1933 Goudey Baseball Cards

33G-DICKEYWhen the subject of the most important baseball card releases in history comes up, all discussions include the Holy Trinity (no, not the Canadian rock band Rush); The T206 White Borders, the 1952 Topps and the 1933 Goudey Baseball Card Sets.

From 1933 until the end of the decade, Goudey baseball cards were the standard. Their 1933 R319 issue was a masterpiece. Combining a clean, basic design with attractive primary colors printed on a heavy cardboard stock, the set remains one of the most collected and cherished in the hobby.

The confluence of the sets’ popularity and the success of the New York Yankees squad of the era cannot be understated. In fact it was in the previous year’s World Series that Babe Ruth called his famous home run shot in Game 3 against Charlie Root and the Cubs.

33G-RUTH-YELLOWWhether or not the legendary events actually transpired, it makes no difference. The mystique of Ruth & the Yankees was a winning formula to capitalize on, and Goudey took full advantage.

The 1933 Goudey set contains no fewer than four Babe Ruth cards; #53 (Follow through, yellow background), #144 (taking a swing from a distance), #149 (Follow through, red background) and #181 (Babe slightly turned). Just like the ’52 Topps Mickey Mantle and T206 Ty Cobb, no collection is complete without a ’33 Goudey Ruth.

Babe’s sidekick, Lou Gehrig, is featured on two cards, #92 and #160. Unfortunately for collectors, the exact same image is used for both cards.

The rest of the 240-card set is a testament to the greatness of the early Live Ball Era. There are 64 cards of Hall of Famers in the set with many players represented on multiple cards. The rookies of many prominent players are included in the set as well.

33G-FOXXAmong the Hall of Famers and the quantity of cards are Dizzy Vance, Ted Lyons, Bill Dickey, Bill Terry (2), Pie Traynor, Kiki Cuyler, Paul Waner, Jimmie Foxx (2), Tony Lazzeri, Al Simmons, Eddie Collins, Jim Bottomley, Heine Manush (3), Frank Frisch, Charlie Red Ruffing, Waite Hoyt, Joe Cronin (3), Burleigh Grimes, Jesse Haines, Eppa Rixey, Mickey Cochrane, Red Faber, Tris Speaker, Travis Jackson, Earle Combs, Goose Goslin (2), Rabbit Marranville, Rogers Hornsby (2), Mel Ott (2), Chuck Klein, Fred Lindstorm, Sam Rice, Herb Pennock, Leo Durocher, Lloyd Waner, Joe Sewell, Earl Averill, Rick Ferrell, Gabby Hartnett, Hack Wilson, Vernon Lefty Gomez, Lefty Grove, Charley Gehringer, Dizzy Dean, Billy Herman, Floyd Arky Vaughan, Carl Hubbell (2) and of course Ruth (4) and Gehrig (2).

One Hall of Famer, who has yet to be mentioned, is Napoleon Lajoie, card #106 in the 1933 series. In the ultimate bait and 33G-LAJOIEswitch, Goudey did not produce the card of the popular Lajoie during the 1933 season. Basically, collectors were buying pack after pack, trying to get a card that, at the time, didn’t exist.

After a torrent of complaints, Goudey issued the card in 1934 and made it available to those angry customers who had written to express their displeasure. The Lajoie remains to this day, one of the rarest and most desirable baseball cards ever printed.

The mystique of the Lajoie, the motherload of Babe Ruth cards along with the sets’ unmatched player content and classic style, make the 1933 Goudeys a cornerstone of any vintage baseball card collection.

If you have any 1933 Goudey baseball cards (either sets, singles or an accumulation) to sell or any items on our baseball buy list, PLEASE CONTACT Mark Rubin at 914-725-2225 or via email at mark@amerlegends.com. A quick phone call is all it takes to get started.