Heartland March 2020 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/9/2020

“Nature gave me a good start, but it has taken a lot of hard work and a willingness to listen to advice to enable me to make the grade in the American League." -Joe Cronin

Proofs and error cards were commonly discarded to the trash heap or even burned to keep them out of the hands of the public. Manufacturers didn’t want inferior versions of their product to ever see the light of day. However, in some cases, proofs and errors were placed in files, taken home be employees, or scavenged from the trash piles of the printers who produced the cards for companies such as Goudey

. Those of us here at Heartland are thrilled to offer this rare 1933 Goudey proof of none other than “Mr. Clutch”, Hall of Famer and former American League Commissioner, Joe Cronin. The card is the first Cronin proof we have encountered in our many years in the hobby.

A Bit Of History And What Caused The Error On This 1933 Goudey

From the late 1800s through 1911, expensive, multi-color lithography was the chosen method of printing for both sports and non-sports cards, with American Tobacco’s legendary T206 issue setting a standard for quality that to this day quickens the heartbeats of collectors. But after the economic downturns created by WW I and later the stock market crash, card producers needed to make harsh cutbacks in order to survive and still produce products consumers could afford. The result were a number of dismal back and white issues during the 1920s. With the economy beginning to rebound and the repeal of prohibition on the horizon (the 21st Amendment repealing prohibition passed in December 1933) consumers once again had a bit of disposable income, giving Enos Goudey a window of opportunity. In 1928, Frank Fleer perfected bubble gum, releasing the still popular Double Bubble brand. Witnessing the popularity of gum with kids, Enos Goudey decided to target the youth of America and Canada, by selling sports and non-sports cards in packs with a stick of gum. In 1933, Goudey finally brought his vision to life. And kids went crazy for the product. Understanding he couldn’t use lithography to product his cards, Goudey chose an inexpensive form of silk screening to print his cards. The process wasn’t as exacting nor as vibrant as early tobacco cards, but full color gum cards were more than enough to entice youngsters to part with their pennies. The Cronin card featured here was from a color check during the printing process. Obviously, there was a blending issue or a color had not been added to the final print when this blank backed proof was pulled from the line for inspection. The final version of Cronin’s card depicts the star shortstop against a deep and vibrant blue background, very different from the pale, sky blue on the proof. Dark details and outlines are also missing from the proof, meaning that most certainly black and possibly other colors were added for the final card version. To own a proof is to own more than a finished card. These cards represent the sketch that aritists create before painting masterpieces. This is where details are adjusted and the little things that make up great works are considered. Whether you’re a Goudey fan, a Hall of Fame collector, or simply enjoy the unusual, this proof will provide a great investment and a wonderful conversation piece.

1933 Goudey Joe Cronin Proof #63 SGC Authentic
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Auction closed on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
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