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1948-49 Leaf Baseball w/ Joe DiMaggio and Hal Newhowser SP

There's Some Real Value in the Short Prints!

  • September 19, 2018
  • Leighton Sheldon

1948 Leaf Hal NewhouserStars Are Not the Only Cards With Value

Collectors, for the most part, are usually familiar with the high value stars and the big name players that tend to command the highest interest and the highest prices when offered for public sale or auction.  What many collectors aren't aware of or have not paid particular attention to are cards that tend to be difficult to find within a specific issue.  Many times, these cards are high number cards or the last cards in the set that were commonly released toward the end of the year's release.

Some sets issued cards in greater and lesser supply within the specific issue.  A great example of this and how it has an impact on the value of the harder to find cards can be found when examining the 1948 Leaf Baseball Set.  

Recently, we acquired a collection that featured a nice run of 1951 and 1952 Bowman and 1952 Topps cards.  In the back of the collection were almost 20 1948-49 Leaf Baseball Cards that were included because the owner recognized the Joe DiMaggio card and thought that it might be valuable.

1948 Leaf Dick Sisler1948-49 Leaf Baseball 

Well, the owner was wise to bring the small group of 1948-49 Leaf along with the rest of the collection because about half of the cards were the very tough to find short prints, including Hal Newhouser.  While the typical Leaf common card sells for around $10-20 in PSA 4 VG/EX condition, the short prints will often sell for $150-300, in the same condition.  One of the toughest of all post WWII baseball cards, the Satchel Paige card, is included in this set.  This extremely rare short print sells for over $20,000.00 in PSA 4 and recently, a PSA 6 EX/MT example sold for more than $65,000.00 at auction!

I Think I'm Missing a Bunch of Cards!

Another aspect that makes the 1948-49 Leaf set so hard to collect is the set was "skip-numbered."  Although the cards are numbered as high as #168 (Phil Cavarretta), there are only 98 total cards in the set.  49 were issued in normal quantities and the other 49 were available in significantly less quantity. This was a devious marketing ploy designed to keep collectors buying packs searching for the missing numbers. This was not that unusual in the early card collecting days as many manufacturers did not issue a specific card as part of the packs (1933 Goudey Lajoie) or had such an extremely limited release of a short print card so these cards are still almost never seen today (U.S. Caramel Freddy Lindstrom comes to mind on this). This was designed to keep kids interested and buying packs until they either got frustrated or ran out of money.

Leaf, continued this tactic with their football and boxing cards, also.  They used the skip-numbering in the 1949 Leaf Football and the 1948 Leaf Boxing issues.  The only set that they released that was in numerical order was the 1948 Leaf Football Set.

A Few Cards Can Really Add Up

The collection that we purchased included the Yankee Clipper Joe DiMaggio, the rookie card of Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser (a very tough short print - pictured at the top of this blog), Warren Spahn, Gene Hermanski (the correct version, not the error missing the "i") and a small group of the tough short prints including:  Dick Sisler, Vernon Stephens, George Kurowski and Frank Gustine.

1948 Leaf Joe DiMaggio1948 Leaf Warren Spahn1948 Gene Hermanski
1948 Leaf Vernon Stephens1948 Leaf George Kurowski1948 Leaf Frank Gustine

Surprising Value

Going through the small assortment of 1948-49 Leaf cards, we found quite a few "commons" that weren't exactly commons, but were actually short prints.  These short prints added hundreds and hundreds of additional dollars to the evaluation.  Needless to say, this made the owner very happy that they added this small group of cards rather than disposing of them because they "didn't look valuable."  We always recommend to sellers to include all of the old cards when having a collection evaluated.  Even something that may be in less than desirable condition may have substantial value.

The Checklist and the Short Prints

For your convenience, we've added a table below that will provide the entire checklist and identify the short prints:

1948 Leaf Baseball Checklist (BOLD Names are SHORT PRINTS)

  #1 Joe DiMaggio   #77 Roy Smalley
  #3 Babe Ruth   #78 Walter Evers
  #4 Stan Musial   #79 Jackie Robinson
  #5 Virgil Trucks   #81 George Kurowski
  #8 Satchel Paige   #82 Johnny Lindell
  #10 Paul "Dizzy Trout   #83 Bobby Doerr
  #11 Phil Rizzuto   #84 Sid Hudson
  #13 Casimer Michaels   #85 Dave Philley
  #14 Billy Johnson   #86 Ralph Weigel
  #17 Frank Overmire   #88 Frank Gustine
  #19 John Wyrostek   #91 Ralph Kiner
  #20 Hank Sauer   #93 Bob Feller
  #22 Al Evans   #95 George Stirnweiss
  #26 Sam Chapman   #97 Martin Marion
  #27 Mickey Harris   #98 Hal Newhouser
  #28 Jim Hegan   #101 John Sullivan
  #29 Elmo Valo   #102 Gene Hermansk (Error - No "i")
  #30 Bill Goodman   #102 Gene Hermanski (Correct)
  #31 Lou Brissie   #104 Edward Stewart
  #32 Warren Spahn   #106 Lou Boudreau
  #33 Harry Lowrey
  #108 Matthew Batts
  #36 Al Zarilla   #111 Gerald Priddy
  #38 Ted Kluszewski   #113 Emil Leonard
  #39 Ewell Blackwell   #117 Joe Gordon
  #42 Kent Peterson (Black Cap)   #120 George Kell
  #42 Kent Peterson (Red Cap)   #121 John Pesky
  #43 Eddie Stevens   #123 Clifford Fannin
  #45 Ken Keltner   #125 Andy Pafko
  #46 Johnny Mize   #127 Enos Slaughter
  #47 George Vico   #128 Warren Rosar
  #48 Johnny Schmitz   #129 Kirby Higbe
  #49 Del Ennis   #131 Sid Gordon
  #50 Dick Wakefield   #133 Tommy Holmes
  #51 Alvin Dark   #136 Cliff Alberson (Full Sleeve)
  #53 Johnny Vandermeer   #136 Cliff Alberson (Short Sleeve)
  #54 Bobby Adams   #137 Harry Walker
  #55 Tommy Henrich   #138 Larry Doby
  #56 Larry Jansen   #139 Johnny Hopp
  #57 Bob McCall   #142 Danny Murtaugh
  #59 Lucius Appling   #143 Dick Sisler
  #61 Jake Early   #144 Bob Dillinger
  #62 Eddie Joost   #146 Harold Reiser
  #63 Barney McCosky   #149 Henry Majeski
  #65 Bob Elliot   #153 Floyd Baker
  #66 Orval "Lefty" Grove   #158 Harry Brecheen
  #68 Ed Miller   #159 Mizell Platt
  #70 Honus Wagner   #160 Bob Scheffing
  #72 Hank Edwards   #161 Vernon Stephens
  #73 Pat Seerey   #163 Freddy Hutchinson
  #75 Dom DiMaggio   #165 Dale Mitchell
  #76 Ted Williams   #168 Phil Cavarretta

Just Collect is ALWAYS Buying

If you have a collection, whether it includes short prints, stars or just cards that you are unsure of, please contact us with this simple online form or call our office at (732) 828-2261.  We'd welcome the opportunity to talk to you about your collection and help you get an idea of the value of the cards and the collection that you have.  Even a few cards may have enough value for us to be interested in purchasing.

Schedule an Appointment to Meet Just Collect at a Show Near You

Just Collect travels to several shows on a regular basis. In the New York area, we often attend the White Plains Show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. If you're in the New England area, you can make an appointment to meet with one of our specialists when we're in the area for the Shriner's Show at the Aleppo Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. We also visit the Metro-DC area when we attend the CSA Show in Chantilly, VA. If you're in the South Jersey or Delaware area, you can also schedule appointments while we're in the Philadelphia area when we do The Philly Show in Valley Forge, PA.

We set up at The National Sports Collectors Convention every year and this year, it will be at the IX Center in Cleveland, OH and it has been in Chicago, Atlantic City and Baltimore in recent years. Additionally, we travel to the Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo in Mississauga, Ontario for those of you in the Toronto area that want to meet with us in Canada.

We would love to meet with you and schedule a private appointment to assess and value your collection while we are in your area, so please check out our show and travel schedule to see when Just Collect will be in your area!

Our Buying Philosophy

We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the past decade. Although we are known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage basketball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, also!

Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and soul into building their collection. So when you're ready to sell, Just Collect understands the feelings that you're going through and we will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.

Won't They Be Worth More if I Grade Them Myself

We discuss all of the selling options with everyone that we meet with. In most cases, selling the collection on their own will put the most money on the bottom line, but it will also take an large commitment of time and energy and one that most are not ready or able to undertake. Another misconception is that grading the collection will return more money. When I hear people say, "You're just going to grade them and get ten times the money," I almost cringe. Grading a collection can be a money losing proposition, especially if you don't know what you're doing. And most times, we grade very few, if any cards, from average collections that we buy.

We value a collection based upon the condition and the value. If a card is worth $100 in a PSA 7 NM, we're going to value it at $100 whether it is ungraded or graded. You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars grading your cards, but we're still valuing them the same and paying the same regardless of how much you've invested in grading them.

We Are Always Buying

Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss your collection and get our industry leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace.

Don't hesitate to check out our Google Reviews left by many of the great people that have considered selling collections to Just Collect.

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