The Original Image Used for Lou Gehrig’s 1933 Goudey Cards

When Mastro Auctions sold the following Lou Gehrig new-service photograph in May 2008, they described it as being from the 1930s.

They described it as a 6-1/2″ x 9-1/8″ photo of the Yankee great in pinstripes with a look of “fierce determination” and described the card as the model for cards #’s 92 and 160 in the vaunted 1933 Goudey set; here are a pair of examples from Robert Edward Auctions.

Mastro Auctions wrote that the image was in EX condition with good image clarity and contrast. They mentioned, but didn’t show, that the reverse had handwritten editorial notations accompanying a copyright stamp for the esteemed Underwood & Underwood photography studio.

I found some more information from Heritage Auctions’ sale of the following Gehrig Original Photo.

They titled the lot a “1927 Lou Gehrig Original Photograph by Charles Conlon” and wrote that it’s a “Splendid and important image from Gehrig’s 1927 MVP and championship season was used for the Iron Horse’s 1933 Goudey cards #92 and #160. Taken by legendary baseball photographer Charles Conlon for Underwood & Underwood. Measures 7×9.” It sold for $60k in May 2017.

The image dating to 1927 doesn’t mean the Mastro copy isn’t from the 1930s; I believe Underwood & Underwood operated through the 1940s and likely reproduced many of their images. But please let me know if this is an incorrect assumption.

During the auction, Heritage provided this update: “Please note that this is a photo that came directly from the Underwood & Underwood archives and therefore has the original embossed “Do Not Remove, File Copy” raised blindstamp, which can be seen on the front of the photo in two locations.”

1920s Rogers Hornsby News Service Photograph Used For His 1933 Goudey Card

Here’s the original mid-’20s news service photograph used for the 1933 Goudey #119 Rogers Hornsby card.

Hornsby’s St. Louis Cardinals uniform style pinpoints this photograph to the 1924-26 period.

The photograph is 7-3/4” x 5-5/8” and was described as having a purple Underwood & Underwood stamp on the back with an adhered slip of paper with a typewritten caption that read, “Rogers Hornsby, St. Lous Cardinals,” and a handwritten note of, “c 1925-26 uniform.”

REA sold this PSA-graded version of what they titled a “Circa 1925 Rogers Hornsby Original Charles Conlon Photograph PSA/DNA Type I – Image Used For 1933 Goudey Card!”

The REA copy sold for $11400 and included this description, “Original photo of Hall of Fame second baseman Rogers Hornsby taken by noted baseball photographer Charles Conlon and used in the production of Hornsby’s 1933 R319 Goudey card #119. Encapsulated and certified as an original Type I Charles Conlon photograph by PSA/DNA. The familiar image captures Hornsby bending low in a fielding position as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. Conlon’s credit stamp appears on the reverse, along with his handwritten notations that read “Rogers Hornsby St. Louis Nat.” A “Sporting News” credit stamp also appears on the reverse, as does the typewritten notation “Rogers Hornsby, slick fielder, slicker hitter.” Photos used in the production of trading cards have become increasingly popular in recent years. This is one of only a small number of vintage photos we have seen featuring a player image used in the R319 Goudey set. The photo (8.5 x 6.5 inches) has a few tiny pieces of clear tape along the border areas, a tiny edge tear, a few light surface wrinkles, and minor emulsion spots near the right border. In Very Good condition overall.”