CSG Certifies Six Cards from Landmark Set Featuring Baseball Legends
Posted on 9/1/2021
In the world of baseball card collecting, few sets are as cherished as the one released in 1933 by Goudey Gum Company of Boston. The 240-card set includes more than 60 cards that feature hall of famers, several of whose names have become synonymous with the sport of baseball.
Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG™) recently graded six of the 1933 Goudey cards, including four Babe Ruth cards that continue to be top finds for any collector. The other two cards graded by CSG feature Lou Gehrig. Together, the six represent the most valuable of the original 1933 Goudey Set, demanding thousands of dollars per card in any condition.
The Babe Ruth quartet
By 1933, Babe Ruth had cemented his reputation as one of the greatest baseball players in the history of the sport. Known as “The Sultan of Swat,” Ruth established hitting records that stood for decades, including netting 714 career home runs in his 22 seasons in the league. Goudey featured Ruth on four of the cards from their iconic set — #53, #144, #149 and #181.
Goudey’s 1933 Babe Ruth cards are commonly known by the colors that serve as the background for the cards. The “Yellow Ruth,” found on #53, is considered by experts to be the most valuable. It shows the famous slugger from the waist up with a bat over his shoulder. The “Red Ruth,” #149, which shows Ruth in the same pose as that on the yellow card, was double-printed, making the cards less rare than the yellow version. The “Green Ruth,” #181, again shows Ruth from the waist up, but in a different pose. The final of the four cards, #144, shows a full-body shot of Ruth doing what he was famous for — standing on the field and swinging the bat.
For the quartet submitted to CSG, the #149 graded CSG 1.5, while the #181, #53, and #144 each graded CSG 1.0. Another 1933 Goudy Babe Ruth #53 graded CGC 1.0 sold on eBay on August 28, 2021, for $4,955.
The Goudy Gehrig cards
Lou Gehrig, known as “The Iron Horse” to baseball fans, set numerous hitting records during his 17 seasons with the New York Yankees. When he retired in 1939, he was the first player in Major League Baseball history to have his uniform number retired by his team. Gehrig is featured on two cards from the 1933 Goudy set, both of which are prized by collectors.
The Gehrig cards in the 1933 Goudy set — #92 and #160 — show Gehrig in action, swinging the bat in his pin-striped Yankees’ uniform against a blue background. The experts at CSG graded this 1933 Goudey Gehrig #92 a CSG 1.5 and the Gehrig #160 a CSG 1.0. 1933 Goudey Gehrigs with similar grades recently have sold on eBay for as much as $2,400 for the #160 card and $3,750 for the #92 card.
While the 1933 Goudy set will be remembered for its stellar lineup of highly collectable cards, it should also be acknowledged as the set that introduced the world to “bubble gum cards.” Prior to its release, baseball cards had been packaged with tobacco and Cracker Jacks, but never before in packs that included bubble gum.