1938 Goudey Baseball
The story is so old that some of it needs rewriting.
A while back I began building a 1938 Goudey set. I quickly
fell in love with the cards, and through some fortunate (or
unfortunate) raw card acquisitions. latched onto a number
of high-grade examples. Upon seeing the beauty of a
high-grade '38 Goudey, I elected to build an upscale set
That began a journey that still hasn't ended. I completed
the set in January of 2005, and never stopped upgrading. I
upgraded some of my cards as many as four times, and
ultimately rose to #5 on PSA's all-time finest registry,
with a GPA above 6 and only 5 cards under PSA 6 (all 5s).
After becoming disillusioned with PSA, I retired my set
from the registry in December of 2006. Nearly a year later,
I finally mustered the strength to submit my set to SGC for
crossover. While six of my cards benefited from SGC's
half-point grading scale or from undergrading on the part
of PSA, 15 of my cards did not cross over. After hanging my
head a bit, I held my breath, and listed them all on eBay.
Today I'm working on re-completing my set. It's been
In the process of building this set, I've learned quite a
bit about it - some of which I'll disclose here, and some
of which I'll keep to myself for a while. I consider this
set to be the most scarce mainstream set of the 1930s, and
the second most scarce Goudey set (just behind the
unpopular and ugly 1941 issue).
Due to the scarcity of this set, I consider anything at the
EX to EX-MT grade to be "high grade". Three of the top four
registered, graded sets all grade out at about an 8.0, but
to my knowledge they were all built in the mid 1990s. The
fourth set was owned by Lionel Carter, graded by SGC and
purchased by a collector in 2007 for something like
$250,000, and contained a Joe D in SGC 9, and the only 1938
Goudey ever to be graded a 10 - the #253 Hank Greenberg.
Building an honest set card-by-card in PSA or SGC 8 today
would be impossible, as many of the cards only have two or
three NMT-MT examples known.
Between PSA and SGC, less than 3,500 have been graded in
total - approximately 350 have been submitted by yours
truly, and since many have been cracked and resubmitted, I
know the population reports are not entirely accurate. I
would estimate the true number of available graded examples
to be less than 3,000, with mid-grades being effected by
this the most.
You can read more information about the set here, in an
article that I wrote for the first issue of SGC Collector
You can read about the two different wrappers here.
Read about the mysterious case of Joe Vosmik.
Read an article on the set that I wrote for SGC Collector.
View my set.