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Lot # 426 (of 1389)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1939 R334 Play Ball Near-Complete Set (158/161) Including Ted Williams

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,160

Near-complete set of 1939 Play Balls issued by Gum, Inc., of Philadelphia, the first of three major baseball card sets it produced. This landmark set includes Ted Williams’ rookie card and all of the other major stars and Hall of Famers of the era. Missing only three cards for completion: #26 DiMaggio, 158 Thomas, and 162 Moore. The rarer high-number series cards (#116-162) in 1939 Play Ball have always made the assembly of a complete set particularly challenging for collectors. We have selected three cards to be graded by SGC. Low Numbers (#1-115): 20% Vg-Ex (including some Ex), 43% Vg, and 37% lesser. Keys: #1 Powell (Vg-Ex), 3 Ruffing (Gd+), 6 Durocher (Pr), 7 Doerr (Vg), 30 Dickey (Vg-Ex), 39 Ferrell (Vg), 48 Gomez (EX 60), 50 Gehringer (Fr/Gd), 51 Ott (Vg), 53 Hubbell (EX 60), 55 Vaughan (Gd+), 56 Greenberg (Gd/Vg), 82 Klein (presents Vg-Ex, small pencil mark on back), 89 L. Waner (Ex+), 92 Ted Williams RC (VG/EX+ 55), 94 Manush (Ex), 103 Berg (Gd), 112 P. Waner (Ex+). High Numbers (#116-162): 43% Vg-Ex (including a few better), 31% Vg, and 26% lesser. Key: #143 Averill (Vg). While 1939 Play Balls are numbered #1 through 162, no #126 was ever issued, making the set complete at 161 cards. 1939 Play Balls are rarely offered as a complete or near-complete set. The rare high-number cards and the numerous Hall of Famers, including Ted Williams, naturally give this near-complete set an impressive break value. This mixed-grade set has many highlights, including a particularly attractive example of Ted Williams (SGC VG/EX+ 55) and offers an outstanding value, representing an extremely desirable, relatively affordable alternative to a higher-grade set of this classic prewar gum issue. The equivalent SMR value for just the three graded cards (factoring in the Williams at the VG/EX level) is $1,040. Total: 158 cards.

The items in this lot are part of the deaccessioned property of a prominent northeast museum which has selected Robert Edward Auctions to handle the sale of donated sportscards and memorabilia in an effort to fund purchases more in line with the mission and goals of the museum. SOLD FOR $2,160

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