Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons LXXV
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/22/2018
“Lajoie was one of the most rugged hitters I ever faced. He’d take your leg off with a line drive, turn the third baseman around like a swinging door, and powder the hand of the left fielder.”
- Cy Young


Napolean Lajoie is a name often lost in the 21st century world where strikeouts outnumber homeruns and selfies hold favor over selflessness on the baseball diamond. But Lajoie should never be forgotten.

For his career, Lajoie batted .338, topping the .300 mark 15 times and leading the league five times. He cranked out 3,243 hits, 657 doubles, scored 1,504 runs, and drove in 1,599. Lajoie swung the bat so hard, that on three separate occasions in 1899, he literally ripped the cover off the ball—inspiring a similar moment for Roy Hobbs in Bernard Malamud’s celebrated and epic baseball novel, The Natural.

Beyond Lajoie’s prowess on-field, he is considered the American League’s first true superstar and was one of the most popular players to ever lace up the spikes. The hard-hitting, graceful fielding second baseman remains the only active player to have a team named in his honor, for the period when Cleveland was known as The Naps. So it seems only fitting that the Goudey Gum Company used the image of such a beloved figure to manipulate the market in an effort to sell more packs of baseball cards.

The 1933 Goudey Lajoie, A Case of Manipulation and Deception.

The 1933 Goudey Big League Gum baseball card set captivated a baseball-crazed nation. Kids and collectors swept up packs of cards filled with names including Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, Dean, Simmons, Hornsby, Grove and many, many more greats from baseball’s golden age. As enthusiasts pieced together sets from card #1 of Benny Bengough to card #240 of Hal Schumacher no one could seem to find card #106. Of course, there was no such thing as an in-pack “checklist” in those days, so kids of all ages kept buying cards and Goudey executives kept on selling them, knowing that card #106 simply didn’t exist.

In 1934, frustrated collectors wrote to Goudey asking about card #106. Those who inquired were rewarded with the cardboard classic featuring a retired Lajoie, completing the 1933 set. But very few collectors contacted Goudey, resulting in the extreme scarcity of a card that now stands as a legend in the hobby.

Steadily Climbing Value – The Story of the 1933 Goudey Lajoie

In times of financial boom or financial bust, the Goudey Lajoie, much like the T206 Wagner card, seems to defy market realities. In 2016, a stunning PSA 9 Goudey Lajoie sold for an eye-popping $228,000. A PSA 3 of the Goudey card hasn’t hit the market in over a decade; however a PSA 2 sold in 2017 for $33,600. Simply put, the market for this card is as strong as ever and demand continues to grow.

The PSA 3 offered in this auction carries the classic hallmarks of a card carrying the grade of VG. It has been handled but not abused. The card’s color and clarity remain clear and bright, with light handling residue. Corners are soft but not overly rounded with no signs of foxing. The card’s cut falls within consistent norms and the borders are a dull shade of white but have not yellowed. In stock market terms, we rate this card a STRONG BUY.

POP REPORT: Between PSA and SGC a total of 121 known examples of the 1933 Goudey #106 Lajoie card have been graded. 86 by PSA and 35 by SGC.
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1933 Goudey Napoleon Lajoie #106 PSA 3 VG

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Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $9,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $29,575.20
Number Bids: 6
Auction closed on Friday, June 22, 2018.
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