Graded EX/NM 80 by SGC. Magnificent high-grade example of this legendary rarity. Exceptionally bright, clean, and fresh, both front and back, with perfect colors and flawless registration. This is an exceptionally attractive example, with no print lines or other printing flaws, and with only the lightest and most ideal natural toning. Excessive toning is sometimes a problem with Lajoies. Centered 60/40 side-to-side, 65/35 top-to-bottom, with strong, square corners; only the slightest hint of corner wear keeps this gem from a much higher grade. This 1933 Goudey #106 Lajoie example is from the Charlie Conlon Collection. Submitted for grading for the Conlon Estate by REA, it is one of only three #106 Lajoies graded at this level, with just eight examples graded higher by SGC. This card has obviously been very well cared for since the 1930s, both by Charlie and its previous owners,and was one of the highlight rarities that Charlie kept in his safe along with his T206 Planks, rare T206 Doyle, and other most prized cards.
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 to 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. 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 as one of the four most important of all baseball cards (the others being the famous T206 Wagner and Plank and the Baltimore News Ruth). This is an exceptional example in an extremely desirable grade. Bright, clean, fresh, and crisp with brilliant colors, and with an overall appearance stronger than its technically accurate grade of Excellent to Mint condition. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000/$20,000+. SOLD FOR $26,438
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