Comparing Lou Gehrig’s Two 1934 Goudey Cards

The Hall of Famer has two cards in the 1934 Goudey set but one is rarer and more valuable than the other

The 1934 Goudey set is one I’ve been working on for, I don’t know, about a year or so now? Now, when I say working on, I mean only just barely. I’ve only got about 1/4 of the set assembled and that’s been achieved with almost next to no effort as the only cards I’ve focused on are very inexpensive commons as I’ve found them. There are any number of sets I’m working on with greater priority than this one but I enjoy picking up the cards as I can.

Recently, I bought a low-grade, skinned Gehrig card from the set. Gehrig, of course, has two cards in the set and those, along with the rookie card of Hank Greenberg, are the keys.

The 1934 Goudey set, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is fine. It’s not even close to as heralded as Goudey’s 1933 issue and a big part of that is because it doesn’t have a super shortprint like the famous Nap Lajoie card. It also doesn’t even have a single Babe Ruth card while the 1933 set boasts four of them. A further detraction is that many of the images from it had origins in the 1933 set and were virtually just repeats. But, if we’re being honest, it’s a decent set and, as I wrote recently, probably ranks only behind Goudey’s famous 1933 set in terms of quality and, certainly, popularity, among their baseball only issues.

As a brief aside, it’s also worth pointing out that Gehrig has two 1933 Goudey cards. Just like we’ll see with the 1934 cards, one is significantly rarer in that set, too.

1934 Goudey Lou Gehrig -37

But that got me to thinking a bit and wanting to take a deeper look at the rarity and, consequently, the values of each.

Gehrig’s first card is card No. 37 in the set.

This card is probably the one that more collectors are familiar with, with its bright yellow background large portrait pose of Gehrig. When collectors think of Gehrig’s appearance in this set, I’m willing to bet that this image is the one that most often comes to mind.

One reason for that could be that it’s because the card is seen more often and a little easier to find. Neither 1934 Goudey Gehrig card is overly plentiful but this one is certainly spotted with greater frequency. That’s sort of hinted at in the population reports of the three major grading companies.

To date, PSA, SGC, and Beckett have combined to grade this card a little more than 1,300 times. Low-grade examples of it typically start around $500-$600.

1934 Goudey Lou GehrigGehrig’s second card is No. 61.

This one’s an action picture and also differs from his first card with a green background and the pinstripe uniform Gehrig is wearing.

It’s not technically considered one of the rarer true high number cards, which start at 73. But this card seems to significant rarer than the portrait card.

Population reports for the three grading companies show only a little more than 1,000 graded of this variation. Prices for it are generally a bit higher, too, with low-grade examples usually starting closer to $750-$850 or so.

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