Goudey Gum makes it right...1934 Goudey Baseball High Number Uncut Sheet with 1933 Napoleon Lajoie #106. It was the most auspicious "mistake" in baseball card production since a printer's assistant broke the Eddie Plank plate while producing the fabled T206 issue, dooming that Hall of Fame hurler to walk a lonely tobacco trail with fellow legend Honus Wagner. But here, with the 1933 Goudey Baseball issue, the dawning of the bubble gum era, it was mere oversight that would establish Napoleon Lajoie as one of the hobby's greatest rarities. That gorgeous Depression-era set is widely and properly considered one of the true masterpieces of trading card design, the cards larger than life in both physical dimension and its roster of legends from Ruth to Gehrig to Foxx, with 240 entries required for completion.
Or, rather, 239.
For some reason lost to hobby history, card number 106 was never produced in 1933, an error that the Goudey brass initially expected would simply escape the notice of the few young collectors able to afford the luxury of trading cards during such lean economic times. But before long there were letters arriving at their Boston offices bemoaning that unscratchable itch and demanding that the contract printed on the back of each 1933 Goudey--"This is one of a series of 240 Baseball Stars"--be honored.
It was through the printing of the company's sophomore set that Goudey would fulfill its obligation, adding the namesake of the Dead Ball Era team from Cleveland to 1934 production. The number 106 was assigned to verso, and the obverse design appeared as an odd hybrid between the two annual issues, retaining the silhouetted figures of 1934 while dispensing with the Lou Gehrig or Chuck Klein portraits and facsimile signatures.
None of these Lajoie cards would ever see the inside of a wax pack, instead available only to the relatively small band of youngsters who made inquiries via post. As such, there is no major issue bubble gum card that has ever seen such limited initial distribution. Add eight decades to the equation, and the population narrows to a hair's breadth, with fewer than seventy-five examples appearing on the PSA population report.
But here we find the greatest Lajoie rarity of all, an uncut sheet that documents the solution to the famous Goudey misstep of 1933. Twenty-five cards appear in total, with the emperor of the gum age, Napoleon Lajoie, grinning from far right in the second row.
Condition is quite impressive, as our catalog imagery should attest, the main caveat coming in the form of a horizontal crease line that runs along the top of the third row of cards but remains fully clear of the Lajoie. There are brief areas of added paper fibers to increase integrity. A tear affecting McManus has been repaired as well with a minimal amount of fibers added. Typical corner wear, creasing to Adam Comorosky and Jim Mooney at the bottom corners, a small stain to reverse of Ki Ki Cuyler, and a light pencil mark to reverse of Ed Wells complete the assessment.
Certainly any quibbles over the state of preservation are rendered nearly moot by the towering rarity and importance of the offering, a relic that broadcasts one of the greatest tales of the trading card collecting hobby. There are those who will consider this to be the most significant bubble gum era offering in hobby history, and that viewpoint is not without merit.
Sheet is framed between two panes of glass to dimensions of 16x19".
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2018 November 15-16 Fall Sports Card Catalog Auction