1933 DeLong Set (R333)

‘It’s In The Details’

Title R333 DeLong
Year 1933
Size 2″ x 3″
Images Black and White
Type Candy/Gum
Number in Set
24

1933 DeLong Overview

33DL 12 Traynor.jpg

The 1933 DeLong set is one of the more impressive pre-war candy issues released. Classified as R333 in the American Card Catalog, they are not nearly as well known as the 1930s Goudey cards or the 1939-1941 Play Ball cards. However, their popularity among pre-war gum card collectors is undeniably high.

The cards were produced for the DeLong Gum Company located in Boston, MA. They are much rarer than many of those aforementioned Goudey and Play Ball sets. To date, PSA has only graded approximately 3,200 cards. These cards were for the company’s Play Ball Gum brand, which was called ‘as pure and as fine quality as any made’ on the backs of the cards.

The DeLong Gum Company was headed by Harold DeLong. The interesting thing of note is that he actually served as Goudey’s treasurer for many years before founding the DeLong Gum Company in 1932. These aren’t exactly a Goudey spinoff but they were created by someone that had worked for that company.

It’s the design of the cards that makes them distinctive. Most gum card sets were either entirely in color or black and white. This set decided to combine those two elements. Fronts include a black and white player photo against a brightly colored background with a stadium in the background. The black and white pictures of players against the colorful backgrounds made for a unique issue. The player’s name and team are printed at the bottom in bold font.

Another distinctive feature of the cards is that they were larger than many 1930s gum issues. The 1930s gum cards moved to a more square-like shape. However, these cards that measured 2″ x 3″ are much closer in size and shape to today’s cards. All of the cards in the set have a vertical layout, other than No. 17 Pepper Martin and No. 23 Lefty Grove.

The backs included descriptions of playing tips geared towards younger collectors. That made sense because, while tobacco cards were distributed for an older demographic, the later candy and gum cards were geared towards children, who were more interested in the collecting them instead of the adults. As indicated on the back, the tips were written by Austen Lake, the Baseball Editor of the Boston Transcript. Backs of the cards also promised more sports series were to follow the baseball release.

There is no Babe Ruth in the set but it still includes plenty of Hall of Famers and stars for such a small issue. Lou Gehrig leads the way and other key cards include those of Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, and Mickey Cochrane, among others.

The set has only 24 cards and does not include Ruth. That leads some collectors believe it would be easy to assemble. But the cards are not nearly as plentiful as others 1930s issues, such as the Goudey cards, and are significantly more expensive. While you can find low-grade Goudey cards for under $10, it is difficult to find even low-grade DeLong cards for under $50.

R333 DeLong Checklist

A total of 24 cards are found in the set. Below is a complete checklist:

  1. Marty McManus
  2. Al Simmons
  3. Oscar Melillo
  4. Bill Terry
  5. Charlie Gehringer
  6. Mickey Cochrane
  7. Lou Gehrig
  8. Kiki Cuyler
  9. Bill Urbanski
  10. Lefty O’Doul
  11. Fred Lindstrom
  12. Pie Traynor
  13. Rabbit Maranville
  14. Lefty Gomez
  15. Riggs Stephenson
  16. Lon Warneke
  17. Pepper Martin
  18. Jimmy Dykes
  19. Chick Hafey
  20. Joe Vosmik
  21. Jimmie Foxx (spelled Jimmy)
  22. Chuck Klein
  23. Lefty Grove
  24. Goose Goslin

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