A fresh-to-market collection of pre-War baseball cards including one of the hobby’s “big three”, a 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie #106, will be offered in the April catalog sale hosted by Hunt Auctions.
The collection originates from the descendants of a Western Pennsylvania man who collected them as a boy in the 1920s and 30s. As was often the custom of the day, the collector glued them into a scrapbook. There are about 450 cards in the book, most of which retain their original sharp corners and color. There is a heavy concentration of 1933 and 1934 Goudeys including multiple Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig cards.
The original owner of the collection grew up, served in the military during World War II and eventually presented the album to his son in the 1970s. It has remained in the family until its current offering and offers a sort of frozen-in-time snapshot of a young man’s hobby as it was over 80 years ago.
The Lajoie card was acquired in 1934 through a request to the Goudey company, which heard from many young collectors who attempted to collect a 1933 set but never could find a #106. The marketing ploy had worked but Goudey apparently felt bad enough to create a card of the retired Lajoie and sent them to collectors who asked about acquiring that missing number.
The Lajoie card also remains neatly affixed within the original album. The original owner wrote the card number on the front in pencil. It’s still estimated to sell between $10,000-$20,000.
The album will be sold as one lot with the Lajoie offered separately.
The April auction will also feature the second installment of a significant single owner vintage sports card collection featuring unopened materials. Dozens of unopened wax boxes, packs, and cases dating from the 1950s through the 1990s will be sold highlighted by an intact 1986-87 Fleer basketball wax box estimated to sell at a range of $15,000-$25,000. Also included within the selection of vintage cards will be a number of complete sets and singles highlighted by a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle (SGC 55 VG/EX+).
Bidding for the 2016 April auction will begin the week of March 14-18 at www.huntauctions.com with expanded in person preview available by appointment. Contact Hunt Auctions at 610.524.0822 or at [email protected] for more details.