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1948-49 Leaf #98 Hal Newhouser SP Prototype—SGC 10

Lot Number 2

Quantity: Bid Starts: 01/18/2009 16:00:00 
Bid Open: 1500.00  Bid Ends: 02/04/2009 23:45:59 
Bid Count: 21  Overtime: 30 Minutes
Currently: 80000.00  Time Left: Ended
View Count: 5694   

The first full-color issue following World War II, the 1948-49 Leaf series introduced legions of wide-eyed youth to baseball card collecting. Although the nationally released set has been enthusiastically collected for over sixty years, the inclusion of challenging short-prints and pose variations have stymied many attempts at securing a full series of 98 cards. One of the key short-prints is found with the rookie card of #98 Hal Newhouser. The debut appearance of Prince Hal is perpetually atop many advanced collectors want lists. In early 2008, a previously undiscovered 1948-49 Leaf #98 Newhouser pose surfaced in Baltimore, Maryland. It is natural that after six decades the unearthing of a new variation from an acclaimed set caused quite a stir in the vintage baseball card community. As the subject of several message board forums as well as the October 2008 Old Cardboard newsletter, this mysterious relic was initially met with disbelief. However, after prolonged examination, the consensus from several hobby experts concludes that the offered 1948-49 Leaf #98 Hal Newhouser SP photo and bio variation is a bona fide prototype. Graded 10 PR 1 by SGC, the prototype varies from the released version in that the pose, split-colored background and reverse biography are different. A variety of factors indicate that #98 Newhouser was initially slated to be included in the more common first series. Only split-colored poses and the textual wording “left handed” are found on first series cards. For whatever speculative reasons (possibly contractual), Newhouser was left for the second series. Card manufacturers of the age typically kept sample cards in notebooks, usually affixing the “prototypes” to the pages with staples. The offered relic displays these staple markings along the top border. The so-called technical flaw actually serves as a ringing endorsement to the history of this example. This vintage cardboard is further highlighted by a radiant blue-and-yellow background and an attractive “follow-through” pose. In the sports memorabilia industry the terms “unique” and “one-of-a-kind” are often used as descriptors for either high-profile cornerstone items or esoteric pieces with little secondary value. This unparalleled piece is an important hobby discovery that serves to advance the scope of knowledge of the renowned 1948-49 Leaf set. 
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