Saturday, August 1, 2020

Getting serious about 1933 Goudey

I've always loved 1933 Goudey, and a couple of years ago I decided that I'd try to complete it. However, that project went on the back-burner after getting 5 cards as I decided that with $10 prices for commons, and 4 Babe Ruths, it wasn't going to happen.

I thought about it more this spring, and I realized that if I sold the cards I have that I don't need or want, I could get a hall of famer or two and some commons. That's gone alright so far; I've definitely made some progress. Here are the cards I've gotten so far in my Goudey quest part II:
This was the first one I got, and my favorite. Over the past year or two I've gotten interested in the minor leagues, and John (Jack) Ogden was one of the stars on the greatest minor league dynasty ever: The Baltimore Orioles. They won the International League pennant every year from 1919 to 1925, under the leadership of Jack Dunn, who is usually remembered as the man who sold Babe Ruth to the Red Sox. Jack Ogden spent all of his minor league time in the International League, which at the time was at the highest minor league classification, AA. He was very successful too, winning 213 games against just 103 losses in the International League. His best season was 1922, as he went 31-8, as the Orioles won 115 games against just 52 losses that year.

 His career was winding down by 1933,  his last year in pro ball outside of 1 inning in 1934. Ogden was featured as an Oriole on his Goudey card, because Goudey included some minor leaguers in the set. Here's the back:
It looks like this card was once owned by a certain Dick Cawley. Whenever something like that happens I always Google the name, hoping that the person went on to fame or something. No luck yet.
Same deal here, though I just got a boring name. John Smith, I mean. It would have been so much more interesting if I got Isaac Jablonowski, or something distinctive like that. This was my 3rd Yankee from the set, which I was happy to get for just $7. Walter Brown, or "Jumbo" Brown as he is more well known, was the heaviest player ever until C.C Sabathia came along, tipping the scales at 295 pounds. He led the league in saves twice later in his career with the Giants, but you have to understand that his league-leading totals were 7 and 8 respectively.
Gus Suhr had another interesting story. In 1929 he came out of nowhere to lead the Pacific Coast League, which at the time was the top minor league, with 51 home runs. It just was a fluke; he had never hit more than 27 home runs in a minor league season before, and his major league high was 17. Even funnier was that he played regularly for 3 years in the PCL during war time, and hit the grand total of 1 home run in the 3 years combined. You could look it up, as Casey Stengel used to say.

He wasn't a bad player in the majors though; he played 11 years in the bigs and led the league in games played 3 times.
Dick Bartell had the best major league career of the guys I got in this round of Goudey's, playing for 18 years in the major leagues, with a career batting average of .284, pretty good for a infielder. This one was actually completely funded with cards I sold on Ebay, so that was nice. It's a nice card, though, really, they all are.
This card is definitely the worst conditioned '33 Goudey I've gotten so far. Oh well. As I've recounted a couple times, I'm a Stratomatic player, and the '27 Yankees is the team I play with the most. Mark Koenig was the starting shortstop for that team, so I've developed an appreciation for him. When you play Stratomatic with a player, you really get to know them better. I know Koenig as He Who Never Does Any Thing But Hit Singles.

That batch of 5 cards gave me 10 total. I still have 229 left, including a lot of hall of famers, not to mention 6 cards of Ruth and Gherig alone. I probably won't finish it unless I get a really good job when I grow up, but you never know.

And in any case, it's a great set.


  1. Wow. This is quite the project. Best of luck. It's a beautiful set. I used to play a baseball game on my old Apple IIe when I was a kid and almost always used the 1927 NY Yankees. I became very familiar with Koenig and the rest of that legendary lineup. He'd bat behind Combs and let Ruth and Gehrig drive him in.

  2. There's something about a vintage card that someone else has owned and loved enough to write their name on. It makes the object unique and adds to the charm.

  3. This is going to be some quest! A lot of the commons (in relatively decent shape) can still be had for less than $10 apiece, so that should give you plenty to chase, at least until you land that high paying job of yours :)

  4. I like to think of myself as a fine card collector, with around 2,000 cards, most of which are around thirty years old. My oldest is a 1940 Play Ball Buddy Myer that I got for my 14th birthday this August. But you, my friend, are a far better collector than I will ever be!