1933 Sport Kings Baseball CardsBrand: Goudey
1933 Sport Kings may be mostly associated with the popular Babe Ruth card in the release, but there is so much more to the beautiful multi-sport offering. Featuring a now-classic design, the colorful and artistic set has earned a special place in the hobby.
Officially designated as R338, there are 48 cards in the 1933 Sport Kings set, but only three of them feature baseball players. As a showcase of athletes from several different fields, there are actually 18 different sports represented in the set. Many of the athletes included are legends of their craft, so the set has remained quite popular over the years. While it traditionally listed as a 1933 release, it is now believed to have been produced over both 1933 and 1934.
Issued by Goudey, 1933 Sport Kings came in striped wax packs with various athletic silhouettes. The 2-3/8" by 2-7/8" cards feature a color painting of the athlete against a solid background of various colors. A red "Sport King Gum" banner appears above the picture and a black strip with the player's name appears below it. Additionally, there is a small, multi-figure silhouette above the name that displays the sport each athlete plays. Goudey baseball collectors should easily recognize the circular 1933 copyright found in the corner.
The card backs are also familiar to vintage collectors, as they look almost the same as 1933 Goudey's layout. Most of the back consists of a biographical write-up, with the card number and player info found above and an advertisement for Goudey Sport Kings Gum below it.
Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Carl Hubbell are the only three baseball players in the set. Jim Thorpe, who also played major league baseball, is featured as a football player. Some collectors choose to simply collect the three baseball cards, while others opt to collect the full 1933 Sport Kings set.
Among the many 1933 Sport Kings non-baseball subjects are some very significant cards. Four pre-NBA pros are included, notably Hall of Fame players Nat Holman and Ed Wachter, which make them the first individual cards for basketball players. There are also four hockey players, including Howie Morenz and Ace Bailey. Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne joins Thorpe and Red Grange as football subjects. Babe Didrickson is one of the best-known female athletes in history. She's featured as a track star, but played a wide range of sports. Gene Tunney, Max Baer and Jack Dempsey are all high-rated, former boxing champions.
Predating the Griffey and Howe family legacies, bicyclists Bobby Walthour Sr. and Jr. make up what may be the first father-son tandem in a card set. Golfers Gene Sarazen and Bobby Jones are legendary and are key cards in the 1933 Sport Kings set. Stretching beyond the world of sports, aviator Jimmy Doolittle led an air raid on Tokyo soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and swimmer Johnny Weissmuller would become better known as Tarzan in a series of films.
While the second-half of the checklist is more scarce, the big names drive interest in 1933 Sport Kings and they are largely found in the early part of the set. The key names among the high numbers, specifically Bobby Jones, Babe Didrickson and Knute Rockne, can be more difficult.
Key 1933 Sport Kings Baseball Cards
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1933 Sport Kings Baseball Set Checklist
2 Babe Ruth - Baseball
3 Nat Holman - Basketball
4 Red Grange - Football
5 Ed Wachter - Basketball
6 Jim Thorpe - Football
7 Bobby Walthour - Bicycling
8 Walter Hagen - Golf
9 E.J. Blood - Skiing
10 Anton Lekang - Skiing
11 Charles Jewtraw - Ice Skating
12 Bob McLean - Ice Skating
13 Laverne Fator - Jockey
14 Jim Londos - Wrestling
15 Reggie McNamara - Bicycling
16 William Tilden - Tennis
17 Jack Dempsey - Boxing
18 Gene Tunney - Boxing
19 Eddie Shore - Hockey
20 Duke Kahanamoku - Swimming
21 Johnny Weissmuller - Swimming
22 Gene Sarazen - Golf
23 Vincent Richards - Tennis
24 Howard Morenz - Hockey
26 James Wedell - Aviation
27 Roscoe Turner - Aviation
28 James Doolittle - Aviation
29 Irvin Bailey - Hockey
30 Irvin Johnson - Hockey
31 Bobby Walthour Jr. - Cycling
32 Joseph Lopchick - Basketball
33 Eddie Burke - Basketball
34 Irving Jaffee - Ice Skating
35 Knute Rockne - Football
36 Willie Hoppe - Billiards
37 Helene Madison - Swimming
38 Bobby Jones - Golf
39 Jack Westrope - Jockey
40 Ed Don George - Wrestling
41 Jim Browning - Wrestling
42 Carl Hubbell - Baseball
43 Primo Carnera - Boxing
44 Max Baer - Boxing
45 Babe Didrickson - Track
46 Ellsworth Vines - Tennis
47 J. Hubert Stevens - Bob-Sled Racing
48 Leonhard Seppala - Dog-Sled Racing
1933 Goudey Sport Kings #40 Don George PSA 5 M39
1933 Goudey Sport Kings #29 Ace Bailey PSA 1 M60
1933 Goudey Sport Kings #16 William Tilden PSA 5 M44
1933 Goudey Sport Kings #21 Johnny Weissmuller PSA 4 M21