Scoffing at the Great Depression that held the nation in its merciless grip, the Goudey Gum company produced the first great trading card issue of the long-standing Bubble Gum Era in 1933, a set that holds sway as one of the hobby’s “Big Three.” Heritage Auctions sold one of the finest assemblies of that 240-card issue in a special auction that ended early Friday morning. Rated #3 on PSA’s Set Registry, the set was broken up into individual lots and received its own special printed catalog.
“Our consignor cut no corners in piecing together this set,” said Chris Ivy, director of Sports Auctions at Heritage. “The 8.672 set rating is a staggeringly high figure for this issue.”
The set included all four Babe Ruth cards, each graded PSA 8. They sold for $301,000 combined, topped by the #53 which ended at $120,000 including the buyer’s premium. The #149 Ruth card sold for $90,000 with #144 and 181 brought $48,000 and $43,200 respectively.
The rare Nap Lajoie card was included in the set. Graded 6, it sold for $38,400.
One of two Lou Gehrig (#160) cards graded 8.5 (two higher) sold for $84,000 while the second Gehrig in the set (#92), graded PSA 8, netted $26,400.
One of two Dizzy Dean cards ever graded PSA 9 was included in the set and sold for $31,200. The first card in the set, Benny Bengough, was graded 8 and sold for $26,400.
In all, 15 cards sold for $10,000 or more.