It’s not very often someone comes across never-before-seen or uncataloged collectibles, especially in the sports memorabilia hobby. One such major occurrence took place last year when a Wisconsin man found a box containing some of the rarest baseball cards ever produced – the 1934 Al Demaree Die-Cuts (R304) by Dietz Gum Co. of Chicago. And now the hobby has a chance to own then, as Collect.com Auctions will offer these rare cards in its Sports & Americana Auction No. 5, slated to kick off July 26 and end Aug. 12.
The 1934 Al Demaree Die-Cuts are not normal-looking trading cards. Their size, 61/2 inches high and 15/8 to 13/4 inches wide, is different enough, as they were meant to be folded to stand up for presentation in a game. The cards picture a head shot of the player, with the body comprised of a drawing of the player in uniform with his name, position and team name along the bottom, with the card number centered below that.
Though never entirely checklisted, the Al Demaree Die-Cuts were thought to include up to 168 cards. This find of 109 cards, 87 singles and 22 duplicates, included 30 not listed in the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards. Three cards had numbers previously unknown, although the players were listed.
“To be able to offer something so unique and special to the hobby is an honor and a real pleasure,” said Steve Bloedow, director of Collect.com Auctions. “It’s always special when a new find is brought to the market, and these Al Demaree Die-Cuts are as rare as they come. Their condition is surprisingly good for cards of that age and with the purpose of being folded and handled extensively. Never has a collection of Al Demaree Die-Cuts of this size been offered, and this provides a chance for Hall of Fame, player and vintage card collectors to add some unique pieces to their collections.”
Collect.com Auctions will offer 88 Al Demaree Die-Cuts in its upcoming auction, all of which have been graded by PSA. Many of the cards are the first ones graded by PSA or are among the highest graded examples in the PSA population report. The previously unlisted cards include Hank Greenberg (PSA 3), Luke Sewell (205), Billy Herman (PSA 1), Goose Goslin (PSA 5), Earl Averill (PSA 4), Joe Cronin (PSA 5), Jimmie Foxx (PSA 4), two different cards each of Sam West and Chick Hafey and three umpires. HOFers include Al Simmons (PSA 4), Luke Appling (PSA 2), Charlie Gehringer (PSA 5), Dizzy Dean (PSA 1.5), Pie Traynor (PSA 2.5), Paul Waner (PSA 1.5) and Lefty Grove (PSA 4).
Most of the die-cuts will be offered as single lots, with some “commons” offered as team lots. Minimum bids range from $200-$400.
Bidding is live July 26 and ends Aug. 12. Catalogs will be included with the Aug. 13 issue of SCD. Collect.com Auctions will also be previewing the cards at the National Convention in Baltimore Aug. 4-8 at booth 417P. For more information on the cards and register to bid, call (888) 463-3063 or visit www.collect.com/auctions
Mark McGwire 500 HR Ball
Collect.com Auctions will also feature one of the landmark pieces in Major League Baseball history in its Sports & Americana Auction No. 5 with the inclusion of Mark McGwire’s 500th home run baseball, fully certified by PSA/DNA.
At age 35, McGwire socked his 500th career home run at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on the evening of Aug. 5, 1999. Andy Ashby of the San Diego Padres threw McGwire a 1-1 breaking ball, which “Big Mac” sent 451 feet over the center field wall. With one mighty swing, McGwire became the 16th player in major league history to hit 500 home runs, joining an elite group that includes Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Ted Williams and Reggie Jackson, among other legends.
“We are deeply honored to have the opportunity to offer such a historic piece in our upcoming auction,” said Steve Bloedow, director of Collect.com Auctions. “Mark McGwire is one of the legends of the game, and his 500th home run baseball is one of the truly great pieces of memorabilia in the hobby. We anticipate this item will attract heavy bidding from Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals fans, along with collectors of 500 Home Run Club memorabilia.”
Bidding for this item will start at $25,000.
MORE RESOURCES FOR SPORTS COLLECTORS
- Get current market values for 400,000+ baseball cards issued between ’81 & ’09
- Get the Ultimate Yankee package
- Interact with other sports collectors in Tuff Stuff’s online forum
- Sign up for your FREE email newsletter from Tuff Stuff
- Read the latest 7th Inning Stretch Blog from Tuff Stuff Editor Scott Fragale