What’s in a name? The American Card Catalog, a book published in the early 1950′s, designated each card set a number. These prefixes were meant to differentiate certain cards from each other and group others that are akin. These prefixes included T (cards found in tobacco products) E (cards found in caramel products) D (cards found in bread products) M (cards found within magazines) F (cards used in ice cream and dairy promotions) and many more. These designations cover all cards, baseball and not, from the 1880′s until the early 1950′s. Some designations, like the T-206 that was chosen for the White Bordered set are used almost universally. Others, like this week’s R-319 are so rarely used they don’t even appear on third party grading flips.
So what is the R-319 trading card set? The ACC name may mean little to most collectors but it’s most commonly used name is unkown to none. The 1933 Goudey Gum Co baseball cards. Issued from the company founded by Enos Goudey, the 1933 Goudey cards were the first to include a stick of chewing gum within the pack; a tradition held with many trading card companies for over 50 years.
The 1933 Goudey cards are known for their bright and fresh hand drawn pictures of the players and reverse sides that depicted both player stats and physical attributes but also card numbers. The player selection is 240 different cards making it the largest of the Goudey sets, and the first major baseball card set that was numbered and collected out of packs of gum. Babe Ruth, Moe Berg, Jimmy Fox, the famed and extremely rare Nap Lajoie and of course the Gehrig depicted are some of the greatest cards from the set. A beautiful set of baseball cards these truly are.
Lou Gehrig of course needs little biography. One of the games greatest players, and certainly one it’s most humble; Gehrig’s life and career was cut short by the disease that now holds his name. A member of the 1927 Yankees Murder’s Row, Gehrig’s most iconic image is found in the R-319, or if you prefer, the 1933 Goudey Big League Chewing Gum set.