The 1930s Goudey issues are among the most popular pre-war cards around. Part of the reason for that are the several Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig cards found in the set. But there’s plenty more in the Goudey releases besides the cards for those Yankees legends. Here are five other big time cards from the company’s popular sets.
The great Ty Cobb was retired by 1933 but that didn’t stop Goudey from including him in this legendary multi-sport Sport Kings set. Ruth and Cobb headline this unique issue and, despite being a post-career card of Cobb, the card is heavily desired.
One nice thing is that, while it is a card pursued by many collectors, it’s a little more affordable than other earlier Cobb cards from his playing days. And as a legitimate pre-war issue, it’s still a card that is reasonably close to the time he was still active as he had retired after the 1928 season.
In reasonable condition, the card starts right around $1,000.
Dizzy Dean has several cards in the 1930s Goudey sets and his 1933 example is obviously the first one as that was Goudey’s first release. Dean was one of the best pitchers of the decade, leading the league in wins in both 1934 and 1935.
Unfortunately, his career was cut short due to injuries and, as a result, he doesn’t have a ton of cards. The card is also noteworthy because, while Dean has some earlier issues like photos and pins, his is often considered his true rookie card.
The card starts around $250-$300 in decent condition.
The 1936 Goudey Premiums are often called the wide pens set because of the thick marker-type of print used for the player names on them. They were also called wide pens to help distinguish them a little from the National Chicle premiums that were similar but had player names written in a thin pen. These are miniature photos featuring players in a variety of poses.
One of the more sought after ones in the set is Joe DiMaggio‘s photo because it was from his first major league season and is considered a rookie card of sorts. DiMaggio’s only true card in the traditional sense from that season was his 1936 World Wide Gum card and with that one so rare, many collectors often turn to this card. DiMaggio is actually on a second card in the set pictured along with Joe McCarthy but the photo with him alone is the more desirable one.
Another great rookie issue is found in the 1934 Goudey set. Hank Greenberg was one of the premier power hitters of the 30s and his card is somewhat overshadowed by the two Gehrig cards in the release. Beyond the Gehrigs, however, Greenberg’s rookie card stands out and is heavily desired.
Greenberg was one of the biggest offensive power threats in the 1930s. He won two MVP awards during his career and threatened Babe Ruth’s then single-season home run record of 60 by hitting 58 long balls in 1938 while driving in a league-best 184 runs the year before.
Often called the Heads Up set because of the large oversized heads on the cartoon bodies of players, the 1938 Goudey issue can’t be left out here.
While the cards featuring Bob Feller are significant in their own right, the DiMaggio cards are among the most iconic cards of the 1930s. There are two of them, of course, because the unique release featured two cards for each of the 24 players featured, giving us a grand total of 48 in the set. One version of the players’ cards had a blank background while the other included a series of cartoons.
The Joe DiMaggio cards are expensive in any condition, starting around $2,000 at the low end.