Goudey kept kids hunting for a card that didn’t exist in 1933. Nearly 88 years later, the gambit to gain more sales that resulted in a make-good filler of a guy who had long since retired is still being chased by collectors.
The 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie was sent to collectors who wrote the company after the season, wondering why the heck they couldn’t pull a #106. Printed on a 1934 design and mailed to those who wrote the Boston-based company, it’s a rare treasure these days. A PSA 5 (EX) copy sold for $70,500 at Hunt Auctions, setting a record for the grade.
While higher and lower grade examples have sold many times since, it was the first sale of a PSA 5 since 2009 when one was auctioned for $27,707. The card’s pre-sale estimate was $25,000-$50,000. The card was part of a major consignment of vintage cards curated over a 40-year period by a collector from Texas.
Over 500 lots of sports cards and memorabilia were sold in the auction, which opened with online bidding and concluded with a live session that lasted several hours on Saturday.
Pre-War cards from the “Texan Collection” attracted much of the attention. A set of graded 1912 S81 baseball tobacco silks including most of the major stars of the deadball era was broken up and sold for a cumulative total of $84,555, led by an SGC 2 Ty Cobb that went for nearly $10,000.
A set of 1916 BF2 Bakery felt pennants soared to a total price of just under $50,000. A rare 1911 T205 Dick Hoblitzell card “no stats” variation graded PSA 3 finished at $26,437 more than doubling the previous record in that grade. An estate collection of 79 1909 T204 Ramly cards sold in one lot went for $22,912 and a scarce 1920 Babe Ruth theater advertising card knocked down for $20,000, over three times its high estimate. A 1933 Goudey #53 Ruth graded SGC 5 went for $31,137 while a #149 Ruth graded SGC 5 sold for $19,975.
Among the vintage memorabilia sold was a Ruth signed “Home Run Special” ball in excellent condition and including remnants of the original box that went for $28,787. A 1954 Gil Hodges Brooklyn Dodgers home jersey brought $22,325.
A collection of over 120 single-signed baseballs featuring members of the Hall of Fame collected by retired Phillies pitcher Larry Christenson attracted plenty of interest with a Honus Wagner generating $14,100.
Modern memorabilia sold included an autographed 1994 era Ken Griffey Jr. game model bat that soared past its $2,000-$4,000 estimate at $13,218.