1948 Leaf Football

1948 Leaf Football Cards


Commentary and updates on everything related to 1948 Leaf Football cards...

view:  full / summary

1948 Leaf Football Display Box Surfaces

Posted by Scott A on April 1, 2012 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (8)

Trying to find a 1948 Leaf Football wrapper has proven to be far more difficult than one would expect.  Given the nearly endless offerings of Bowman wrappers from the early to mid 1950's, the dearth of Leaf wrappers is somewhat surprising. Over the past several years, I've seen one made available and that was part of a larger lot of wrappers from the era.  The actuallity of it being 1948 versus 1949 is still up in the air as the images provided were not of high enough resolution to decipher.

Speaking with other collectors, I have been advised of two other 1948 Leaf wrappers that definitely exist in the hobby.  I'm sure that there are others, but I have yet to scour deep enough to unearth them.

Recently, an initial portion of one of the largest hobby collections, The Dreier Collection, was offered for auction by Chicago-based Legendary Auctions.  Amongst the items were to interesting lots.  The first was a nice run of football wrappers, albeit without a 1948 Leaf.  The second, and the most startling, was an original 1948 Leaf Football display box.

Now, consider for a moment, the scarcity of the wrappers from this issue and perhaps you can fathom the magnitude of such an item being presented.  Until the auction, although some knew of this box residing with the Dreier's, the existence of this item was akin to the existence of a unicorn.  Was it a myth or was it real? 

The question then became, what would this sell for?  Would there be a buyers' frenzy?  Was there any chance that I could add it to my collection without creating a great divide in my marriage?  Thankfully, the frenzy was less than expected, there was a chance that I could add it to my collection and I'm still married...

Spectacular Bobby Layne Variation offered on eBay

Posted by Scott A on September 18, 2011 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Reviewing recent auctions added to eBay, this auction for the scarce Bobby Layne Red Pants variation caught my eye. 

The auction copy reads: 

The Bobby Layne card, arguably one of the more difficult cards in the issue to locate in top grade, suffers the fatal flaw of having a very tall, oversized text field on the reverse, resulting in most cards being miscut as either the name on the top or the copyright line on the bottom will be partially absent. Accordingly, when the reverse is found without the miscut, the front is typically off-center, creating another obstacle for a high grade specimen.


The regular Layne card has the traditional Yellow Pants visible under Layne's left hand. However, the far scarcer Red Pants variation presents the pants in red. To demonstrate the scarcity of this variation, of the 229 total Bobby Layne cards graded to date with PSA, only 17 of the Red Pants variation have been noted compared to the 212 Yellow pants. Historically, the Red Pants variation has garnered a strong premium over the Yellow Pants variety, typically in the 2-3X range. This example is the ONLY PSA 7 Red Pants graded to date and is a key component of many highly regarded and well collected PSA Registry Sets."

White Background Variations

Posted by Scott A on September 18, 2011 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Presented are two additonal White Background variations that to date, are still uncataloged and PSA has not recognized them.

To the left is Harrell Collins, issued in the High Number Series and to the right is Bobby Nussbaumer, issued in the Low Number Series.

New Variation Unveiled

Posted by Scott A on September 2, 2011 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (0)

After several attempts, PSA has finally recognized the Steve Van Buren Blue Sock variation.  This variation exists in both the Green Jersey/Blue Sock (pictured below and previously uncataloged) and the Yellow Jersey/Blue Sock (cataloged in Beckett).

Hall of Famer and 1948 Leaf Member Pete Pihos Passes

Posted by Scott A on August 17, 2011 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Sourced from Associated Press 8/16/2011:

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Pete Pihos, a Hall of Fame receiver who helped the Philadelphia Eagles win two straight NFL championships in the 1940s, has died. He was 87.

He died Tuesday at a nursing home in Winston-Salem, N.C., after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, the team said.

Pihos played with the Eagles from 1947-55. He was on the team that captured the title in 1948, and he made the winning catch in the 1949 championship game against the Rams.

Pihos finished his nine-year career with 373 catches for 6,519 yards and 61 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970.

Pihos starred at Indiana before going on to the NFL. He was a stalwart on both sides of the ball at tight end and defensive end and missed just one game in nine NFL seasons.

A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Pihos was nicknamed "The Golden Greek." He lacked blazing receiver speed, but relied on pirouettes and pivots to break free from would-be tacklers and was a punishing runner after the catch.

"I try to get position on my opponent without him knowing it," the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Pihos told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1955. "I always watch my opponent's feet. When he crosses them or makes a definite commitment, that's when I make my move. I'll do whatever maneuvering necessary to reach the spot where the pass is to come."

Pihos still ranks among the team leaders in a number of offensive categories with the Eagles. He's third in catches behind Harold Carmichael and Pete Retzlaff; fourth in touchdowns after Carmichael, Steve Van Buren and Tommy McDonald; and 10th in all-time scoring with 378 points. He was selected to the franchise's 75th anniversary team.

A fifth-round draft pick by the Eagles in 1945, Pihos didn't start his NFL career until 1947 because his college career was interrupted by World War II, when he served in the military under Gen. George Patton.

Pihos' impact on the Eagles' offense and defense was immediate. Philadelphia reached its first championship game in his rookie season, losing 28-21 to the Chicago Cardinals.

The tandem of the sure-handed Pihos and Van Buren, a running back and fellow Hall of Famer, gave the Eagles a powerful offense, and Philadelphia claimed consecutive NFL championships in 1948 and '49.

Philadelphia beat the Cardinals 7-0 in a blizzard in the `48 title game to claim its first NFL title.

In the `49 title game, Pihos caught the eventual game-winning 31-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Thompson, and the Eagles beat the Los Angeles Rams 14-0 to become the first team to win back-to-back NFL championships in shutouts.

Eagles coaches later decided to have Pihos concentrate on offense when the platoon system was instituted. But when the Eagles needed help on defense in the 1952 season, Pihos stepped in and was an All-Pro at defensive end.

Pihos' last three NFL seasons were his most productive. In 1953, he had career highs in receptions (63) and yards (1,049) and scored 10 touchdowns.

At Indiana, Pihos was a versatile star during the 1942, `43, `45 and `46 seasons. He led the Hoosiers in receiving in 1942 and `43 and in rushing in 1946. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

As a member of the Army, Pihos served 14 months in Europe during World War II. He told the Pro Football Hall of Fame that he had vivid memories of serving under Patton, whom he called "a tough son-of-a-gun."

A native of Orlando, Fla., Pihos is survived by his ex-wife, Donna Pihos, who has been his caretaker for the past 12 years; their daughter, Melissa Pihos; and children from a previous marriage: son Peter Pihos Jr., daughters Nikki Pihos Walker and Lisa-Anne Pihos Mann, and stepson John Wesley Poole.


New Variation - Pending PSA Acceptance and Beckett Inclusion

Posted by Scott A on August 13, 2011 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I have shared this interesting accumulation of variations of Harry Gilmer's 1948 Leaf card with several other collectors.  It appears as though each of these variations, the Maroon and Red Jersey (consistent with others in the set) with a yellow or tan football and the even more interesting Maroon Jersey with a black football:

Recently, I provided each of the example to PSA for potential inclusion in the 1948 Leaf Master Set Registry.  Unlike the White Background variations, which appear to be scarcer than hen's teeth, this series of variations are somewhat more common and should be able to be acquired by all avid collectors of the issue.

There is no doubt as to the significant and distinct differences in the variations.  Unlike so many that suggest that there should be a Yellow/Orange variation for the name banners and/or backgrounds, this appears to be a legitimate variation within the set that should garner hobby-wide acceptance.