One of the most collectable sets in baseball card history has a solitary corrected error … and no one seems to care
The 1933 Goudey baseball card set is one of the most iconic releases of all time. It’s got basically anything you could want in a set. A boatload of stars, including four Babe Ruth cards. A U.S. spy. A super shortprint. A whopping 240 cards. It’s great and often considered in the Big 3 in terms of sets, along with T206 and the 1952 Topps issue.
But despite all of that, the set’s only widely reported error card that was corrected remains largely undiscussed. Not only undiscussed, but virtually unknown to many collectors.
Now, it should be pointed out that Goudey proof cards exist with various flaws that were later fixed when the cards were distributed in packs, such as this Al Spohrer card that was auctioned off. But a card featuring Jimmy Dykes (No. 6 in the set) is the only reported known one with numerous issues of both the error and correction.
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.
That’s kind of what makes the tepid response to his error in the set even more questionable.
The error’s minor nature is likely one of the biggest reasons why. Dykes is listed on some cards as being only 26 years old. In reality, he was 36 and near the end of his career. At some point, Goudey figured it out and changed the card. It’s such a minor error that they either must have caught it from pure dumb luck or by a really thorough proofreading process. To date, no other errors in the set are not known to have been fixed but there surely are some. Mule Haas is one. His card spells his last name as Hass and it wasn’t fixed. How the proofreading process whiffed on that one but caught an age mentioned in someone’s biography on the back is beyond me.
Another reason few care about the error? Both versions appear to be relatively plentiful. Since PSA began tracking the error in their population reports, there has not been a significant difference in the number graded between the two. To date, they’ve graded about 50 of each.
I’m not a huge error card guy. When I build sets, I rarely worry about tracking down errors in them. The T205 set is a great example. It includes a bunch of cards that are legitimate variations with different poses but also includes many that are merely errors. I collect variations that are truly different cards but am not usually the one scrambling to find every different error card that exists. I’ll pick one up on occasion if it happens to be a good deal but am not worried about dropping $1,000 on the super rare Wilhelm correction or anything. Kudos to all you rare master collectors, and such. Just not my personal bag.
Still, I do find it interesting that a lot of collectors couldn’t even tell you about this card given the massive popularity of the set. Not a big name guy and not a real sexy error. But I would expect it to be a little more desired than it is simply because so many people collect 1933 Goudeys.