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1939 R334 Play Ball Complete Set (161)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,000
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, Joe DiMaggio, and all of the other major stars and Hall of Famers of the era. 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 and encapsulated by SGC. Low Numbers (#1-115): 10% Ex, 26% Vg-Ex, 48% Vg, and 16% lesser. Keys: #1 Powell (Vg-Ex), 3 Ruffing (pencil writing on front, otherwise Vg), 6 Durocher (Vg), 7 Doerr (Vg+), 26 Joe DiMaggio (VG/EX 50), 30 Dickey (pencil writing on front, otherwise Vg), 39 Ferrell (Vg), 48 Gomez (Vg+), 50 Gehringer (Vg), 51 Ott (Vg), 53 Hubbell (Vg), 55 Vaughan (Gd/Vg), 56 Greenberg (EX 60), 82 Klein (Fr), 89 L. Waner (Vg), 92 Ted Williams RC (VG/EX+ 55), 94 Manush (Gd/Vg), 103 Berg (Vg-Ex+), 112 P. Waner (Vg+). High Numbers (#116-162): 28% Vg-Ex, 34% Vg, and 38% lesser (mostly Gd). Key: #143 Averill (Gd). Two cards, #27 and 41, are "Free Sample" varieties (#41 appears to be signed). 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 set. The forty-six high-number cards and the numerous Hall of Famers, in addition to Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, naturally give this set an impressive break value. This mixed-grade set has many highlights, including particularly attractive examples of the key cards of Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, 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 #92 Ted Williams at the lower whole-grade level and not including the additional 158 ungraded cards!) is $1,855. Total: 161 cards. SOLD FOR $3,000
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