From 1933-1941, the Goudey Company on Boston, Massachusetts released several of the most acclaimed early gum sets. Advertised as a “series of 240 baseball stars,” the first mainstream issue of “Big League Chewing Gum” was released in 1933 and proved an instant hit among American youth and prospective set collectors who hoarded “pictures” of their beloved heroes. Unfortunately, frenzied consumers were ultimately stymied in their attempt, as card #106 was nowhere to be found. As many of their contemporaries and predecessors, Goudey never actually printed card #106 in packages of their product. Perhaps becoming wise to the tactic, a handful of enterprising early hobbyists wrote letters complaining to the confectioner.
Released only to those who put “pen to paper” in 1934, Goudey curbed the outcry by producing a special #106 Napoleon Lajoie card, mailing copies to those who yearned to complete their sets. With a 1934 copyright on the reverse, #106 Lajoie was produced near the time frame as the Sport Kings series from the same year. Recognizing the scarcity of the legend, early collectors dubbed #106 Lajoie as one of the “Big Three” along with the iconic T206 Plank and Wagner examples. Graded 60 EX 5 by SGC, the offered 1933 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie is one of the most celebrated baseball cards in history. With a combined PSA and SGC population census of 122 (including probable "cross over" exclusions), this mid-grade specimen is properly centered with evenly worn corners and edges. The portrait is framed by a lovely lime backdrop and the biographical reverse is clean. Despite slight surface scuffing toward the upper right portion of the cardboard, the colorful rendering of the Hall of Famer is brilliant with flawless registration.