Summer, 2013 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/25/2013

There are high-grade sets and then there are masterpieces.

In an auction known for a distinct lack of unnecessary hyperbole, Love of the Game has quickly become known as a company that does not use overly flowery language to artificially enhance the quality of our lots.  Our job is to curate our lots to filter out material that might not meet our customers' expectations, then describe the items and their significance to the best of our ability.

With a set like this, though, it's an extraordinarily difficult task, because it's simply the most beautiful postwar set we've ever encountered.

1967 Topps is a watershed moment in baseball card design.  A longstanding favorite among collectors, the set is known for its beautiful simplicity, each card boasting a large, bold player photograph and facsimile signature, along with a clean back with player facts and easy-to-read career stats. Unlike many other Topps sets which were bogged down by design and typography, the 1967 issue lets the photo be the design, and in the process becomes one of the most attractive and possibly most iconic of all the 1960s baseball issues.

The set is also popular due to player selection, containing a significant assortment of Hall of Famers as well as the rookie cards of both Rod Carew and Tom Seaver.  The scarce "high number" series is also scattered with important cards including HOFer Brooks Robinson.  

This set ranks #14 on the PSA Set Registry's Current Finest List, and 22nd on the All-Time Finest List.  With an overall weighted set GPA of 8.21, this is clearly among the finest graded 1967 Topps sets ever assembled.  Every one of the set's 609 cards has achieved a grade of at least NM-MT 8, with 50 graded NM-MT+ 8.5 and an astonishing 121 graded MINT 9.  A total of 28 cards in the set are the highest-graded copies available.  Furthermore, this set has been assembled over a period of several years, card by card, and so many of the cards graded NM-MT 8 could be candidates for resubmission, having never been reviewed by PSA for the half-point "bump."  On the PSA registry, with more than 100 sets ranking below this one, just one other set is within striking distance of overtaking this one in overall ranking.  The aggregate SMR value alone of this set approaches $20,000.

What is far more important than all the statistical details, however, is the absolutely amazing eye appeal of these cards.  It is difficult to describe.  The set was assembled by a professional graphic designer with an intense love for this set and its design, and a perfectionist's eye for printing detail.  In his professional life, quality photography and printing has been critical to his success, and that same perfectionist's eye has accompanied him to the hobby.

1960s Topps cards are plagued with quality control issues, beyond simple centering problems.  Print defects like registration issues, "fish eyes" and printing "snow" are prevalent among all Topps sets from the era as these glitches were simply not considered defects in the era the way they are today.  Additionally, age-related fading and surface wear is a natural occurrence over time.  As collectors, we have all seen a multitude of examples of how these types of issues are so often overlooked by grading companies - a NM-MT card from the 1960s with a prominent fish eye or print dots is sadly not an exception.

This set has none of that, because the original collector simply could not stand to have that sort of card in his collection.  

Auction listings often describe sets as having been assembled "card-by-card."  It's become a catch-all description for graded sets in auctions.  This set was actually built card-by-card, often with purchases of raw cards that were self-submitted to PSA, as the collector sought out only clean examples with incredibly vivid images, perfect registration, and a distinct lack of print defects.  While an intense review of the set might yield a fish eye or roller line here or there, this set is simply like one you will never see.

Indeed, the consignor fully intended for Love of the Game to sell this set, but not until the final card - the perfect example - was added.  What was it?  It was card #32 of Bob Bailey, an easy-to-find common with little overall value and a reasonably high population in high grade.  The collector was simply looking for the best possible example of the card, and until he located one that met his exacting standards, he would not and could not consider the set "complete."

A breakdown of the cards' technical grades are as follows:  PSA MINT 9: 121 cards, including #11, 25, 29, 30 Al Kaline (HOF), 59, 69, 83, 87, 96, 98, 103 checklist (Mantle HOF), 107, 113, 116, 120, 122, 126, 135, 138, 162, 163, 169, 175, 177, 189, 191, 193, 198, 199, 202, 205, 207, 208, 214, 220, 224, 226, 228, 231, 240, 251, 252, 253, 254, 256, 258, 261, 265, 267, 269, 275, 276, 279, 281,288, 291, 296, 297, 307, 308, 312, 313, 325, 326 (Uecker), 329, 330, 332, 338, 341, 343, 344, 345, 355 Carl Yastrzemski (HOF), 357 (Skowron), 359, 366, 367, 368, 369 Catfish Hunter (HOF), 370, 371, 381, 387, 388, 398, 405, 406, 412, 414, 426, 438, 446, 447, 450 (Allen), 451, 453, 461, 463, 464, 471, 474, 480 Willie McCovey (HOF), 483, 489, 496, 500 Juan Marichal (HOF), 504, 518, 520, 521, 522, 537, 550 (Pinson), 552, 555, 556, 559, 566, 603, 606 PSA NM-MT+ 8.5: 50 cards, including #13, 22, 28, 31, 41, 66 (Mota), 102, 104, 119, 129, 134, 137, 140 Willie Stargell (HOF), 142, 158, 187, 194, 211, 213, 215 Ernie Banks (HOF), 234 NL ERA Leaders (Koufax), 271, 290, 303, 305, 317, 333 Ferguson Jenkins (HOF), 335, 340 (Pepitone), 351, 379, 380, 404, 407, 410, 434, 436, 437, 441, 443, 444, 468, 472, 479, 481 Leo Durocher (HOF), 510 Bill Mazeroski (HOF), 551, 571, 590, 596.  PSA NM-MT 8: 438 cards, including all others.

This is simply an incredible set, with one stunning card after another.  Our consignor spent years with this set in his office, with the cards easily accessible so that he could casually look through them, admiring their incredible eye appeal and near perfection, marveling at the diligence required to assemble a set of such incredible quality.  We are certain that the winning bidder will do the same.  609 cards total. 

 

Spectacular 1967 Topps Complete Graded Set (609) - #14 on the PSA Registry!Spectacular 1967 Topps Complete Graded Set (609) - #14 on the PSA Registry!Spectacular 1967 Topps Complete Graded Set (609) - #14 on the PSA Registry!Spectacular 1967 Topps Complete Graded Set (609) - #14 on the PSA Registry!Spectacular 1967 Topps Complete Graded Set (609) - #14 on the PSA Registry!Spectacular 1967 Topps Complete Graded Set (609) - #14 on the PSA Registry!Spectacular 1967 Topps Complete Graded Set (609) - #14 on the PSA Registry!Spectacular 1967 Topps Complete Graded Set (609) - #14 on the PSA Registry!Spectacular 1967 Topps Complete Graded Set (609) - #14 on the PSA Registry!Spectacular 1967 Topps Complete Graded Set (609) - #14 on the PSA Registry!Spectacular 1967 Topps Complete Graded Set (609) - #14 on the PSA Registry!Spectacular 1967 Topps Complete Graded Set (609) - #14 on the PSA Registry!
Spectacular 1967 Topps Complete Graded Set (609) - #14 on the PSA Registry!
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Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $29,500
Number Bids: 18
Auction closed on Sunday, August 25, 2013.
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