It is the beginning of the holiday season and as the leaves fall off of the trees, we had a nice collection of Leafs come into our Somerset, NJ office recently. 1948 and 1949 Leaf Football Sets to be exact.
A gentleman from the Midwest recently contacted Just Collect about a portion of his collection that he had inherited from his grandfather. The gentleman related how he and his grandfather had spent time collecting and assembling the sets, the 1948 and 1949 Leaf Sets as well as a run of Bowman Football sets, but since his grandfather had passed, he no longer had an interest in the collection and was interested in the possibility of selling it. To begin with, he forwarded the 1948 and 1949 Leaf Sets to our office via our FREE FedEx Shipping Program, just like the owner of the "Dad's 1933-1935 Goudey Collection." It is a program that affords owners FREE and INSURED shipping on select collections.
Not Our First Rodeo
This won't be the first 1948 Leaf Football Set or lot that we've had. We've had a few, including this group on the 1948's Wild Collection that we purchased a few years back. However, if memory serves correctly, this will be the first complete 1949 Leaf Football Set that we've had. We've always had a soft spot for the 1948 Leaf Football issue as Just Collect's Vice President has amassed one of the more thorough collections, including many variations and autographed cards.
Arrival and Payment in the Same Day!
With the Thanksgiving Holiday approaching, the owner of the collection asked if we would be able to process the collection quickly and be able to provide him with an assessment and an offer before Thanksgiving so that the collection would not linger in our office over the holiday weekend. We assured him that we would be able to do that. The collection arrived early on Monday morning and our specialsts reviewed, assessed and valued the collection and had an offer for the gentleman later in the afternoon. We discussed the collection with him, reviewed our findings and agreed upon a purchase price and Just Collect was able to send him Overnight payment that very same day -- less than an 8 hour turn-around!
1948 and 1949 Leaf
The premier set from Leaf was released in 1948 and featured 98 cards issued in two different 49 card series featuring both collegiate stars and professional players. The first series, or Low Numbers, featured most of the NFL stars as well as many variations -- typically white or black names and some color variants. The second series, or High Numbers, feature predominantly collegiate players with no "significant" variation and are considered somewhat scarcer with even the commons carrying hefty premiums. Out of the 98 cards in the complete set, there is an astounding total of 15 Professional Football Hall of Fame rookie cards. The total of 15 is likely to increase with the potential of several others eventually gaining induction into the Hall. Philadelphia Eagles perennial All-Star tackle Al Wistert and New York Giants quarterback, and former Marlboro Man, Charley Conerly are worthy candidates for the Hall, but will have to await Senior Committee selection somewhere down the road.
The 1948 Leaf Set is one that sells very well and is affordable for most collectors in low and even in mid-grade. However, the pricing and the scarcity becomes rather limiting when cards start getting into the Near Mint or high conditions. Plagued by a soft and somewhat fragile card stock, MINT examples are virtually non-existent. Add the crude printing process and the inconsistent cutting techniques as well as many cards being poorly centered and building a high end set, even if you have deep pockets, will prove quite the challenge.
One of the most notorious cards with respect to centering is Chuck Bednarik. The card is so consistently off-centered that when two Leaf collectors were talking about watching some old football films, every time Bednarik was featured, Bednarik was to the far side of the screen -- an homage to the horrible left/right centering typically found on the 1948 Leaf card.
The 1949 Leaf Football Set was issued a bit differently. The set featured 49 players from the 1948 Leaf Set, all professionals, and the images were all the same as the 1948 Leaf. The backs may have had minor changes to the biography; otherwise, the only visible change was the 1949 copyright at the very bottom.
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.
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.
The "1948 and 1949 Leaf Football Collection" Video: