Lot # 84: 1934 Goudey #62 Hank Greenberg Rookie Card PSA 9 Mint – “POP 3” Only One PSA Example Graded Higher!

Category: 1921-1939

Starting Bid: $50,000.00

Bids: 11 (Bid History)

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(LOT 84)
1934 Goudey #62 Hank Greenberg Rookie Card PSA 9 Mint – "POP 3" Only One PSA Example Graded Higher!

RARE GREENBERG!!! In our May 2022 auction, an extremely rare PSA 9 MINT 1934 Goudey #62 Hank Greenberg Rookie sold for a staggering $219K, sheer justification of this immortal player's solidified place in baseball history. One of the most coveted rookie cards in the hobby, Memory Lane is once again enthralled to present another one of the three existing PSA 9 MINT 1934 Goudey Greenberg's, with this extraordinary example only bested by a single PSA 10 specimen! This Mint marvel has stubbornly defied father-time over the past 88 years to retain a majority of its original pristine state, and aside from the aforementioned PSA 9 sold in Memory Lane earlier this year, we simply cannot recall the last time a PSA 9 example surfaced for the taking, a rarity for this world-class offering. In 1933, the Detroit Tigers would unveil their powerful first baseman slugger "Hammerin' Hank" Greenberg to the baseball community, and the powerful right-handed hitter would waste no time in placing his indelible mark on our National Pastime's glorious history. In only 449 official at-bats, Greenberg would blast 12 dingers, knock in 85 runs and post a superb .301 batting average, a sure sign of even better things to come. While the prestigious Boston based Goudey Gum Company omitted him from their landmark 1933 set, they jumped at the opportunity of including this rookie sensation in their likewise ultra-popular 1934 gathering. Dubbing Greenberg as subject #62, and ironically following immortal first sacker Lou Gehrig in the set, this legendary Greenberg issue would forever stand tall as his true rookie card, with no rogue and/or regional issues challenging the 1934 Goudey #62 subject for that critical title.

Born of Jewish orthodox decent as Hyman Greenberg on January 1, 1911, Hank would play his inaugural MLB game on September 14, 1930, failing to get a hit in his only official plate appearance. The next several years, he would jump around in the Tigers minor league farm system before rejoining Detroit for the 1933 campaign and embark on one of the finest MLB careers of any first baseman. After his aforementioned rookie campaign, Greenberg would post sensational offensive figures for the 1934 season, the year his inaugural Goudey subject would be issued to the American public. Greenberg's prolific numbers included 26 round-tripper, 139 runs batted in, a .339 batting average and a 1.005 OPS, with the powerful slugger now considered one of the three most prodigious hitters in baseball along with Foxx and Gehrig. Playing only ten full seasons in the Major Leagues (he lost almost a full four years in the army during WWII from 1941 through 1944), while Greenberg's lifetime statistics aren't record setting, they were surely productive. Winner of two MVP awards, he averaged nearly 34 homers and a staggering 120+ RBIs per season (including 183 and 170 figures), with 1938 being his greatest year when he chased Babe Ruth's legendary 60 home run mark, finishing at 58 dingers. He would end his incredible career after the 1947 campaign, tallying 331 home runs and posting sensational .313 batting average and 1.017 O.P.S. marks, while leading the American League in homers and RBIs on four separate occasions. One of the humblest big-leaguers the game has ever known, "Hammerin' Hank" would earn several other nicknames including "Hankus Pankus" and the "Hebrew Hammer".

Regarding the latter, it would be his Jewish descent that brought out Greenberg's finest qualities, with the unjust anti-Semitic bigotry at that tenuous time truly testing his integrity and courage. Throughout his career, Greenberg shrugged off this unacceptable prejudice in a classy manner, going about his business in a blue-collar style while spearheading the Detroit Tigers to two world championships in 1935 and 1940 via his quiet yet unequivocal leadership. Regarding this offering's brilliant eye appeal, the Greenberg leisurely pose is absolutely breathtaking, with his pinstriped Tigers uniform, period-style cap and good-natured grin revealing the finest imaginable rich hues. Projecting the timeless image in an almost 3D-like manner is the seemingly flawless cool mint green background, and the iconic illustration excellent centering, with only the slightest hint of favoritism towards the upper right edges. Immaculate to say the least, additional attributes supporting the near-impossible 9 Mint assessment include dazzling white borders, pinpoint corner tips, an imposing "Lou Gehrig Says…" caption within the lower blue text box, no glaring surface flaws whatsoever, a blistering sharp perimeter, and super clean verso portraying bold green verbiage. As previously stated, before the $219K record sale in May 2022, we could not even trace the last time a PSA 9 Greenberg Goudey rookie sold in a public auction, and even if you can unearth a bygone sale from an outdated past, its obsolete pricing point would be rendered irrelevant.

The hobby has defined a hallowed stature for some of the most coveted rookie cards from any era, let alone a Mint example issued some 88 years ago. It is no secret that the scarcest rookie cards for baseball's vintage players are currently realizing immense pricing points, and considering this legendary Greenberg inaugural card truly stands as one of the hobby's most hallowed rookie keepsakes, we highly encourage you to take whatever steps are necessary to place the final bid!

MIN BID $50,000
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