1941 Goudey Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title R324 Goudey
Year 1941
Size 2 3/8″ x 2 7/8″
Images Black and White
Type Candy/Gum
Number in Set

1941 Goudey Overview

Mel Ott 1941 GoudeyAfter several popular 1930s baseball card sets, Goudey took 1940 off. They returned in 1941 to create one of the few mainstream sets of the decade.

Listed as R324 in the American Card Catalog, the 1941 Goudey set is one of Goudey’s smallest releases with only 33 cards. In terms of the company’s primary baseball card issues, only the 1936 Goudey set (25) cards is smaller.

The cards have an incredibly basic look with a black and white picture of a player against a solid color background. The cards include a simple ‘Big League Gum’ logo inside of a baseball at the top with the player’s name, team, and position at the bottom, along with a card number. Background colors seen in the set, include blue, green, red, and yellow. It is important to note that each player can be found with different colored backgrounds. Thus, while there are 33 main cards in the set, a much more challenging set build is to find all of the 132 player and color combinations available.

Most of the sport’s bigger names are missing from this set. Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Carl Hubbell are really the two ‘biggies’ in terms of name recognition.

While I’m sure collectors appreciated Goudey’s return to the baseball card market, the set is all kinds of problems. You can read more about those here, but the set has few stars, a small checklist, and a mostly unattractive design. Also notable is that many of the cards were poorly cut with rough edges and poor centering. And unlike previous Goudey sets that included player biographies on the back, backs of these cards are entirely blank.

It is worth mentioning that the cards are pretty rare compared to Goudey’s other releases. Of Goudey’s main baseball card sets, in fact, they are by far the rarest with fewer than 100 cards (on average) per player graded by PSA, SGC, and Beckett combined. That rarity has meant the cards are among Goudey’s more valuable ones. Even low-grade commons in the set generally start in the $15-$20 range.

Hugh Mulcahy War Card

Hugh Mulcahy 1941 Goudey BlueIn terms of layout and design, the cards are mostly pretty uniform. One interesting deviation, however, is found with the first card, picturing Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, Hugh Mulcahy.

While other cards in the set include only the player’s name, team, and position (along with the card number) at the bottom, Mulcahy’s has an additional inscription, citing that he was the first major leaguer to be drafted in the U.S. Army.

With the U.S. becoming involved in World War II in 1941, Mulcahy would be the first of many baseball players that wound up being drafted.

Mulcahy was hardly a star. In 1940, he made an All-Star team. But even that season was not a good one for him statistically as he led the majors with 22 losses (against 13 wins) while giving up a league high 283 hits. Mulcahy was also a 20-game loser in 1938, leading the majors in that season, too, with 20 defeats. In 1938 and 1939, he gave up the most earned runs in the league and was also a bit wild, leading the majors in hit batsmen in 1937 and 1939.

Mulcahy would be out of professional baseball during the war from 1941 through 1944. He returned for three seasons, starting in 1945, but his contributions were mostly minimal during that time.

Wrapper Redemptions

Goudey packaged these cards with its Big League Bubble Gum product. The gum wrappers included a red, white, and blue baseball scene, as well as a few different special offers.

For 20 wrappers and twenty cents, a collector could get a Bucky Walters baseball. For ten wrappers and ten cents, collectors could get a baseball cap. For the same price, Goudey would also send a baseball bat pencil.

1941 Goudey Checklist

  1. Hugh Mulcahy
  2. Harlond Clift
  3. Lou Chiozza
  4. Buddy Rosar
  5. George McQuillan
  6. Emerson Dickman
  7. Wayne Ambler
  8. Bob Muncrief
  9. Bill Dietrich
  10. Taft Wright
  11. Don Heffner
  12. Fritz Ostermueller
  13. Frank Hayes
  14. Jack Kramer
  15. Dario Lodigiani
  16. George Case
  17. Vito Tamulis
  18. Whit Wyatt
  19. Bill Posedel
  20. Carl Hubbell
  21. Harold Warstler
  22. Joe Sullivan
  23. Babe Young
  24. Stan Andrews
  25. Morris Arnovich
  26. Elburt Fletcher
  27. Bill Crouch
  28. Al Todd
  29. Debs Garms
  30. Jim Tobin
  31. Chester Ross
  32. George Coffman
  33. Mel Ott

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