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1933 R319 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie PSA NM 7
Reserve - $10,000. Estimate - $25,000+.
Graded NM 7 by PSA. Magnificent high-grade example of this legendary rarity. Since the earliest days of organized collecting, Lajoie has always been referred to as one of "The Big Three" among the most important baseball card rarities, with the other two, of course, being Plank and Wagner from the T206 series. This is a spectacular example: Bright and fresh, both front and back, with outstanding centering (very slightly to the right) and flawless registration. Four strong corners with just light hints of wear. The front displays several very tiny natural age spots in the left and top borders and on Lajoie's jersey, all of which are not distracting in any way and are mentioned for the sake of extreme accuracy. The reverse is perfectly centered with bold green text and displays a light, natural toning (common to the card). This card has obviously been very well cared for since the 1930s and has been a highlight in the extremely advanced personal collection of our consignor for at least the past decade. To date exactly eighty-one #106 Lajoies have been graded by PSA, and of these only thirteen are PSA 7, seven PSA 8, one PSA 8.5, and nine PSA 9 (there have been no 10s). When the classic 1933 Goudey set was issued, Goudey originally failed to print #106. No matter how many packs youngsters purchased at their local candy store, they could not complete their set of 240 cards. Everyone, of course, needed #106 (which did not exist). Some of the more devoted and fanatical collectors of the day, in their great frustration, took the time to write and complain directly to the Goudey Gum Company. Goudey received enough complaints from their most devoted customers to prompt them to arrange for a special design and printing of card #106 Nap Lajoie. This special card was actually printed in 1934, and was sent by mail directly from Goudey only to those who had complained to the company in writing. This was the only way the Lajoie card was distributed, hence its extraordinary rarity today. It is interesting to note that the copyright date on the reverse of the Lajoie card is "1934" because, even though it was issued to complete the 1933 series, it was printed in 1934. The 1933 Goudey set is universally recognized as the most important of all 1930s gum-card issues. #106 Lajoie is the most significant and valuable of all 1930s cards and is widely regarded to this day as one of the four most important of all prewar baseball cards in any condition (the others being the famous T206 Wagner and Plank and the Baltimore News Ruth). This exceptional example of this legendary rarity in an extremely high grade would be a significant addition to any world-class 1933 Goudey, Hall of Fame, or classic-card collection. The SMR value in the assigned grade is $40,000.
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