April 2019 Spring Premium Auction - Rare & High-Grade Cards You Won't Find Anywhere Else
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/5/2019

The current high bids for the cumulative group of singles, $18,196.00 is currently higher than the total for the complete set, $5,000.00 (this lot is currently losing)

Playoff Corporation broke the mold in 1998 when it released its Contenders football card issue, an ultra high-end product that offered not one but “three unique 100 card base sets highlighted by different technologies, photography, design and numbering.” Each pack of the product contained one card from each of these three sets: Leather, Pennant, and Ticket. Most importantly, each rookie card in the Ticket base set featured an on-card autograph. In retrospect, Playoff essentially reinvented the rookie card with its 1998 Contenders Ticket issue, creating the hobby's first-ever set to offer autograph rookie cards as a part of its base checklist, a hobby innovation that beat the Topps Company’s famous 2001 Bowman Chrome baseball product by three full years. In the two decades since its first release, the Contenders Ticket design has been replicated and recycled in dozens upon dozens of additional sets, not just in football but across all sports. To call the original 1998 issue merely innovative, therefore, is insufficient. Its classic and enduring design and its year-after-year, indeed decade-after-decade replication has made the design itself an icon of the hobby. In short, the 1998 Playoff Contenders Ticket set was a complete and total game-changer.

Unbeknownst to most collectors, what is most fascinating about the groundbreaking 1998 Playoff Contenders Ticket set, however, is that the cards can occasionally be found with a gold foil serial number on back. As a promotion to its growing customer base in 1998, the innovators at Playoff challenged collectors to complete full sets of each of the three different Contenders sets. Collectors could then submit their complete sets to Playoff for a redemption prize as well as a special treatment to their cards. Each "Registered Exchange" card would be stamped on back in gold foil with the number in which its set was received back by Playoff.

Until this auction, in over 20 years of grading the groundbreaking and massively popular 1998 Playoff Contenders cards, PSA had processed only a small handful of the elusive and mysterious "Registered Exchange" cards from each of the three different 1998 Playoff Contenders sets. With provenance that includes our consignors' original communications with Playoff Corporation, Small Traditions, LLC is very proud to bring to market full assemblies of each of the three different sets: Leather, Pennant, and Ticket.

Offered here is the complete 100-card 1998 Playoff Contenders Ticket Registered Exchange set. Each card has been stamped "No.1" in gold foil on back because our consignor and his son were the first collectors to complete the set and return it to Playoff Corporation. According to our research, fewer than ten total 1998 Playoff Contenders Ticket sets were ever registered, and this is the first complete set to ever be offered for public sale. Thirty-six of the cards have been graded by PSA, including the "big four"—Peyton Manning, Randy Moss, Fred Taylor, and Hines Ward—which we're offering as a part of this complete set but also as single cards in the preceding auction lots. The cards will sell via whichever format delivers the highest bidding for our consignors, whether this complete set or the combined bids on the individual cards, plus the partial set without the "big four," which appears in the last lot of the current auction.

PSA 8 NM-MT (5 cards): #19 Irvin, 40 Rison, 44 Carter, 54 Martin, 57 J. George.

PSA 7 NM (8 cards): #21 D. Sanders, 24 Elway, 29 B. Sanders, 43 Marino, 47 Bledsoe, 69 Moon, 75 Dunn, 94 Ward Autograph.

PSA 6.5 EX-MT+ (1 card): #87 Manning Autograph.

PSA 6 EX-MT (19 cards): #8 Reed, 10 B. Smith, 11 T. Thomas, 17 Aikman, 23 Davis, 31 Favre, 32 Freeman, 35 Faulk, 41 D. Thomas, 59 Fryar, 60 Bettis, 66 Rise, 67 Young, 71 Bruce, 76 Sapp, 77 E. George, 78 McNair, 89 Taylor Autograph, 92 Moss Autograph.

PSA 5 EX (2 cards): #22 E. Smith, 55 T. Brown.

PSA 4 VG-EX (1 card): #34 White.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000
Final prices include buyers premium:
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Sunday, May 5, 2019.
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