1933 Goudey Baseball Cards – Top 7 Cards and Investment Outlook

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Buy Professionally Graded 1933 Goudey Baseball Cards on eBay

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The 1933 Goudey Big League Gum set helped to kickstart popularity in the collectible hobby during a scarce period, with the issue consisting of 239 cards, as well as one mail-order copy which was numbered #106.

The 1933 Goudey set is considered one of the “Big Three” vintage baseball card sets, along with the T206 and 1952 Topps releases.

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With 240 cards to choose from, it can be hard to decide which are the best overall.

We’ve come up with a list containing the top seven 1933 Goudey baseball cards, with info and investment advice to give you a better idea of what to expect from the best that the ‘30s had to offer.

Best 1933 Goudey Baseball Cards

The set measures 2-3/8″ by 2-7/8″ and is noted for its use of colorized photo images.

They’re a cut above many of the cards that came before and hold up to modern options thanks to strong design choices coupled with a nostalgic feel. 

There are four Babe Ruth cards and two Lou Gehrig cards, while over a quarter of the options in the 1933 Goudey set contain Hall of Famers, further adding to the price and prestige in the present day.

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Many sets have attempted to emulate the collection, which is understandable given their age and their popularity.

However, few matches up in terms of value, so here are seven of the very best ‘33 Goudey cards.  

 

1933 Babe Ruth Goudey #53 (buy on eBay)

1933 Babe Ruth Goudey

If you haven’t guessed, Babe Ruth features heavily on this list!

A seven-time World Series Champion, and possibly the most famous baseball player to have lived, his collection of cards have helped to immortalize him almost a century after their release.

The #53 is the first card we’ll be looking at. It’s also known as the ‘Yellow Ruth’, for obvious reasons.

“The 33′ Goudey Ruth is an iconic image of Ruth with a bat slung over one shoulder, along with a bright yellow background and a simple white border”

There’s also a red ‘Big League Chewing Gum’ tab at the bottom. The reverse lists player info, along with a Big League advert.

It’s the toughest to find in good condition, which means that it’s the most expensive of the four. 

 

1933 Babe Ruth Goudey #144 (buy on eBay)

1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #144

The second of four Ruth cards to make the list, the #144 (or Full Body Ruth) was double-printed and is more plentiful overall as a consequence.

As the name suggests, it features a full-length image of the player, as he waits on the plate with his bat held ready. 

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It uses the same illustration as the #53 and #149 cards instead of showing Ruth in a full batting pose. (It was double printed in place of a Nap Lajoie card which also manages to make the list.)

Despite there being an abundance of options, there are noticeable differences between the two #144 versions.

One tends to be in sharper focus than the other, although they sell for similar prices at auction.

 

1933 Babe Ruth Goudey #149 (buy on eBay)

1933goudeybaseballcards

Next up is another Ruth card from the 1933 set. Essentially, it’s the same as the Yellow card found above, but this time it’s been given a Red finish.

They’re worth a similar amount when looking at average values, so it’s typically a matter of personal preference depending on which color has more aesthetic appeal.

 

1933 Ty Cobb Goudey Sport Kings #1 (buy on eBay)

1933 Ty Cobb Goudey Sport Kings

Ty Cobb is credited with setting 90 MLB records during his career, and his combined total of 4,065 runs scored and runs batted in (after adjusting for home runs) is still the highest ever produced by any major league player to this day.

He was clearly a cut above the majority of players from his era, so it’s easy to see how he makes the list.

His card is the first in the 1933 Goudey Sports Kings set, which featured athletes from a variety of sports.

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Ruth and Carl Hubbell were the other two selected in the release that came slightly later than the ‘33 Goudey set. 

It features a profile shot of Cobb as he stares directly at you, with a yellow background that is reminiscent of the Ruth card discussed above.

There’s a ‘Sport Kings Gum’ banner at the top in red, while his name is listed on a black tab at the bottom.

The tab also features miniature baseball shadows, which is a nice touch.

 

1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #181 (buy on eBay)

1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #181

As if the final Ruth card wouldn’t make the list! The #181 features an over the shoulder image of the player, with the most detailed illustration of Ruth you’ll find in the set.

It comes with a light green background, listing his full name as ‘George Herman (Babe) Ruth’.

There’s a red ‘Big League Chewing Gum’ tab at the bottom, and player info, and an ad on the reverse.

Despite being my personal favorite of the Goudey Ruth quartet, it’s typically the cheapest at auction.

 

1933 Lou Gehrig Goudey #92 (buy on eBay)

1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig

Lou Gehrig was a seven-time All-Star and a six-time World Series champion who spent 17 seasons in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees (1923–1939).

Known as “The Iron Horse” because of his durability, he was diagnosed with ALS in ‘39, which ended his career.

“It’s common for collectors to find number 92, because it tends to be on the market more than the other card, which is rarely available at auction”

It’s now commonly referred to in North America as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”. 

His untimely death has led to increased popularity surrounding his release from the 1933 Goudey set, especially as there’s a distinct lack of options from later years.

The card itself features an action shot of Gehrig, with his bat at the ready. There are actually two different 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig cards, #92 and #160.

 

1933 Nap Lajoie Goudey #106 (buy on eBay)

1933 Nap Lajoie Goudey

Nap Lajoie was a Triple Crown winner in 1901 and a five-time AL batting champion over the decade.

He’s a decorated player from the era, but he doesn’t compare to the others in terms of star power or stats.

So, why does his card make the list along with Gehrig, Ruth, and Cobb?

“Despite being numbered to 106, Lajoie is actually the elusive ‘240th card’ in the set”

Rather than being included in packs, collectors were required to request one via mail from Goudey. It was released along with the 1934 Goudey set.

The card features a profile shot of Lajoie, with a light green background.

After looking at the others, you can spot a number of advances, such as the art style, the text, and the miniature baseball illustrations found at the top of the card.

It’s hyper rare, but there are a number of high-grade copies on the market, as it wasn’t released in packs originally.

 

1933 Goudey Baseball  Card Checklist

1933 Goudey Baseball  Card Checklist

1 Benny Bengough RC
2 Dazzy Vance RC
3 Hughie Critz RC
4 Heinie Schuble RC
5 Babe Herman RC
6 Jimmie Dykes RC Error
6 Jimmie Dykes RC Corrected
7 Ted Lyons RC
8 Roy Johnson RC
9 Dave Harris RC
10 Glenn Myatt RC
11 Billy Rogell RC
12 George Pipgras RC
13 Lafayette Thompson RC
14 Henry Johnson RC
15 Vic Sorrell RC
16 George Blaeholder RC
17 Watty Clark RC
18 Muddy Ruel RC
19 Bill Dickey RC
20 Bill Terry RC
21 Phil Collins RC
22 Pie Traynor RC
23 Kiki Cuyler RC
24 Horace Ford RC
25 Paul Waner RC
26 Bill Cissell RC
27 Sarge Connally RC
28 Dick Bartell RC
29 Jimmie Foxx RC
30 Shanty Hogan RC
31 Tony Lazzeri RC
32 Bud Clancy RC
33 Red Kress RC
34 Bob O'Farrell RC
35 Al Simmons RC
36 Tommy Thevenow RC
37 Jimmie Wilson RC
38 Fred Brickell RC
39 Mark Koenig RC
40 Taylor Douthit RC
41 Gus Mancuso RC
42 Eddie Collins RC
43 Lew Fonseca RC
44 Jim Bottomley RC
45 Larry Benton RC
46 Ethan Allen RC
47 Heinie Manush RC
48 Marty McManus RC
49 Frankie Frisch RC
50 Ed Brandt RC
51 Charlie Grimm RC
52 Andy Cohen RC
53 Babe Ruth RC
54 Ray Kremer RC
55 Pat Malone RC
56 Red Ruffing RC
57 Earl Clark RC
58 Lefty O'Doul RC
59 Bing Miller RC
60 Waite Hoyt RC
61 Max Bishop RC
62 Pepper Martin RC
63 Joe Cronin RC
64 Burleigh Grimes RC
65 Milton Gaston RC
66 George Grantham RC
67 Guy Bush RC
68 Hod Lisenbee RC
69 Randy Moore RC
70 Pete Scott RC
71 Bobby Burke RC
72 Ownie Carroll RC
73 Jesse Haines RC
74 Eppa Rixey RC
75 Willie Kamm RC
76 Mickey Cochrane RC
77 Adam Comorosky RC
78 Jack Quinn RC
79 Red Faber RC
80 Clyde Manion RC

81 Sam Jones RC
82 Dib Williams RC
83 Pete Jablonski RC
84 Glenn Spencer RC
85 Heinie Sand RC
86 Phil Todt RC
87 Frank O'Rourke RC
88 Russell Rollings RC
89 Tris Speaker
90 Jess Petty RC
91 Tom Zachary RC
92 Lou Gehrig RC
93 John Welch RC
94 Bill Walker RC
95 Alvin Crowder RC
96 Willis Hudlin RC
97 Joe Morrisey RC
98 Wally Berger RC
99 Tony Cuccinello RC
100 George Uhle RC
101 Richard Coffman RC
102 Travis Jackson RC
103 Earle Combs RC
104 Fred Marberry RC
105 Bernie Friberg RC
106 Nap Lajoie SP
107 Heinie Manush RC
108 Joe Kuhel RC
109 Joe Cronin RC
110 Goose Goslin RC
111 Monte Weaver RC
112 Fred Schulte RC
113 Ossie Bluege RC
114 Luke Sewell RC
115 Cliff Heathcote RC
116 Eddie Morgan RC
117 Rabbit Maranville RC
118 Val Picinich RC
119 Rogers Hornsby RC
120 Carl Reynolds RC
121 Lefty Stewart RC
122 Alvin Crowder RC
123 Jack Russell RC
124 Earl Whitehill RC
125 Bill Terry RC
126 Jo-Jo Moore RC
127 Mel Ott RC
128 Chuck Klein RC
129 Hal Schumacher RC
130 Freddie Fitzsimmons RC
131 Fred Frankhouse RC
132 Jim Elliott RC
133 Fred Lindstrom RC
134 Sam Rice RC
135 Woody English RC
136 Flint Rhem RC
137 Red Lucas RC
138 Herb Pennock RC
139 Ben Cantwell RC
140 Bump Hadley RC
141 Ray Benge RC
142 Paul Richards RC
143 Glenn Wright RC
144 Babe Ruth RC
145 Rube Walberg RC
146 Lefty Stewart RC
147 Leo Durocher RC
148 Eddie Farrell RC
149 Babe Ruth RC
150 Ray Kolp RC
151 Jake Flowers RC
152 Zack Taylor RC
153 Buddy Myer RC
154 Jimmie Foxx RC
155 Joe Judge RC
156 Danny Macfayden RC
157 Sammy Byrd RC
158 Moe Berg RC
159 Ossie Bluege RC
160 Lou Gehrig RC

161 Al Spohrer RC
162 Leo Magnum RC
163 Luke Sewell RC
164 Lloyd Waner RC
165 Joe Sewell RC
166 Sam West RC
167 Jack Russell RC
168 Goose Goslin RC
169 Tommy Thomas RC
170 Harry McGurdy RC
171 Charlie Jamieson RC
172 Pinky Hargrave RC
173 Roscoe Holm RC
174 Curly Ogden RC
175 Dan Howley MG RC
176 John Ogden RC
177 Walter French RC
178 Jackie Warner RC
179 Fred Leach RC
180 Eddie Moore RC
181 Babe Ruth RC
182 Andy High RC
183 Rube Walberg RC
184 Charlie Berry RC
185 Bob Smith RC
186 Johnny Schulte RC
187 Heinie Manush RC
188 Rogers Hornsby RC
189 Joe Cronin RC
190 Fred Schulte RC
191 Ben Chapman RC
192 Walter Brown RC
193 Lyn Lary RC
194 Earl Averill RC
195 Evar Swanson RC
196 Roy Mahaffey RC
197 Rick Ferrell RC
198 Jack Burns RC
199 Tommy Bridges RC
200 Bill Hallahan RC
201 Ernie Orsatti RC
202 Gabby Hartnett RC
203 Lon Warneke RC
204 Riggs Stephenson RC
205 Heinie Manush RC
206 Gus Suhr RC
207 Mel Ott RC
208 Bernie James RC
209 Dolf Luque RC
210 Virgil Davis RC
211 Hack Wilson RC
212 Billy Urbanski RC
213 Sparky Adams RC
214 Buddy Kerr RC
215 Russ Van Atta RC
216 Vernon Gomez RC
217 Frankie Crosetti RC
218 Wes Ferrell RC
219 Mule Haas RC
220 Lefty Grove RC
221 Dale Alexander RC
222 Charlie Gehringer RC
223 Dizzy Dean RC
224 Frank Demaree RC
225 Billy Jurges RC
226 Charlie Root RC
227 Billy Herman RC
228 Tony Piet RC
229 Arky Vaughan RC
230 Carl Hubbell RC
231 Jo-Jo Moore RC
232 Lefty O'Doul RC
233 Johnny Vergez RC
234 Carl Hubbell RC
235 Freddie Fitzsimmons RC
236 George Davis RC
237 Gus Mancuso RC
238 Hughie Critz RC
239 Leroy Parmalee RC
240 Hal Schumacher RC

 

1933 Goudey Baseball Cards: Buyers Guide and Investment Outlook 

Investment Rating: Solid Buy (4.4 out of 5)
Best 1933 Goudey Baseball Card: 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey #53
Ownership Disclosure: One (1) 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey #53 PSA 5

No list of the best 1933 Goudey cards will miss out on Babe Ruth.  

His popularity is entwined with the set, feeding off one another to create one of the best collections ever put to cardboard.

Of the four different Ruth portrayals, #144 was double-printed and could be found in packs at twice the rate of lesser figures.

It makes for the most affordable of the quartet, which is also highly coveted by collectors who are interested in a real piece of pre-war history.

The same goes for a complete 1933 Goudey set, with or without Lajoie’s mail order release.

Despite recent price rises, they should be seen as some of the best long-term investment options available on the market right now.

Of course, higher grades are always worth a lot more and represent the pinnacle of pre-war baseball memorabilia. 

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There’s also a distinct lack of new stock hitting the market, as it seems almost every existing ‘33 Goudey card has been accounted for.

The price of entry is what holds many back from investing, but values continue to rise, especially for high graded versions where there aren’t many copies to choose from. 

The ‘33 Goudey set is a great long-term investment, and the same goes for any of the seven cards mentioned above.

They continue to be some of the most important pieces in the hobby, and they’re drawing ever closer to their 100th anniversary.

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