of Famers. Each of the cards has been graded and encapsulated by PSA, and is marked on the reverse by an ink stamp bearing the original owner’s name. The cards, part of the same Philadelphia-area collection, include two Buck Ewing poses, plus cards of Hall of Famers Ned Hanlon, Tim Keefe, Pud Galvin and Tommy McCarthy.

Additional interesting items abound in this auction, including:
• A T207 Ward Miller, one of that set’s three large rarities
• Two replica basketball jerseys signed by Michael Jordan – one Chicago Bulls, and one North Carolina
• Key T206 cards with scarce backs, including Uzit, Carolina Brights, Piedmont 42, American Beauty 460, Brown Hindu, Sovereign 460, Cycle 460, and many more
• A host of difficult cards from the T207 Brown Background set, including several Broadleaf backs, an Anonymous 25, and a Red Cycle reverse
• A collection of 11 rare, 1937-39 Orcajo Postcard Cincinnati Reds
• A large assortment of T9 Turkey Red boxing cabinet cards

Bidding for Love of the Game’s Opening Day auction will remain open until April 6. For more information on Love of the Game and how to become a consignor or bidder, visit