October 2019 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/11/2019
Almost 20 years after he played his final game, Napoleon Lajoie returned to the baseball card hobby on what is one of the most celebrated, and dubious, pasteboards ever produced. The story begins with the production of the 1933 Goudey series, signaling the return of mainstream baseball cards but instead of packing the cards with tobacco and marketing it to adults, Goudey placed the cards in with the packaging of their gum to market them to kids. But Goudey wasn't exactly forthcoming in their efforts, and that's where a baseball legend decades removed from the game comes in. The 1933 Goudey series was advertised to be a 240-card set but was only 239 cards because card #106 was never issued. Knowing collectors, mostly children, would be determined to complete the set, Goudey withheld the card to keep the kids buying gum and trying to chase down something that didn't exist. It didn't take long for Goudey's little gimmick to be discovered and complaint letters started making their way to the company's Boston headquarters. In an attempt to avoid bad press, Goudey filled the #106 spot with a card of past great Napoleon Lajoie. Since the 1934 Goudey series was already in production, the Lajoie card was made to look like a '34 with a baseball scene in the backdrop instead of the solid color that is the hallmark of the 1933 series. Another unique feature is that the card has neither the red "Big League Chewing Gum" nameplate from the 1933 series nor the "Lou Gehrig says" or "Chuck Klein says" banner from the 1934 series. Since the card was only distributed to collectors that formally complained in writing, the number of examples known could be on par with the T206 Cobb with Cobb back or, at most, the T206 Eddie Plank, both of which are also featured in this auction. Offered is an enticing PSA 4.5 example of one the hobby's true rarities, a card that few collectors have ever seen in person much less own. The perimeter and surface quality are in line with the grade but the astute centering makes this particularly appealing for any advanced collector aiming to nab a '33 Lajoie at the mid-grade level. The central image is surreal, a sharp and well-registered image that many a collector has only encountered in books about the world's scarcest sports cards. The crowning piece of the iconic Goudey series and one of the top 10 most coveted scarcities dedicated to the world of baseball!
1933 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie PSA 4.5 VG/EX+1933 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie PSA 4.5 VG/EX+
1933 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie PSA 4.5 VG/EX+
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $12,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $44,248.80
Number Bids: 20
Auction closed on Friday, October 11, 2019.
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