1934 Goudey Baseball Card Set Guide
1934 Goudey Set Review: Led By Lou Gehrig and Hank Greenberg
Goudey followed up their extremely popular 1933 set with a watered down lineup in 1934. The number of cards in the set was trimmed from 240 to 96 total cards. Babe Ruth, who had 4 different cards in the 1934 set, who left out of the '34 set. Gone were star players having multiple cards, with Lou Gehrig being the lone exception (he had 2 cards). The design of the fronts and backs are similar, and some of the same images were re-used. The big difference in this set was hiring Lou Gehrig as a spokesmen. Instead of the Goudey red banner on the bottom border of the card, Lou's face appears on 84 of the 96 cards in the set. Next to his face reads "Lou Gehrig Says" in cursive. The back of the card has a write up about the player in green font. Cards 85-96 feature another star hall of famers face on the bottom border; Chuck Klein.
Lou Gehrig 1934 Goudey Card #37 and #61
Lou Gehrig joined the Yankees in 1923 and became a bonafide star by 1927. That year he hit 47 home runs, batted in 172 runs, and had a batting average of .373. Babe Ruth often overshadowed Gehrig, as he was was not as comfortable in the spotlight as Ruth was. By 1933, Babe Ruth's numbers started to decline. He hit his fewest home runs in a full season since 1919. After the 1934 season The Babe was cut from the Yankees. Goudey saw that Gehrig was becoming the leader of the team and elected to build the set around him. For many years, he held the most consecutive games played- 2130 (1925-1939); a testament to how much he loved the game. Besides having his face and signature on the majority of the cards in the set, he was also featured in 2 different cards. His first card, #37, is truly a beautiful and classic card. It features "The Iron Horse" in a portrait pose from the shoulders ups with a big grin on his face and bright yellow background. In the player biography on the reverse Lou states that he "Loves the game of baseball and hopes to be batting them out for many years. Fortune has been kind to me". Those who know about baseball history realize the cruel irony of the last statement. Gehrig had to quit baseball in his prime of his career due to an autoimmune disease named after him- Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS. Card #61 features Lou taking a swing with his bat in hand. The background is sea foam green, and prominently features the NY cap and Yankee pinstripes. Low grade examples typically cost several thousand dollars, while high grades run in the tens of thousands.
Hank Greenberg 1934 Goudey Rookie #62
Hank Greenberg was one of the greatest players who is often overlooked by history. He played for the Detroit Tigers from 1933 until 1946 and was a big reason they won the World Series in 1935. Greenberg won 2 MVP awards, one in 1935 and the other in 1940. Each time he led the league in home runs and RBIs. He was an imposing power hitter, standing 6'4''. He finished he career with 331 home runs, 1274 RBIs, and a lifetime batting average of .313. While those numbers might not jump off the page, it is important to remember that he lost almost 4 years in the prime of his career due to World War II. In fact, he was the first Major Leaguer to volunteer to join. His career stats would look significantly different had he not sacrificed for his country. Hank was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 1956. His rookie card in the 1934 Goudey Set is certainly is is impressive. It features the broad shouldered Greenberg looking directly out at the camera. The green background compliments the English D on his cap quite nicely. His card in low grade is quite affordable, typically ranging from $500 and up. Higher grades sell for several thousand.
Other Hall of Famers
The 1934 Goudey set contains a fair amount of hall of famers (20/96 cards), however it lacks the big name star power that was featured in the 1933 set. The 1934 set certainly leaves more to be desired. The biggest names after Gehrig and Greenberg are Jimmie Foxx (card #1), Dizzy Dean (card #6), Carl Hubbell (card #12), Left Grove (card # 19), and Charlie Gehringer (card #23).