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 them, as Collect.com Auctions will offer these rare cards in its Sports & Americana Auction No. 5, which ends Aug. 12.
The 1934 Al Demaree Die-Cuts are not normal-looking trading cards. Their size, 6-1/2 inches high and 1-5/8 to 1-3/4 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 ends Aug. 12. For more information on the cards and register to bid, call (888) 463-3063 or visit www.collect.com/auctions.