The 1936 World Wide Gum set is one of the most rare pre-War baseball cards on the planet. It might also be among the most underrated.
Issued in Quebec by Goudey Gum's Canadian subsidiary, the set consists of 135 cards. Obviously, not many made it over the border during a time when long-distance travel was still limited for most people. Those that have survived generally show the effects of 70+ years.
This weekend, though, New Jersey-based mega-seller Just Collect is offering a number of them in their ongoing eBay auction listings.
"These cards are very tough to find and include a high concentration of Hall of Famers in such a small set," said Just Collect's Scott Greenwald. " They are very rarely offered for sale on eBay or in other marketplaces. We have a nice run that ends on Sunday."
The 1936 World Wide Gum set includes the Joe DiMaggio card that under current guidelines would be the Yankee Clipper's 'true' rookie card--the first card showing him in a big league uniform. It's on virtually every serious Yankee collector's want list.
Just Collect is beginning a set break of World Wides, many of which are among the highest recorded on PSA's Set Registry. Included in this week's auction lots are a PSA 7 Bill Lee, a PSA 6.5 Tom Abernathy and a PSA 6 Cy Perkins--all pop 1's. Popular Yankees Red Rolfe and Frankie Crosetti are also up for bid on eBay.
A more modern set that has a big fan base is the 1961 Golden Press issue. There are just 33 players in the set, all of them all-time greats from the first decade of Major League Baseball. Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and Honus Wagner are among the biggest names.
"1961 Golden Press cards were issued in a book and were perforated for easy removal by children," Greenwald said. "As a result, while the cards are often seen individually, they are very rarely found in high grade, especially the cards from the front and back cover, as we are offering them. We have several cards from the inside of the book in PSA 10 and from the cover in PSA 9."
Many have bids already approaching $100 and more with 27 of the cards up for bid on eBay.
It's not clear exactly how the Golden press books were distributed some 49 years ago but the colorized individual cards have gained a following with the advent of grading services as collectors chase high end, encapsulated sets.
Sports Collectors Daily is along for the ride as we go inside Just Collect, eBay's largest consignment seller of vintage sports cards. Every week, the New Jersey-based company deals with collectors, dealers, and investors across the country.
Leighton Sheldon and Scott Greenwald, the duo behind this very busy and popular outlet, never know what's going to show up in the mailbox as consignors look to liquidate. Neither do the thousands of collectors on their mailing list who await each newsletter.
In the coming weeks, we'll be bringing you stories from inside the company, focusing on the unique and rare sets and singles Just Collect handles, the stories behind some of them, and we'll learn first hand about the hobby trends they observe first hand from buying and selling hundreds of high-end graded sports and non-sports cards and memorabilia every week.
Next week: How one eBay promotion sent web traffic zooming upward.