Masterpieces & Uncommon Commons XX
Lot #2: 1933 Goudey Napoleon Lajoie #106 PSA 4 VG-EX

This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on: 2/13/2009
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Final Bid(Includes Buyers Premium): $29,711.05
Number of Bids: 16
Auction closed on: 2/13/2009

Of all the major cards in our treasured hobby, only a select few have achieved top 10 status, including a combination of desirability and value. One of these subjects, the famous 1933 Goudey Napoleon Lajoie presented here in a superb PSA 4 holder, ranks in the top five, and is undoubtedly one of the most sought after cards by any high end enthusiast. The scarcity of the 1933 Goudey #106 Lajoie is traced back to the original release of bubble gum cards by the Boston situated Goudey Gum Co. For some inexplicable reason, the #106 card, just happening to be the retired immortal 2nd baseman Nap Lajoie, was excluded from the bubble gum baseball packs. Imagine the frustration for a myriad of young card collectors craving to complete the entire 240 card set, only to fall one card short in 1933. So disgruntled was the general public that a significant number of letters expressing absolute dissatisfaction over a perceived “scam”, flooded the Goudey Co.’s home office. To avoid a potential sales reduction for their 1934 Goudey issues, the company decided to accommodate the dissatisfied customers and printed the #106 Lajoie on their 1934 high numbered sheets with 1933 Goudey backs. Not distributed in 1934 baseball packs, these cards were mailed to the collectors who had contacted the company with an apologetic letter. The sole mystifying question remains: was the 1933 absence of the #106 Lajoie a simple oversight or solely planned to force the public to buy an infinite number of Goudey packs in a futile attempt to complete the set? While the sure answer to the 1933 Goudey quandary will forever be speculation at best, this we do know: the offered example is truly one of the hobby’s most desirable and valuable cardboard artifacts. The central Lajoie “waist up” portrait image is un-improvable, depicting super contrast and superb color patterns to support Lajoie’s pleasing smile. A very eye pleasing lime/olive green background is fully intact with the “Napoleon (Larry) Lajoie” print above his image portraying bold registration. Mildly toned borders are centered approximately 65/35, and the corners, relatively square, reflect general wear consistent with the “Vg-Ex” grade. While a number of diminutive wrinkles exist especially near the middle left border and top right corner, they are virtually invisible to the naked eye and only apparent via magnification. The backside print for the Lajoie storyline and Goudey Co. advertisement retains a majority of its original registration. Overall, no major surface flaws are evident for an example that while appropriately graded, provides a number appealing characteristics expected from an “Ex” graded card. Not often does a top “5” baseball card become available. The 1933 Goudey set is the most desirable pre WWII bubble gum set, and just may be the most popular one ever manufactured (with all due respect to the 1952 Topps). A myriad of high end collectors continue to attempt completing this set that includes 240 subjects; however, many only pursue 239, forgoing the #106 Lajoie. For those elite enthusiasts that are relentless in their pursuit of either obtaining all 240 Goudey cards, or unyielding in their quest for acquiring one of the hobby’s finest cardboard artifacts, this offering is a perfect candidate for filling both possible requirements via its museum quality status!