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Cards come in all conditions. Sometimes with big condition problems that make them much more affordable but create unique and interesting collecting opportunities.
In 1933 the DeLong Gum Company issued what is now one of the rarest and most highly regarded gum card sets of the 1930s. They can also be very expensive in high grade. Lou Gehrig alone lists for $40,000 in PSA NR-MT 8 condition. A complete set could cost a fortune in nice shape.
We don’t know what this 24-card set of “die-cut” 1933 DeLongs (pictured above) is worth. There’s no right answer and different collectors will have different opinions. How could anyone know? Who’s ever had a crazy set like this? All we know is we like it and we thought it would be fun to share the images and April auction catalog write-up here on the REA blog.
Here’s the write-up from the upcoming auction:
Presented is what is unquestionably the most unusual complete set of all 24 players from the 1933 R333 DeLong Gum series in existence! We’ve never before seen even a single “die-cut” DeLong like the cards in this set. Every card in the offered set has long ago had the background very neatly cut away around the player’s image, similar to a die-cut stand-up card. The backgrounds are each cut out with extraordinary care and at a glance they look like manufactured die-cut cards. They are not die-cut cards, of course, but they do look great! DeLongs have always held a special place in the hearts of collectors. The small size of the set, their relative rarity compared to most others card sets of the era, their unique dimensions and design, and their status as a “one-year issue” all combine to give DeLongs a mystique among serious collectors. More than half the set features Hall of Famers including: Gehrig, Foxx, Grove, Cuyler, Klein, Goslin, Terry, Simmons, Traynor, Gehringer, Cochrane, Gomez, Lindstrom, Maranville, and Hafey. DeLongs are one of the rarest issues of the 1930s and have always been an expensive issue to collect, especially due to the inclusion of Lou Gehrig and all the other Hall of Famers in the set. This is certainly a very unique form to find this set. Cards come in all conditions, and that is most definitely the case here. Without reference to the “die-cut” design, the cards in this set grade G-Vg overall. This is an exciting opportunity for a collector to acquire a complete R333 DeLong set in a unique low-grade form at a very affordable level. These cards are from the Charlie Conlon Collection. That in itself is interesting because Charlie was one of most advanced longtime collectors in the world and he had sets of just about every rare 1930s issue. He didn’t need these cards; they were duplicates. He had a high-grade set of DeLongs. But even he thought they were neat enough to put in his extraordinary collection. Sure, they’ve got a very unusual condition problem. But we are sure that someone is going to enjoy these as much as Charlie did. Total 24 cards. Reserve $100. Estimate (open).