Reviewing Mel Ott’s Two 1933 Goudey Cards
The Hall of Famer has a pair of cards in the iconic set — here’s a look at both of them
Mel Ott is one of a few players in the 1933 Goudey set with more than one card. And given his popularity at the time, that made sense.
Ott was not only a high-profile star in a major market for the New York Giants, but was turning into one of baseball’s best players when the set was released. In 1932, the year before this set was released, he was fresh off of a monster season where he led the league in home runs (38), walks (100), and on base percentage (.424).
Ott fell a little short in terms of overall popularity and those numbers were only good enough to help him finish in tenth place for the National League Most Valuable Player Award. But Ott was clearly a star player and one that deserved to be featured twice in the set.
One of Ott’s cards, No. 127, is a simple headshot. The second, No. 207, is a batting pose. Both cards are pretty popular with collectors and are among the keys to the set after the shortprinted Nap Lajoie card, the four Babe Ruth cards, and the two Lou Gehrig cards. His cards are in that next tier of stars and in terms of price and both start around $75-$100 in low-grade condition.
Both cards call Mel, ”Melvin,” his full first name. The backs for the cards share some of the same information but have different biographies, further distinguishing them as two entirely different cards.
Across the three major grading companies, PSA, SGC, and Beckett, there have been approximately 860 of those cards graded.
His No. 207 card, the batting pose, seems to be a bit more plentiful. So far, about 920 of those cards have been graded. That’s not a huge variance but given that all three companies have graded fewer of the headshot cards could be an indication that slightly fewer of those have survived.
Prices for these cards fluctuate quite a bit. But in general, the prices do not seem to be significantly greater for either card. They are both roughly the same in terms of cost. Still, it is difficult to get a strong handle on the exact pricing because reported sales have varied quite a bit.
Take Ott’s PSA 4 cards of the batting pose. This year alone, PSA has reported sales that are wide ranging. The card has sold for as little as $262 but also for as much as $490. There is one other similarly low sale of $273 and others around $340.
That isn’t altogether rare. Prices for cards with identical grades can fluctuate a good bit based on a card’s eye appeal. Collectors will pay more for ones that look better and less for ones that appear to be overgraded. But it doesn’t help in terms of coming to a consensus price.
Overall, however, there does not seem to be much of a significant premium for either card. Some sellers that believe the headshot card is truly rarer may ask for more. But as a whole, there’s not a ton of difference in terms of what the cards sell for.