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1933 R319 Goudey Uncut Sheet with Six Hall of Famers! ("The World Series Sheet")
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $14,400
Complete 24-card production sheet of 1933 Goudey "Big League" Chewing Gum cards (#107-114, 121-127, and 232-240). This prime sheet includes six Hall of Famers: #107 Heinie Manush, 109 Joe Cronin, 110 Goose Goslin, 125 Bill Terry, 127 Mel Ott, and 234 Carl Hubbell. The sheet also includes #232 Lefty O'Doul and key condition rarity #240 Harold Schumacher. The 1933 Goudey set is the first of all modern gum-card issues and the most important of all Goudey issues. Uncut sheets of Goudey cards are not only extremely rare, but are also among the most popular and sought-after of all baseball-card sheets. The improbability of their existence, their incredible rarity, and their extraordinary display value are all factors which contribute to the great desirability of Goudey sheets.
All Goudey sheets originate from two sources: the files of Goudey (most but not all of which surfaced in the collecting world in 1969) and the William Gardiner Collection. The offered sheet originates directly from the William Gardiner Collection. William Gardiner was a very enthusiastic collector who as a youngster lived near the Goudey offices, and was able to acquire uncut sheets directly from Goudey for his personal collection. Unlike most youngsters who would be so lucky, he saved all his sheets in virtually perfect condition. In total, Gardiner had about thirty-five sheets, including several 1934 Goudey high-number sheets with #106 Lajoie. One of the special qualities of the William Gardiner sheets is that they were all in high-grade, with no tape or glue stains on the front or back, no proofing check marks, no erasures, or any other imperfections which are usually found on Goudey file sheets. Most Goudey file sheets have tape along their edges from being taped into a large sample book, or have remnants of being glued into a large book on their reverse, or proofing-related imperfections. Many of the Goudey file sheets have undergone restoration over the years, in some cases very minor. But the William Gardiner sheets had no such imperfections: all were perfectly preserved pure production sheets. In 1974 Gardiner became aware of the growing phenomenon of baseball-card conventions, and brought a selection of Goudey sheets to the then very well known District Center 65 show in New York City. No one there had ever seen uncut Goudey sheets before, so this caused quite a stir, but Mr. Gardiner was in no hurry to sell. He put several sheets in the small, informal live auction of quality material that was organized at the show, but insisted on a minimum bid of $200 per sheet. The auction was held at the first table in the front, with about twenty-five or thirty collectors crowded around the table. Many of the hobby's most legendary collectors were in attendance. Everyone wanted the sheets, but no one was willing to pay $200. Gardiner went home with his sheets, but not before speaking at great length with a young collector by the name of Robert Lifson. They exchanged contact information. In the years to come, as the extraordinary value of Gardiner's sheets became recognized by the market, Gardiner had Lifson handle the sale of his entire collection, and sheets from this very impressive collection have since been scattered to all parts of the collecting world.
The offered sheet is referred to as the "World Series sheet" because it features twelve players from each of the two teams participating in the 1933 World Series (the Senators and the Giants). This was the last series of cards produced by Goudey in 1933, and was released just in time to finish the set and to capitalize on the excitement of the World Series. The sheet is spectacularly bright and clean, with incredibly bold and vibrant colors, and a stunning overall Excellent to Mint appearance. Technically, there is some light wear at the four corners (as is to be expected for sheets of this size), but close examination does not reveal any creases. The sheet is perfectly flat. The reverse of the sheet is fully printed, and is perfectly bright and clean. This is a prime example of an uncut Goudey sheet, highlighted by six different Hall of Famers, with extremely impressive display value worthy of the finest collection! Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $14,400
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