The 1933 Goudey Sport Kings set includes 48 cards of athletes and sports legends from various sports. Of most interest to American collectors are the baseball cards (Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Carl Hubbell) and the three football cards of Red Grange, Knute Rockne, and Jim Thorpe.
The set is not collected by everyone and some of the sports in it are considered to be quite minor by comparison to the baseball cards. As I cover here in greater detail, there’s a lot more than baseball in the set. But it is one of the more important multi-sport sets for its inclusion of all of those sports as well as other legendary athletes. And since it includes such a hodgepodge of subjects, it’s a remarkable set with plenty of big names across a wide range of athletics.
Unsurprisingly, the cards have a similar size/design of the popular 1933 Goudey baseball card set and are printed on a similar, if not same, thicker-style of cardstock. However, they are much more scarce than that issue and it’s clear that not nearly as many were of these were printed.
In addition to the famous athletes already mentioned, the set boasts plenty of other recognizable names, including boxer Jack Dempsey, track and field star Babe Didrickson, tennis’ Bill Tilden, and golf’s Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones. A few hockey players exist as well, including stars Howie Morenz and Ace Bailey.
Another interesting aspect of the set is that it includes a father/son duo. Featured in the 48-card issue are cyclists Bobby Walthour, Jr. and Bobby Walthour, Sr. In addition, all kinds of other sports are here, including wrestling, skating, and even swimming, with the legendary Duke Kahanamoku, who popularized the sport of surfing.
The most expensive card in the set is easily that of Babe Ruth. But Jim Thorpe and Ty Cobb are also heavy hitters as well. The Ruth card typically starts around $1,000 in low-grade condition but can sometimes be bought for a little less if in really bad shape.
First Pro Basketball Cards
Also noteworthy is that the set includes some of the few pre-war basketball cards. While basketball didn’t start to gain major popularity until the 1940s, some pre-war basketball cards do exist and the most well-known ones are probably found in this set.
The basketball cards, in fact, are often called the first ones featuring professional players.
This set included four basketball players – Nat Holman, Ed Wachter, Joe Lapchick, and Eddie Burke. Three of the four basketball players included (Holman, Wachter, and Lapchick) were Hall of Famers. Lapchick’s card is interesting because it features a rather awful typo with his name spelled as ‘Lopchick’.
The basketball cards in terms of the pricing have a bit of a premium attached them. Even in low-grade condition, it’s difficult to find them under $75.