Monday, May 17, 2010

1933 Goudey - Dale Alexander

I wrote about Dale (and his schoolmates, Joe and Horace) a few months back. I figured that I'd like to get a Dale Alexander card. Some of them are very expensive.

A few weeks ago I bid on, and won an ebay auction. I paid $10.28 for this card and $3.50 for Shipping and Handling. Less than $14 delivered. And it came from an ebay gift card. No money out of my pocket.

1933 Goudey, Dale Alexander (card #221)

I have very few old cards. A 1909 T206 Cy Barger. A 1911 T205 Gabby Street. A 1936 Goudey Wide Pen Mickey Cochrane. A 1948 Baseball Greats Hall of Fame Exhibits Mickey Cochrane. Some cards from the 1950's. That's it.

I don't know what a 1933 Goudey should look like. You can see from the images above (scanned at 600pi and then reduced down to 96dpi) that it looks good. Almost too good. It is off center. Some good corner wear. But the face of the card has a nice sheen to it. The card was the correct size (2-3/8" x 2-7/8"). The ebay seller had interesting spelling and grammar in his auction listing. ALL SALES FINAL!

The seller has a good rating, but something about the card doesn't quite feel right to me.

I contacted a few other bloggers to see if I could get a high resolution scan of another 1933 Goudey to compare it with. My good blogging friend, dayf, was more than quick to help out.

He posted a very nice entry about the authenticity of some 1933 Goudeys and granted me permission to link to his images. So, we'll give this a go.

Mind you, when I scanned these Sunday evening, it was almost Monday morning. Even as I type this, it has just turned into Tuesday. I find it hard to focus my eyes and be discerning after a long day of work, meetings, a bit of the telly and then some blog reading. Yes, I know how to correct that. Quit work, ditch the meetings, unplug the tube and don't surf the web. Phooey on that.

So, let's get on to the comparison....

The following images have been scanned at 600dpi.





The details are all scanned at 1200dpi:







Matthew, of the wonderful Number 5 Type Collection blog, recently wrote about his experience with a counterfeit card.

David Rudd Cycleback wrote a book about Judging the Authenticity of Early Baseball Cards.

I read both of these and started thinking, "What do I have?" Then I remembered that my eyes hurt and I couldn't quite decide.

I've felt the card, but I don't know the stock that the originals were printed on. I've smelled the card. It smells like cardboard. I'm stumped.

So, I'm looking to my readers to assist me. What do I have?


  1. The oldest card I have is from 1950. I haven't the foggiest idea.

  2. Holding it in my hand would make a difference, but based on the close-up front scan, it looks OK. Your scan of Dale shows a different print pattern between player and background, while the fake Melvin shows similar "dotting" across both. Modern computer printers use that kind of dotting, but 1930s printers didn't.

    1933 Goudeys used different stock colors, ranging from yellow (like the Frank scan) to shades of white (like Dale). I definitely own real cards as white as the Dale. While not guaranteeing it's legit, the scans support it as authentic. (If it's worth a personal exam, you can mail it to me and I'll check it by hand.)

  3. I'm with Matt in that the dot pattern is certainly more like the legit Goudey. I'm no expert on historical printing methods, but I'm fairly certain that when they would print solid blocks of color, like on the background of Dayf's card and your card, the color is pretty seamless, unlike the fake, where it's broken up by the dot pattern. I think it's really only when they reproduced photographs or photograph-like images where they used half-tone patterns to reproduce the shadows. If you look at Chapter 6 in that Judging the Authenticity book, they blow up sections of a 1963 Topps card that illustrates what I'm talking about.

    I think you're fine, although I do understand your anxiety. A while back I won an auction for a 1943 M.P. & Co. Jimmy Foxx and was a little leary of it's authenticity.

  4. Do you still have that fake T206 that I sent you???? Get out a magnifying glass and compare it to the Goudey. You should be able to see the differance. That is why I sent it along with Cy so that people could compare the two and know how to tell them apart.

  5. But I will say just going by that scan it looks like the real thing.

  6. The scans show a clear resemblance to the original. It certainly uses the original printing method. Unless the stock is noticeably thinner, I'd say it's real.

  7. I say real. The "D" in the 1200 dpi version of Dale has very crisp lines, vs. the blur at the edge of Fake Melvin.

    The square corners worried me, but if they pass everybody else's muster I'm not going to squawk.