Spring 2020 Premium Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/20/2020
Graded MINT 9 by PSA, one of just nine copies in the world assessed at that magnificent tier with none graded higher. Hall of Famer. Presented is a wholly laudable example of a legendary hobby rarity. This high-profile collectible—desired by virtually all, but accessible to so few—was produced in a miniscule quantity. Fewer than one hundred specimens, in total, have been holdered by the industry's premier grading service. Several correlaries of this fact are well worthy of consideration. First, the card's mystique (not to mention its value) has ensured that virtually all examples that have ever surfaced were rushed into PSA's hands for authentication. Second, as the few extant copies were generally circulated to a lesser degree than '33 Goudey's relatively humdrum Ruths and Gehrigs, the offered item's placement among its census listing's top echelon serves to reinforce its none-better standing: it's reasonable to assert the premise that no superior specimen has been confirmed, because none finer was ever manufactured. Finally, and perhaps obviously, it's appropriate to reemphasize that this extraordinary card is tailor-made to anchor one of the hobby's truly elite 1933 Goudey complete sets. The story behind the creation of this universally admired and hungered-for piece is a prized component of industry lore, and it describes one of the farthest-reaching customer service efforts ever concocted. Although the impact would be considered small by today's standards, Goudey intended to make a "splash" with its 1933 set of baseball cards. The company planned to market a series of 240 insert items, and they were designed to be the best gumcards of their type ever seen. Full color was to be employed, and detailed text would explain the players' accomplishments to eager buyers of Big League bubble gum. And, as yet another marketing innovation, the cards would be released in a timely fashion to coincide with current events. Multiple cards of such key players as Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx and Ott were created in order to capitalize on those athletes' popularity, and the Giants and Senators were issued largely en masse as the World Series approached. Goudey had its entire distribution strategy arranged, with only one "minor" shortcoming: the company neglected to print card number 106. Eventually, to mitigate a surprisingly intense outpouring of bad feeling on the part of its clientele, Goudey printed #106, complete with a 1933-style reverse, on the high number sheet of its '34's. Small groups of the card were carefully plucked from the presses and diligently sent by mail, one-by-one, to each offended customer along with a letter of apology. None of these cards were inserted into packs or made available for casual purchase by the public. Here featured is a superlative illustration of Goudey's belated response to its customers' imperiled loyalty: 1933 Goudey card number 106 depicting Napoleon Lajoie. Naturally, complaints ceased after the limited appearance of this wonderful card. Even though Lajoie was retired, the item was embraced with enthusiasm. (Ty Cobb had likewise been a hit in Goudey's 1933/34 "Sport Kings" set.) The essence of this collectible, the most widely coveted gumcard ever made, is fully realized in this gorgeous example. Evidence of handling is entirely absent on its proudly formed corners, and the issue's tendency toward natural and discreet toning is beautifully embodied in this showpiece. The item's unblemished colors are bright and bold, and its aesthetic presence is marvelous. This revered Lajoie card projects with dignity and prominence from every perspective. Here is an incomparable Goudey artifact, a thoroughly estimable representative of what is without question one of the most rare and desirable items in the baseball card collecting hobby. Fabulous Mint condition.
1933 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie – PSA MINT 9
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $50,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $192,000.00
Number Bids: 15
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
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