1933 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie PSA 7 NM
ICONIC LAJOIE!!! One of the hobby's Top 5 sports cards continues to be the highly exalted 1933 Lajoie #106 subject that was inadvertently omitted from the 1933 Goudey 240-subject set. From a popularity perspective and forgoing rarity for a moment, the hobby's five most prestigious cards just happen to be the T206 Wagner, T206 Plank, 1916 M101 Babe Ruth Rookie, 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle and the aforementioned Goudey #106 Lajoie. Presented here just happens to be one of the spectacular examples of this extremely coveted issue, a PSA 7 NM marvel that seldom surfaces in a near-mint grade or better. 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 second 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 (image of this letter is included on the MLI website).
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 listing only 97 examples at the time this was written, with twelve other specimens reflecting the hallowed 7 assessment. This offering's outstanding eye appeal commences with a relatively well-centered Nap Lajoie portrait/bust image that somewhat favors the lower right edges. The sparkling olive-green background revels pack-fresh quality, with the critical "Napoleon (Larry) Lajoie" print situated above his sanctified retaining a majority of its original bold attributes.
Of the four right-angled corners, the upper depicts the most noticeable touching that might have prevented a higher grade. Both surfaces are relatively clean and consistent with the grade, and the final exclamation point is a razor-sharp perimeter. In 2021, another PSA 7 fetched $81K, with a PSA 9 Lajoie realizing a staggering $384K in 2022. Indeed, this timeless keepsake that wasn't issued on a Goudey Gum Company factory sheet until 1934 is certainly climbing the ladder with regard to its unlimited value. The 1933 Goudey 240-subject gathering suffices as the most desirable pre-WWII bubble gum set, firmly standing alongside the T206 Monster and 1952 Topps gatherings as one of the hobby's three most popular cardboard issues. While most collectors only pursue capturing 239 Goudey cards for their 1933 set, there are a number of advanced enthusiasts who are relentless in their quest for obtaining all 240 Goudey cards, with this PSA 7 Lajoie destined to fill that painstaking void via a simple final bid!
MIN BID $25,000