Skip the Blaster: Bucky Harris 1936 Goudey

Blaster boxes are those delectable boxes of modern cards that collectors like to target at retailers. Usually $10, $20, or $30, collectors love these sorts of fixed-price buys when in the mood for a cheap rip. I’ve got nothing against modern cards but, well, there are better ways to spend your money if you’re into vintage stuff. What I want to do is point out some great pre-war buys in these articles that can be purchased for the price of a blaster box.

Bucky Harris 1936 Goudey Card

The last time out, I used this column to focus on a really cool baseball trade card from the 19th century. But that card featured a generic subject and I really want to focus on affordable cards that you can find of real players. I love the generic stuff more than most but I also realize that the majority of collectors are seeking cards of actual baseball subjects.

That brings us to this month’s bargain card — Bucky Harris’ 1936 Goudey card.

Harris wasn’t only a 12-year major league veteran playing primarily for the Washington Senators, but he is also a Hall of Fame manager. He was a fine player, mind you, collecting nearly 1,300 hits while batting a respectable .274. But it’s his managerial career that got him into the Hall. Harris first led the Washington Senators to a World Series title as a player/manager and then managed the New York Yankees to the 1947 title. All told, Harris won 2,158 games as a manager.

The card is a fairly nice one. It features an up close portrait of Harris with his name in script like others in the set. It should be noted that these weren’t replica autographs — they were merely player names printed in cursive font.

Harris’ 1936 Goudey card is a sneaky good find — and it’s not simply because Harris is a Hall of Famer. The card is in a fairly rare set. As I’ve covered before, the 1936 Goudeys are much rarer than the company’s 1933, 1934, 1935, and 1938 issues.

Only the 1941 Goudey set is likely rarer and, well, that’s the cards were issued during a World War. A somewhat rare card of a Hall of Famer seems like a potential recipe for big money. But Harris’ Goudey card is ridiculously cheap, starting at about $15 in low-grade condition.

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