The 1933 Goudey set is a massive issue with 240 cards. One of the reasons that it’s so collected is the large roster of incredible talent found in the release. But if you ask me, it would have been great to include a few more cards. Here are five I can think of.
Sure, Cobb’s playing days had ended by the time the set was released. But other retired players were included, such as Nap Lajoie and Tris Speaker. Cobb, in fact, was much closer to his playing days than Lajoie was, who stopped playing after the 1916 season. Other retired players, such as Walter Johnson, Cy Young, or Christy Mathewson would have been a fine addition, too. But if retired players are fair game, give me Cobb.
Goudey certainly recognized Cobb’s star power as they fit him into their 1933 Goudey Sport Kings set (card shown here). Their plans to put him into that set could have been the reason he didn’t make the cut here.
Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig (Another One)
Truth be told, Foxx and Gehrig are in the set. In fact, both are there twice. So what gives?
Well, while each has two different cards with different numbers, both inexplicably use the same exact picture. Goudey even used that same Foxx pose in the 1934 set while Gehrig, who was somewhat of a spokesperson for the issue, managed to get new images that year. Having two cards with identical pictures always struck me as odd and I’d much rather have a different pose for each. It’s even stranger considering that both were major stars.
Goudey fit Detroit Tigers star Hank Greenberg into its 1934 set (card pictured here) but didn’t squeeze him into the 1933 Goudey edition. His absence is somewhat understood here. Greenberg played in only one game in 1930 before playing in the minors until 1933 when he got the call. But if Goudey had taken a shot on him in their 1933 set, they would have been rewarded as he batted .301 that year as a rookie.
While Greenberg didn’t have much major league experience leading into 1933, he certainly should have been on Goudey’s radar. That’s because he had slugged 39 home runs the year before in minor league ball.
While Greenberg didn’t have much of a track record heading into 1933, eventual Hall of Famer Ernie Lombardi certainly did. Lombardi had been in the majors in 1931 and 1932, hitting just over .300 over those two seasons combined.
He had proven himself as an everyday major leaguer by that point so his absence is kind of a head-scratcher given the set was so large. But, as some consolation, Lombardi would make the 1934 set (his card is shown here) and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1938.
Managers were often left out of early baseball card sets. Thus, expecting Goudey to include Yankees’ skipper Joe McCarthy might have been a bit of a stretch. But in such a large set, they could have certainly made some room for him. Other notable managers could have been included, too, but McCarthy is my choice as he had just led the Yankees to the World Series title in 1932. It would be the first of seven titles for McCarthy, who is regarded as one of the top managers of all time.
His card in the 1933 Goudey set would have been unique and a fine addition to an already star-studded issue. And while he did not get recognized in Goudey’s 1936 set a few years later, he did find his way into the Canadian World Wide Gum issue set that year – his card is shown here.