Our sixth sports card collecting “class” will continue to focus on the 1933 Goudey Baseball Card Set. The iconic set is more than just Babe Ruth. Alright, I know Yankee fans will notice that this is a picture of that OTHER Yankee Icon, Lou Gehrig, but the set is about more than Yankee players too!
Loaded with Cards
Since many of the players on the 1933 Goudey player checklist never had a baseball card made of them before, this set has more “rookie” cards than most sets. However, maybe they should be referred to as “1st player” cards instead of rookie cards because many of them are not in their rookie or 1st year playing Major League Baseball. Mell Ott is a great example. He’s SEVEN seasons into his Hall of Fame career when this 1933 Goudey Card was released.
There are an eye-popping thirty-three Hall of Fame baseball players in this set! One of the Hall of Fame players featured in the set frustrates and fascinates investors and collectors. Nap Lajoie, card #106 in the set is not part of the original print run. Set collectors at the time wrote to inquire about the missing card. To satisfy complaints, the card was printed in 1934. However, it was never released publicly. Instead, collectors had to write in to the company and request a card; which was then mailed to them. As a result, the card is the king of short prints and one of the most sought-after cards in this set.
1933 Goudey Set is The Target of Counterfeiting
Stop me if you heard this before, but the 1933 Goudey set is ripe with counterfeit cards. Like the previous two sets I discussed in previous “classes,” the set is popular amongst collectors. As a result, there are a lot of counterfeit copies out there. Fortunately, there are a few websites out there that help you navigate the real from the fake. All Vintage Cards has a great post that breaks down the Gehrig and Ruth cards. Any card in this set can have a counterfeit version.
There are several ways to spot a Ruth counterfeit. Focusing on the grass is an easy way to detect a counterfeit. In the authentic version of this card, the grass shows much more detail and color under your jewelers loupe than a counterfeit. Check out the All Vintage Cards link for more information on spotting the counterfeit!
Low Numbered Cards in this Set are Scarce!
Throw out the price guide on this set if you find high-grade samples of the low-numbered cards in this series. This set is one of the “Big Three” of all time baseball card sets. There are many collectors who compete with each other to finish their sets with high grade samples. The low number cards contain inferior cardboard quality materials. They are MUCH harder to find in high grade. Prices of high grade, low numbered cards in the set are sometimes selling for FIVE TIMES the price of the high numbered cards in the set. If the bidding for low numbered cards in high grade at auctions are going nuts, you know why.
This set is easily one of the most popular sets in sports card collecting. It has a very desirable checklist. The production values are outstanding. The card design has withstood the test of time. Even modern cardmakers pay tribute to this set with current ballplayers. Singles of this set sell no matter what the grade. The downside of this set is that EVERYONE who collects sports cards will look into auction lots that contain these cards. Where you can land big savings with purchasing singles from this set is through estate auctions that feature whole estates up for auctions and the baseball cards are just a few lots of the total auction.
Don’t Let it go Stale!
An important element in my search for sports cards or comic books is the “fun quotient” or the “Competition Factor.” What makes sports card or comic collecting so awesome is that it is a truly UNIQUE opportunity to enjoy the past and appreciate great craftsmanship. Sports cards can be popular with bidders and garner high interest. If it gets a check in the fun quotient or competition factor box, I’m going for it! The Goudey set checks both those boxes!
Check out my other sports card collecting classes!
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