1933 Goudey set has stars, a missing card, and a U.S. spy

‘It’s In The Details’

Title R319 Goudey
Year 1933
Size 2 3/8″ x 2 7/8″
Images Color
Type Candy/Gum
Number in Set

1933 Goudey Overview

The 1933 Goudey baseball card set, designated as R319 in the American Card Catalog, is one of the handful of issues considered among the most popular pre-war card sets by collectors.

The 240-card issue is an important one for many reasons. It is loaded with stars and Hall of Famers and is one of the most famous card sets of all time. The cards are nearly square in size, measuring 2 3/8″ wide x 2 7/8″ tall. Fronts include a colorful background and a color player image while backs include a biography of the player. The cards were mass produced and this set is the most plentiful of all of Goudey’s baseball card issues.

Ruth 1933 Goudey Green

Part of what makes the set so special is its large amount of big names and Hall of Famers – some with more than one card. Babe Ruth, for example, has four cards in the set. Others, such as Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx (then spelled Jimmy by several manufacturers, including Goudey), Mel Ott, Rogers Hornsby, and Carl Hubbell, have two. Foxx’s cards are unique in that they differ only by their card number. The Ruth, Gehrig, and others with more than one card, all have different poses.

Aside from Nap Lajoie’s shortprinted card, the four Babe Ruth cards are the keys to the issue. All four are valuable and it’s difficult these days to find even half-decent low-grade cards under $1,000.

All four are valuable but not equally rare. Here’s more on the four Ruth cards. One of the cards is more common than the others as it was double printed. Instead of Card No. 106 (Nap Lajoie) being added to production sheets, a second Ruth #144 card was instead. This explains the large quantity of them compared to other Ruth cards and confirms its double printing.

A similar case is found with Gehrig’s cards. He has two in the set but No. 160 is much rarer.

There are plenty of big names in the set. Other Hall of Famers not already mentioned include Tris Speaker, Pie Traynor, Paul Waner, Lefty Gomez, Dizzy Dean, Charlie Gehringer, Joe Cronin, Eddie Collins, and a slew of others. Three big name players, Nap Lajoie, Collins, and Speaker, were already retired.

It isn’t all about the stars, though. One of the sets more important cards is of Moe Berg, a relative unknown as far as his playing career. Despite a long career, Berg was only an average player for the most part. The reason his card attracts so much attention is because of what he did later, serving as a U.S. spy during World War II. Another average player, Benny Bengough, has a card more sought after than commons, too, partially because it is the first one in the entire set.

Here’s a look at a bunch of the key cards other than the Babe Ruth cards, Lou Gehrig cards, and the Lajoie rarity.

The set is so popular that even some cards for common players can be treated like stars. Benny Bengough’s card is the first one in the set and his card is priced as if he was a Hall of Famer for the simple reason that he is the first player featured.

Nap Lajoie Card

One reason for the set’s popularity is the mysterious Nap Lajoie card.

The Lajoie card, No. 106 in the set, was not included in packs. Thus, collectors purchasing the cards and trying to assemble the set had no luck. Some wrote to the Goudey Company and in 1934, received the Lajoie card.

33G 106 Lajoie.jpg

It isn’t clear why the card was not included in packs. Some have theorized that the company, in hopes of having collectors buy more packs to find the card, left it out on purpose. That was a popular strategy among other card manufacturers and is a plausible explanation.

Whatever the reason, it is one of the most iconic cards in the hobby. Even in low-grade condition, it is generally a five-figure card with values over $10,000. The card’s value stems from the fact that it is shortprinted and not many exist today. If it was a regular card like the others in the set, it would still hold value as Lajoie is a Hall of Famer. But there is no doubt it would be worth far less.

One interesting note is that among the damage typically found on these cards, a paper clip imprint is often present. That is because Goudey apparently mailed these cards to collectors with a paperclip, likely affixed to a letter of some sort.

Lajoie was an interesting choice to be included here. He had been retired for a long time and would have been about 60 years old by the time the card was printed. A more logical choice for a retired player would have been Ty Cobb, who had just stopped playing a few years earlier. But as I covered here, Cobb may not have been selected since he was also in Goudey’s 1933 Sport Kings set.

Alternate Card No. 106

At least one example of a card numbered 106 exists that many collectors have not heard of. A Leo Durocher card with the number 106 on the back was found.

The card was hand cut and likely not distributed. It is believed to have been a sample piece before the set was actually finalized. Only one of these cards is currently known to the hobby.

Jimmy Dykes Error/Correction

Jimmy Dykes 1933 GoudeyWhile 240 is the number typically associated with the amount of cards in the set, that’s not entirely true. Granted, you won’t find a No. 241 card in the issue but there actually 241 different cards.

Card No. 6 features Jimmy Dykes. Dykes is kind of an underappreciated player. He was a two-time all-star, a career .280 hitter, and won two World Series. He lasted in the majors for 22 years, playing with the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White Sox. In his first World Series appearance in 1929 with the Athletics, he led the team with a .421 batting average, topping even Hall of Famers Mickey Cochrane (.400), Jimmie Foxx (.350), and Al Simmons (.300) in that category. Dykes is not a Hall of Famer by hardly anyone’s definition of the word but was a very good player.

Dykes is the only known player in the set to have a card with an error and also a correction. While other cards may have errors, Dykes’ card is unique in that Goudey corrected the mistake.

On some cards, he is incorrectly identified as being 26 years old. However, on others, his correct age of 36 is given.

Here’s more on the Dykes cards.

Watch for Autographs

Autographed 1933 Goudey cards have been collected heavily. Many authentic autographs from the set exist and, as a result, common autographed cards are not too expensive. However, some research in 2018 determined that some authenticated examples, as well as examples of T206 cards, were forgeries.

Collectors pursuing autographed Goudey cards should do so with caution as even authenticated examples may not be legit.


Collectors seeking original 1933 Goudey cards should be aware the set has been since reprinted by Renata Galasso.

These reprint cards are typically easily identified with a different ‘feel’ of the card that is more modern. Backs of the reprint cards also indicate they are reprints. “Renata Galasso Reprint” text exists on the back between the “Goudey Gum Co.” and the “Boston” text.

Beware of cards that have been artificially aged. Many of these examples have been made to look ‘old’ and, most importantly, usually have some sort of wear in the area where the words ‘Renata Galasso Reprint” exist on the back, which is the bottom center of the card. In many cases, these cards will have paper loss or some sort of wear there to hide/remove that phrase.

1933 Goudey Checklist

  1. Benny Bengough
  2. Dazzy Vance
  3. Hugh Critz
  4. Heinie Schuble
  5. Babe Herman
  6. Jimmy Dykes (error and correction)
  7. Ted Lyons
  8. Roy Johnson
  9. Dave Harris
  10. Glenn Myatt
  11. Billy Rogell
  12. George Pipgras
  13. Lafayette Thompson
  14. Henry Johnson
  15. Vic Sorrell
  16. George Blaeholder
  17. Watty Clark
  18. Muddy Ruel
  19. Bill Dickey
  20. Bill Terry
  21. Phil Collins
  22. Pie Traynor
  23. Kiki Cuyler
  24. Horace Ford
  25. Paul Waner
  26. Chalmer Cissell
  27. George Connally
  28. Dick Bartell
  29. Jimmie Foxx
  30. Frank Hogan
  31. Tony Lazzeri
  32. Bud Clancy
  33. Ralph Kress
  34. Bob O’Farrell
  35. Al Simmons
  36. Tommy Thevenow
  37. Jimmy Wilson
  38. Fred Brickell
  39. Mark Koenig
  40. Taylor Douthit
  41. Gus Mancuso
  42. Eddie Collins
  43. Lew Fonseca
  44. Jim Bottomley
  45. Larry Benton
  46. Ethan Allen
  47. Heinie Manush
  48. Marty McManus
  49. Frankie Frisch
  50. Ed Brandt
  51. Charlie Grimm
  52. Andy Cohen
  53. Babe Ruth
  54. Ray Kremer
  55. Pat Malone
  56. Red Ruffing
  57. Earl Clark
  58. Lefty O’Doul
  59. Bing Miller
  60. Waite Hoyt
  61. Max Bishop
  62. Pepper Martin
  63. Joe Cronin
  64. Burleigh Grimes
  65. Milt Gaston
  66. George Grantham
  67. Guy Bush
  68. Horace Lisenbee
  69. Randy Moore
  70. Floyd Scott
  71. Robert Burke
  72. Owen Carroll
  73. Jesse Haines
  74. Eppa Rixey
  75. Willie Kamm
  76. Mickey Cochrane
  77. Adam Comorosky
  78. Jack Quinn
  79. Red Faber
  80. Clyde Manion
  81. Sam Jones
  82. Dib Williams
  83. Pete Jablonowski
  84. Glenn Spencer
  85. Heinie Sand
  86. Phil Todt
  87. Frank O’Rourke
  88. Russell Rollings
  89. Tris Speaker
  90. Jess Petty
  91. Tom Zachary
  92. Lou Gehrig
  93. John Welch
  94. Bill Walker
  95. Alvin Crowder
  96. Willis Hudlin
  97. Joe Morrisey
  98. Wally Berger
  99. Tony Cuccinello
  100. George Uhle
  101. Richard Coffman
  102. Travis Jackson
  103. Earle Combs
  104. Fred Marberry
  105. Bernie Friberg
  106. Nap Lajoie
  107. Heinie Manush
  108. Joe Kuhel
  109. Joe Cronin
  110. Goose Goslin
  111. Monte Weaver
  112. Fred Schulte
  113. Oswald Bluege
  114. Luke Sewell
  115. Cliff Heathcote
  116. Eddie Morgan
  117. Rabbit Maranville
  118. Val Picinich
  119. Rogers Hornsby
  120. Carl Reynolds
  121. Walter Stewart
  122. Alvin Crowder
  123. Jack Russell
  124. Earl Whitehill
  125. Bill Terry
  126. Joe Moore
  127. Mel Ott
  128. Chuck Klein
  129. Hal Schumacher
  130. Fred Fitzsimmons
  131. Fred Frankhouse
  132. Jim Elliott
  133. Fred Lindstrom
  134. Sam Rice
  135. Woody English
  136. Flint Rhem
  137. Red Lucas
  138. Herb Pennock
  139. Ben Cantwell
  140. Bump Hadley
  141. Ray Benge
  142. Paul Richards
  143. Glenn Wright
  144. Babe Ruth
  145. Rube Walberg
  146. Walter Stewart
  147. Leo Durocher
  148. Eddie Farrell
  149. Babe Ruth
  150. Ray Kolp
  151. Jake Flowers
  152. Zach Taylor
  153. Buddy Myer
  154. Jimmie Foxx
  155. Joe Judge
  156. Danny MacFayden
  157. Sam Byrd
  158. Moe Berg
  159. Oswald Bluege
  160. Lou Gehrig
  161. Al Spohrer
  162. Leo Mangum
  163. Luke Sewell
  164. Lloyd Waner
  165. Joe Sewell
  166. Sam West
  167. Jack Russell
  168. Goose Goslin
  169. Al Thomas
  170. Harry McCurdy
  171. Charlie Jamieson
  172. Billy Hargrave
  173. Roscoe Holm
  174. Warren Ogden
  175. Dan Howley
  176. John Ogden
  177. Walter French
  178. Jackie Warner
  179. Fred Leach
  180. Eddie Moore
  181. Babe Ruth
  182. Andy High
  183. Rube Walberg
  184. Charley Berry
  185. Bob Smith
  186. John Schulte
  187. Heinie Manush
  188. Rogers Hornsby
  189. Joe Cronin
  190. Fred Schulte
  191. Ben Chapman
  192. Walter Brown
  193. Lynford Lary
  194. Earl Averill
  195. Evar Swanson
  196. Leroy Mahaffey
  197. Rick Ferrell
  198. Jack Burns
  199. Tom Bridges
  200. Bill Hallahan
  201. Ernie Orsatti
  202. Gabby Hartnett
  203. Lon Warneke
  204. Riggs Stephenson
  205. Heinie Meine
  206. Gus Suhr
  207. Mel Ott
  208. Bernie James
  209. Adolfo Luque
  210. Spud Davis
  211. Hack Wilson
  212. Billy Urbanski
  213. Earl Adams
  214. John Kerr
  215. Russell Van Atta
  216. Lefty Gomez
  217. Frank Crosetti
  218. Wes Ferrell
  219. Mule Haas
  220. Lefty Grove
  221. Dale Alexander
  222. Charlie Gehringer
  223. Dizzy Dean
  224. Frank Demaree
  225. Bill Jurges
  226. Charley Root
  227. Billy Herman
  228. Tony Piet
  229. Arky Vaughan
  230. Carl Hubbell
  231. Joe Moore
  232. Lefty O’Doul
  233. Johnny Vergez
  234. Carl Hubbell
  235. Fred Fitzsimmons
  236. George Davis
  237. Gus Mancuso
  238. Hugh Critz
  239. Leroy Parmelee
  240. Hal Schumacher

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