1933 Goudey #106 Nap Lajoie PSA 9 MINT – Highest Graded Example!
EXALTED LAJOIE!!! Only a select few of the hobby's most treasured cardboard artifacts have achieved regal stature via their coupled desirability and value. One of these subjects is the iconic 1933 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie that stands right alongside the T206 Wagner, Plank, Doyle Variation & Ty Cobb with a Cobb ad-back, 1914 Baltimore News Ruth, 1916 M101 Babe Ruth Rookie, and 1952 Topps Mantle as one of the most exalted baseball cards in our illustrious hobby. That said, presented here just happens to be one of the most breathtaking examples extant, a miraculous PSA 9 Mint marvel that along with eight other examples, resides at the top of the illustrious PSA Pop Chart as the finest of its kind! Any '33 Goudey Lajoie ranks as a Top 5 sports card, and is unquestionably one of the most exalted and highly coveted issues extant. Its utmost scarcity can be traced back to the original release of bubble gum cards by the Boston based Goudey Gum Co. For some inexplicable reason, the #106 card representing the retired immortal 2nd baseman Nap Lajoie was excluded from the bubble gum baseball wax packs.
Imagine the frustration for a myriad of youngsters craving to complete the entire 240 card set, only to fall one card short in 1933. The general public was so disgruntled that a significant number of letters expressing complete dissatisfaction over a perceived "scam" flooded the Goudey Co.'s home office. To avoid a potential sales reduction for their 1934 Goudey issues, the company decided to accommodate dissatisfied customers and printed the #106 Lajoie on their 1934 high numbered sheets with a 1933 Goudey back. Not distributed in 1934 baseball packs, these cards were mailed to individuals who had contacted the company with an apologetic letter. The sole mystifying question remains: was the 1933 absence of the #106 Lajoie a simple oversight or strategically planned to force the public to buy an infinite number of Goudey packs in a futile attempt to complete the set? While a sure answer to the 1933 Goudey conundrum might never achieve full resolution, what we know with absolute certainty is the offered example is truly one of the hobby's most coveted/valuable cardboard gems. The scarcity of any Goudey Lajoie is justified by the PSA census report that listed only 97 examples at the time this was written, with a meager nine PSA 9 Mint existing specimens.
The aforementioned details relating to the shroud of the Goudey Lajoie's futile existence substantiate why there are 30+ known subjects currently reflecting PSA assessments of 7 NM or higher. Considering that these cards were only attainable via the mail, kids were not accessing them via Goudey Gum wax packs purchased within local Mom & Pop stores. Therefore, we can safely assume that since adults were handling a household's mail, a number of these '33 Goudey Lajoie mementos were well-preserved in their original factory issued state. Regarding the breathtaking aesthetics of this world-class PSA 9 MINT offering, the Lajoie portrait/bust image is virtually un-improvable, depicting stellar contrast and rich hues supporting Lajoie's candid smile. The eye pleasing lime/olive green background is nearly flawless, with the "Napoleon (Larry) Lajoie" print above his image bold and vivid. Incredibly, the hallowed Lajoie image exhibits near-perfect centering between four somewhat off-white borders, with a majority of the existing Lajoie's reflecting off-positioning. Four sharp right-angled corners, a fine perimeter, and a super clean verso are the final compliments for this 89-year-old cardboard marvel that truly merits the highest hobby accolades.
Earlier this year, another PSA 9 Lajoie fetched a substantial $384K at a public auction, more than justifying the unparalleled stature of this museum worthy offering. The hobby's most revered cardboard keepsakes are achieving record prices seemingly each and every day (substantiated by an SGC 9.5 Gem Mint 1952 Topps Mantle realizing $12.6 million in August of this year), with this Mint marvel's ultimate investment potential absolutely bursting with future prosperity. The 1933 Goudey 240-subject gathering suffices as the most desirable pre-WWII bubble gum set, residing as one of the hobby's three most popular cardboard issues (along with the T206 Monster Tobacco and 1952 Topps sets). While a handful of sophisticated collectors relentlessly pursue their quest to complete the 240-subject Goudey set, the majority only chase 239, forgoing the extremely expensive and elusive #106 Napoleon Lajoie heirloom. For those meticulous hobbyists that are relentless in their pursuit of either obtaining all 240 Goudey cards in PSA 8 or 9 holders, or unyielding in their quest for acquiring a Top 5 baseball card, this grand offering is a perfect candidate for filling both requirements via its quintessential pack-fresh quality that places it as one of the most significant sports cards on the planet!
MIN BID $75,000