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Media Attention: “Texas Find,” Clotworthy Collection Provide Boost for Love of the Game Auctions

The sale features sports and non-sports cards and memorabilia from the late 19th century to the present, highlighted by the amazing Dennis Clotworthy Collection of Detroit Tigers memorabilia. Clotworthy, a former Tigers batboy, has contributed more than 100 lots to this auction. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Love of the Game Auctions Spring 2016 auction is now open for bidding, led by a collection that is getting plenty of media attention.

The auction closing date is Saturday, June 11. The sale features sports and non-sports cards and memorabilia from the late 19th century to the present, highlighted by the amazing Dennis Clotworthy Collection of Detroit Tigers memorabilia. Clotworthy, a former Tigers batboy, has contributed more than 100 lots to this auction, highlighted by Al Kaline’s last bat.

Graded GU 10 by PSA/DNA, the bat was used by the Hall of Fame outfielder in his last at-bat on Oct. 2, 1974, and given to the young batboy as a memento. Clotworthy writes about the bat in his novel Al Kaline’s Last Batboy, a copy of which is included with the lot.

The collection also includes a host of unique memorabilia from Tigers Stadium, including a gorgeous 48-by-48-inch section of outfield wall padding with the commemorative 1912-99 logo marking the Stadium’s final season. Also featured is a fantastic section of outfield wall padding with the 415-foot marker from Tiger Stadium’s right center field, a gorgeous on-deck circle from Tiger Stadium circa 1994-96, and numerous signs, stadium seats, game-used bats, single-signed baseballs, and other assorted Tigers memorabilia.

Kaline bat longview

 The auction also features the first group of cards from the company’s noteworthy “Texas Find,” an original-owner collection of complete sets dating back to 1948. The find, which included hundreds of sets, dozens of signed baseballs, and more than 600 signed 1952 Topps cards, has been the subject of news coverage around the world, including Forbes,, and even The Daily Mail.

1953 TOpps A

The Texas find is highlighted by 1952 Topps cards, including a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, which has been graded VG+ 3.5 by PSA, a complete 1952 Topps set (minus the Mantle), and a grouping of 63 signed 1952 Topps cards, each of which has been authenticated and encapsulated by PSA/DNA. Additionally, the collection includes complete Topps sets from 1953 (still housed in the collector’s original photo album), 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958 Hires Root Beer, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963 Fleer, and 1971.

Also featured in the auction is a spectacular 1933 Goudey #106 Nap Lajoie. One of the hobby’s greatest rarities, the clean, sharp card has been graded EX-MT 6 by PSA. A spectacular example of what is often considered one of the three or four most significant cards in collecting, this is one of the finest examples of one of the hobby’s most desirable cards.

The auction also includes one of the rarest and most coveted prewar Hall of Fame tobacco cards – the 1910 T210 Old Mill Tobacco card of Casey Stengel. Graded GOOD, the card presents far better than many other examples from the issue, and serves as Stengel’s “rookie” card.

T210 Stengel Front

Rounding out the auction’s featured items is a tremendous 1934 Goudey baseball set, entirely graded by PSA, ranking No. 8 on the PSA Set Registry. With just 10 cards graded below EX-MT, the set has an outstanding rating of 6.69.

Memorabilia Highlights
One of the auction’s key highlights is a 1920 Tris Speaker game-used bat, attributed to Game 7 of the 1920 World Series. The bat, which was purported to have been given by Speaker to a young boy at the conclusion of the Indians’ first championship victory, remained with that same fan until it was given to the bat’s consignor in the mid-1990s. Graded GU 8 by PSA/DNA, the Louisville Slugger 250 model is simply gorgeous, a rare bat from one of the game’s greatest hitters.

The auction also includes a host of quality game-used memorabilia, including a beautiful 2012 Derek Jeter game-used and signed bat graded GU 9 by PSA/DNA, a spectacular 1979 Rich Gossage game-worn Yankees away jersey with the Thurman Munson commemorative armband, a 1978-81 Rich Gossage game-worn Yankees cap, a 1970s Al Kaline game-worn batting helmet, and an outstanding collection of 1970s game-worn caps from each American League team.

Another memorabilia highlight is a 1956-57 Marshall College basketball MVP award given to Hall of Famer Hal Greer by a local fraternal organization. Greer was the first African-American to play major college basketball in West Virginia, and with more than 20,000 points scored in his career, remains the only African-American athlete from West Virginia to be enshrined in a major sports Hall of Fame.

Other key memorabilia includes a stunning 1911 Philadelphia Athletics panoramic team photo, a gorgeous 1929 Philadelphia Athletics Team Panorama, a gorgeous 1929 Chicago Cubs team composite photo, and a large assortment of games, photos, and advertising display pieces.

Rare Postcards
Rare baseball postcards are also heavily represented, highlighted by a stunning 1914 E&S Postcard of Joe Jackson. Also featured is a 1910s real photo postcard of Walter Johnson and Ad Brennan, originating from Walter Johnson’s personal collection. The photo, taken in November of 1912 in Humbolt, Kansas before a game between two semipro teams featuring Johnson and Brennan, was originally featured in a 1912 issue of the Humboldt Union newspaper.

1924 Diaz Johnson Front

The postcard offering also features a rare 1909-16 Max Stein Postcard of Buck Weaver, a very rare 1910 Wilkerson Postcard featuring a photographic image of Hilltop Park in New York, an attractive 1911 Monarch Typewriter postcard featuring Hall of Fame pitcher Chief Bender, and a host of scarce 1937-39 Orcajo Postcards, including the desirable Joe DiMaggio, Bill McKechnie, and Ernie Lombardi cards, among others.

19th Century Cards
The company’s ever-expanding selection of 19th Century cards is highlighted by a scarce 1887 Tomlinson Studios cabinet photograph of the 1887 Detroit Wolverines, featuring Hall of Famers Dan Brouthers, Sam Thompson, Ned Hanlon and Deacon White. The cabinet originates from the family of Wolverines pitcher Charles Getzein, and was featured in Forbes recently, yet another wonderful prewar find consigned to Love of the Game.

Other key 19th Century items include a stunning 1888 Fearnaught Studios cabinet photo of Hall of Famer Deacon White that was ultimately used for his N172 Old Judge card, a spectacular 1888 A.E. Woolen cabinet photo of the Minneapolis Millers’ Fred Rehse, and a beautiful group of 1895 N300 Mayo’s Cut Plug cards including those of Hall of Famers Dan Brouthers, John Clarkson, and Hugh Duffy, along with the very scarce Jack Glasscock (Pittsburgh) and Tom Kinslow (No Team) variations.

Rare Baseball Cards
The auction also includes a large assortment of rare baseball card types and variations, including 1909 Croft’s Candy cards of Dots Miller with the rare Red back, and blue-backed cards of Honus Wagner, both batting and throwing.

Other rare card types include a 1909 E92 Danny Murphy with the E26 Menagerie Gum back, a 1909 T216 Kotton Cigarettes card of Jeff Sweeney, a 1910 D380 Clement Brothers Datus Lagoe, a 1910 E222 AWH Caramels Bill Otey, a 1910 H801-7 Old Mill cabinet of Tony Walters, and the highest-graded example of the rare 1910 T209 Contentnea B.E. Thompson with B.E. Thompson back.

The auction also features two extremely rare cards from the 1910 E105 Mello-Mint set: those of Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson and Joe Tinker. Both graded FR 1.5 by PSA, the cards are exceedingly rare, the Tinker one of just three graded examples known.

Other rare type cards include a 1911 E94 George Close Candy Eddie Grant with the rare “Your Out!” overprint, a previously-uncatalogued 1911 Stevens Firearms card of Hall of Famer Eddie Collins, a rare 1914 T330-2 Piedmont Art Stamps Fred Clarke, a 1915 Block & Kuhl Joe Tinker, a 1916 Altoona Tribune Hugh Jennings, a 1916 Gimbel’s George Sisler, 1916 Green-Joyce Joe Tinker, 1917 Collins-McCarthy George Sisler, a 1919 T213-3 Coupon Dick Hoblitzel with rare Factory 8 overprint, a 1920 Holsum Bread Walter Johnson and George Sisler, and an incredibly rare 1924 Diaz Cigarettes Walter Johnson.

In fact, the auction includes what may be the largest group of 1924 Diaz Cigarettes cards ever assembled, in a group of 19 graded examples offered in a single lot.

The auction also features a large number of Zeenut PCL cards with coupons from a variety of years, a large number of 1920s Exhibit cards, and four different cards from the rare 1917-20 M101-6 Felix Mendelsohn issue, including Hall of Famers Max Carey, John McGraw, Sam Rice and Ed Roush.

Awesome Autographs
The auction features a large number of high-end autographs, including a pair of baseballs obtained at Miller Huggins Park in St. Petersburg, Fla., during spring training of 1934 signed by Babe Ruth, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and others. The balls are accompanied by a snapshot album featuring photos from the Spring Training games, and were consigned from the estate of their original owner.

Ruth Balls A

Also featured are a number of difficult autographed baseball cards, including a T206 Zach Wheat, T205 Ed Walsh, and T206 Rube Marquard. Other fantastic signed cards include a 1933 Goudey Lefty O’Doul, 1950 Callahan Nap Lajoie, 1958 Topps Roger Maris (RC), 1958 Topps All-Star Nellie Fox, and 1952 Topps Gil Hodges, Hank Thompson, Willie Mays, and Billy Martin. All have been authenticated and encapsulated by PSA/DNA.

Signed baseballs include Thurman Munson, Bobby Wallace, Rogers Hornsby, a beautiful vintage Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, the 1954 New York Giants, Norm Cash, and a number of team-signed Detroit Tigers balls.

The auction features a number of signed legal release forms that were sent by various players to player agent Christy Walsh in the early 1950s, giving permission to Walsh to use the players’ likenesses for various promotional initiatives. Signed forms include Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Cy Young, Al Simmons, and more.

Other unique autographs include a rare typed and signed letter from Hall of Famer Hughie Jennings to Hall of Famer Hugh Duffy, a Christmas card from Ty Cobb, a newspaper photo signed by Honus Wagner with the autograph graded GEM MINT 10 by PSA/DNA, several Burke photos featuring high-grade signatures from the likes of Luke Appling (PSA/DNA 10), Ted Lyons (PSA/DNA 9) and Joe McCarthy (PSA/DNA 8) and a beautiful wooden seat from Briggs Stadium in Detroit signed by more than 40 former members of the Tigers.

bidding endsJune 11. To register for the auction and review the selection online, visit or call (973) 452-9147.