Chad Weldon admits his brain is “Goudey-fried.”
Who can blame him? The Pittsburgh card shop owner just completed a deal to buy approximately 500 Goudey cards from 1933 and 1934. The deal for the cards from a private collector was more than six years in the making.
Weldon, 31, bought the collection, which contained about 350 cards from the 1933 Goudey set and 125 from 1934. Plus there was a 1935 Diamond Star card of Charlie Gehringer.
The seller was “a gentleman in his 60s” whose father originally bought the cards when he was a youth.
“They are 100% fresh to the market,” Weldon said.
Weldon, whose father, Chuck, began Pittsburgh’s Sports Card Junction in 1995, said the man who owned the Goudey collection was a computer programmer in Pennsylvania.
“He originally reached out in 2016 before the presidential election,” Weldon said. “I kind of taught him how to grade cards.”
No sale was made, and Weldon said he did not hear back from the collector until about two weeks ago.
“I thought that deal was gone,” Weldon said. “Turns out he was just waiting.
“I didn’t even think it was the same person when he came into the shop. He had this old vintage game” from 1925.
Weldon did not buy the game, but he was still interested in the Goudeys.
The two huddled together and Weldon made an offer. The collector “sat on the offer for a week,” and then a deal was renegotiated. While Weldon did not provide an exact sale price, he did say that he bought the cards for a “low six-figure price.”
In addition, Weldon bought a collection the man had of cards “1950-ish to 1965.”
“His collection was less monumental than his dad’s,” Weldon said.
Still, not a bad haul.
It is the Goudey cards that are in the spotlight, though.
“Almost every Hall of Famer is represented,” Weldon said. “Not the (1933) Lajoie, though. That card is impossible.”
Regardless, there is plenty of star power in the lot Weldon purchased.
The collection includes six 1933 cards of Babe Ruth. There is one of each of the four cards in the set and two duplicates. One of the duplicates is card No. 53 — the “yellow background” Ruth.
“One is much more inferior than the other,” Weldon said.
In addition to Ruth, the collection has eight Lou Gehrig cards — three from the 1933 Goudey set and five from the 1934 product.
“One of the Gehrigs looks like it has tire marks on it,” Weldon joked.
Roll these Hall of Famers off your tongue: Mel Ott, Dizzy Dean, Bill Terry, Frank Frisch, Carl Hubbell, Heinie Manush, Pie Traynor, Rabbit Maranville, Chuck Klein, Gabby Hartnett, Bill Dickey, Jimmie Foxx, Tris Speaker, Joe Cronin, Waite Hoyt, Lefty Grove, Herb Pennock, Lloyd Waner, Rogers Hornsby, Kiki Cuyler and Gehringer. Stars from the 1930s include Hack Wilson, Pepper Martin and Leo Durocher.
As Weldon knows, grading will be the key to the value of the high-ticket cards. Defects aside, Weldon believes the mean average of the cards will be PSA 3 or higher.
“They were ranging from poor to some stuff that might grade (PSA) 4 to 5,” he said. “We’re gonna dive in and see what needs to be graded.”
Some of the cards will be available for purchase in the shop and others will be sold online. Several of the cards will also be on display at card shows.
“I’m hoping to get in gear and get some cards graded before the National,” Weldon said.
That is a tight deadline since the 43rd National Sports Collectors Convention begins July 26 in Rosemont, Illinois.
And from a personal standpoint, Weldon has to factor in the impending birth of his second child within the next four weeks.
“We should name her Goudey,” he joked.
His wife might disagree, Weldon conceded.
Weldon is only 31 but is not young to the hobby. His father opened Sports Card Junction in 1995, and by the time Weldon was 5 years old, he had a display case in the card shop. He was setting up tables at card shows when he was 8.
He’s definitely a Pittsburgh guy. Weldon graduated from North Allegheny Senior High School in Wexford — the alma mater of Joey Porter Jr., who was selected in the second round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2023 NFL draft.
Weldon’s father, Chuck, graduated from Baldwin High School in the southern Pittsburgh suburb of Baldwin, and one of his classmates was future NFL head coach Dave Wannstedt.
Chad Weldon grew up a Pirates fan. He was born in 1992, the last year the Pirates made the playoffs for more than two decades.
“I didn’t see a winning team until 2013 when they went to the wild card playoffs,” he said.
The Pirates won that game against Cincinnati but were eliminated in five games by the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series.
Chuck Weldon opened the original shop in 1995, and it has moved several times before settling into its current location 2½ years ago.
Chad Weldon said he was excited to close the deal on the Goudey collection, which he believes is worth in the “low $200,000s.”
He concedes that it may not be as exciting as people who find vintage collections in their parents’ attics or in dusty storage units, but it is still fun all the same.
“It’s not like someone said they found a bag belonging to D.B. Cooper that also had cards in it, but …” Weldon joked.
Humor aside, the cards are fresh to the hobby and that is exciting.
“It’s the largest amount of Goudeys I’ve ever bought, by far our biggest deal,” Weldon said. “If you know what you’re looking at, it’s mind-blowing.
“If you’re a hardcore vintage-head, this is crazy.”