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1948 "Rare Leaf" Near-Complete Set (41/49)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $4,700
Presented is a mixed-grade collection of forty-one "Rare Leafs" (of the 49) from this classic set, highlighted by Hall of Famers Hal Newhouser, Larry Doby, Enos Slaughter, and George Kell. Missing only eight cards for a complete "Rare Leafs" subset (#8 Paige, 19, 43, 55 Henrich, 81, 93 Feller, 108, and 131). These cards are part of a collection assembled over a period of decades by an extremely advanced pioneer collector. In the early days of organized collecting, hardly anyone had "Rare Leafs" and those that were lucky enough to have cards from this series tended to be only the most advanced collectors. Today collectors have more communication and auction catalogs that allow them to collect these cards in high-grade if desire and budget allow, but in the old days, this is how "Rare Leafs" looked in even the most advanced collections. They ranged in grade from Poor to high-grade (on occasion) and often had various flaws that were common to the set (including various print flaws, centering problems, and sometime cutting flaws). This near-set is "straight from the old days of collecting, when these cards would have been at home in any advanced collection. Today, they are a relative bargain as condition has become a greater focus for collectors, but the cards are just as great and rare as ever! This is a mixed-grade collection that today might be relatively affordable, but we can't help but emphasize that in the 1970s and 1980s, these same cards would have caused a riot at any card show! Technically, they're all over the place in terms of condition, but to any true collector they are a great-looking group. Keys: #75 D. DiMaggio (miscut, otherwise Ex), 98 Newhouser RC (left and right borders trimmed off, otherwise Vg), 120 Kell RC (all four borders trimmed off, otherwise Pr), 127 Slaughter (Ex), and 138 Doby RC (Vg/Vg-Ex). The balance of the cards grade as follows: eight cards range from Vg-Ex to Ex, and twenty-eight cards range from Pr to Vg (includes a few trimmed). Chicago's Leaf Gum Company produced the first multicolor baseball cards of the post-World War II era in 1948-1949. Forty-nine cards in the set are considered "standard," and the additional "short print" series of forty-nine cards in the set are so rare that "Rare Leafs" has long been a formal card-collecting hobby term. Leafs are without question one of the toughest postwar sets to complete because of all the rare cards. This is an extremely attractive low-grade group comprised exclusively of short prints, which could serve as the foundation for the assembly of this very difficult-to-complete postwar set. Total: 41 cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $4,700
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