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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Fun-Day Fun-Facts

The Goudey Gum Company was an American chewing gum company started in 1919. The company was founded by Enos Gordon Goudey of Barrington Passage, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Enos Goudey sold the company in 1932 but he retained an interest as a consultant. On his retirement in 1933, William Wrigley Jr. dubbed him the "penny gum king of America".

Goudey was the first American company to issue baseball cards with each stick of gum. Cards had mainly been available with cigarettes and candy for many years.

Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig are prominently featured in the Goudey cards of the 1930s. They were colorful cards with hand drawn portraits of the players. Hall of Famers depicted on the Goudey cards from 1933 to 1941 include Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Dizzy Dean, Mel Ott, Joe Dimaggio, and Hank Greenberg.

In 1933, Goudey produced a 240 card set, also called "Big League Chewing Gum". These cards were the first baseball cards featuring bubble gum in each pack. The 1933 Goudey set is considered one of the "Big Three" classic baseball card sets, along with the T206 and 1952 Topps sets.

One of the rarest baseball cards is card #106 from the 1933 Goudey set. It was not originally issued with the set. Collectors that sent letters to the Goudey Gum Company complaining about the lack of a #106 card received it in the mail. In 1934, Goudey issued card #106 for the 1933 set with retired player Nap Lajoie. It is known as one of the "Big Three" baseball cards along with the Honus Wagner and Eddie Plank cards from the T206 set.

In 1938, Goudey produced a 48 card set, also known as the "Heads-Up" set. The cards were numbered from 241 to 288, making it look as if Goudey was trying to extend the 1933 Goudey set. The first 24 cards in the set depicts pictures of players heads attached to a cartoonish body in baseball action.

Similar cards as the 1933 and 1934 Goudey sets were also released in Canada by World Wide Gum Co., of Quebec. They are sometimes known as Canadian Goudey sets. The 1933 World Wide Gum set was released with two different backs, one with both French and English, and the other with only English.

Most of the Goudey unreleased cards, printing plates, and company archives were thrown away in the 1960s, although some were sold to collectors.

Goudey baseball card sets
1933 Goudey R319
1933 Sports Kings R338
1933 World Wide Gum V353
1934 Goudey R320
1934 Goudey Premiums R390-1
1934 World Wide Gum V354
1935 Goudey 4-in-1 R321
1935 Goudey Premiums R390-2
1936 Goudey Wide Pens R314
1936 Goudey R322
1936 World Wide Gum V355
1938 Goudey "Heads-Up" R323
1939 Goudey Premiums R303
1939 World Wide Gum V351
1941 Goudey R324

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