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1939 R334 Play Ball Near-Complete Set (149/161) Including DiMaggio and Williams
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $4,444
Extremely attractive near-complete set of 1939 Play Balls issued by Gum, Inc., consisting of 149 of the 161 total cards in the set. Missing only the following twelve cards for completion: #117, 125, 135, 136, 139, 143 Averill, 145, 151, 152, 158, 161, and 162. The first of three major baseball-card sets by Gum, Inc., 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. Condition is 74% Vg-Ex to Ex-Mt (averaging Ex), 20% Gd to Vg, and 6% lesser (including a few trimmed). REA submitted the Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams cards to be graded by SGC (both of which by chance happened to be particularly strong examples). Low Numbers (#1-115): 90% range from Vg-Ex to Ex-Mt (averaging Ex), 10% Gd to Vg. Keys: #1 Powell (Vg-Ex+), 3 Ruffing (Ex), 6 Durocher (Ex-Mt), 7 Doerr (Vg-Ex+), 26 Joe DiMaggio (SGC NM 84, bright, crisp image, with square corners, and outstanding centering), 30 Dickey (Ex), 39 Ferrell (Ex), 48 Gomez (Ex-Mt), 50 Gehringer (Ex+), 51 Ott (Vg-Ex+), 53 Hubbell (Vg+), 55 Vaughan (Ex), 56 Greenberg (Ex-Mt), 82 Klein (Ex-Mt), 89 L. Waner (Ex), 92 Ted Williams RC (SGC EX/NM+ 82, perfect centering, crisp image, and even wear to the corners), 94 Manush (Ex-Mt), 103 Berg (Ex), 112 P. Waner (Ex+). Four cards (#52, 75, 86, and 107) are "Free Sample" varieties. High Numbers (#116-162): Consists of thirty-four of the forty-six high numbers. 15% grade Vg-Ex, 62% grade Gd to Vg, and 23% are Pr (including three trimmed). While 1939 Play Balls are numbered #1 through 162, no #126 was ever issued, making the set complete at 161 cards. Consigned from an old-time collection. This is a very attractive near-complete set in an extremely desirable grade which offers an outstanding value, and represents a relatively affordable alternative to a higher-grade set of this classic prewar gum issue. The equivalent SMR value for just the two graded cards (factoring in the Williams at the lower whole-grade level and not including the 147 ungraded cards!) is $2,700. Total: 149 cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500++. SOLD FOR $4,444
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