Joe Cronin - 1933 Goudey

Joseph Edward Cronin (1906-1984) enjoyed a 50-year career in baseball like not others before him nor after serving as a player, manager, general manager, executive and league president. Joe was born in San Francisco six months after the 1906 earthquake that claimed much of his family's belongings. However, growing up in the hot bed of baseball talent in and around San Francisco during the early 1900s, Cronin overcame obstacles and became a very gifted athlete. As a six-foot a tall 14-year old, Joe won the boys' city tennis championship in 1920 and then led Mission High School and Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep to city baseball championships in 1922 and 1924, respectively. Despite being a huge fan of the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League, given that the nearest Major League team was the St. Louis Cardinals, 2,000 miles away, Cronin signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1925. After three years in the Pirates organization and little chance to land a big league spot on the left side of the infield with two of the best in the game in Glenn Wright at Shortstop and Pie Traynor at third, Washington Senators scout Joe Engel purchased Cronin for $7,500. Despite owner Clark Griffith’s disdain for the buy, Joe was able to crack the Senators lineup and bettered his numbers each of his first three seasons in D.C. ultimately setting career-highs in 1930 with a .346 average, 203 hits, 127 runs scored, 17 stolen bases and 126 RBI in a league leading 154 games. The Sporting News and baseball writers named him the league’s most valuable player. Joe finished in the top ten in MVP voting in each season from 1931 to 1933 and started the first three MLB All-Star Games at shortstop for the American League. He was a seven-time All-Star and finished second in MVP voting to Jimmie Foxx in 1933 as Foxx posted extraordinary numbers.

However, more notably for that seasons, Joe was tapped as the team’s manager (player/manager) soon after franchise giant, Walter Johnson, was fired, even despite winning 90-plus games over the previous three seasons. Cronin proceeded to lead the Senators to a 99-53 record and the first pennant in eight years, besting the Babe Ruth- and Lou Gehrig-led New York Yankees by seven games. Washington then lost to the New York Giants in the World Series. Following the 1934 season, Cronin was purchased by the Boston Red Sox for an astounding $250,000 shortly after arriving in San Francisco during his honeymoon contingent on he become the player/manager for five years for the BoSox as well. The feisty rarely backed down from confrontations, including those coming from his own teammates who resented taking orders from the younger Cronin. But, his greatest fight came while playing the Yankees and Joe tussled with Jake Powell that spilled over from the field and into the runway where Cronin had no hold off Powell and numerous Yankee teammates. That same year, after owner Tom Yawkey purchased the minor league, Louisville, which rostered a young shortstop named Pee Wee Reese, Cronin downplayed Reese’s talents (perhaps seeing him as a potential threat to his shortstop position) and he was ultimately traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1939. Joe served as player/manager for the Red Sox from 1935 to 1945 and after retiring as a player, he stayed on with Boston as manager for two more seasons, winning the American League pennant in 1946 before falling to the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

Joe Cronin finished his playing career with 2,285 hits including 515 doubles and 170 home runs, 1,233 runs, 1,424 RBI and a .301 career batting average. The 7-time All-Star hit .300 or better and drove in more than 100 runs eight times in his career during his 20-year playing career. As manager, he compiled a record of 1,236-1,055 and won the American League pennants in 1933 and 1946. Joe would eventually succeed longtime general manager Eddie Collins and served as GM for 11 years. During that time, Major League Baseball began to integrate in 1947 with the first player, Jackie Robinson, being passed over by the Red Sox, as was prospect Willie Mays. Boston would not integrate until 1959. While general manager for the Red Sox, Cronin also served as a member of the Major League’s realignment, pension and rules committees and when news of AL President William Harridge retirement surfaced, Cronin was an obvious choice. In 1959, Joe Cronin became the fourth American League President and served as such for 15 years until 1973. Under Joe’s tenure as president, MLB expanded in 1961, 1962 and 1969 and adopted the designated hitter in 1973. Joe Cronin was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1956. In 1962, the once overlooked Jackie Robinson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 



Condition Census (Explain)

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 NM-MT 8 (20)

AUCTION PRICES REALIZED

Date Price Grade Lot # Auction House Auction/Seller Type Cert
03/31/2006 $1,480 8 119 Memory Lane, Inc. Premier Collectibles Auction I Auction 05025438
09/16/2007 $1,375 8 177 Memory Lane, Inc. High Grade Card Auction and a Few Surprises Auction 60069770
11/27/2010 $769 8 521 Mile High Card Company November 2010 Auction 04235247
10/21/2011 $1,261 8 168 Mile High Card Company October 2011 Auction 60069770
01/01/2013 $2,370 8 786 Robert Edward Auctions 2013 Auction Auction 07034179
02/01/2013 $1,478 8 701 Mile High Card Company January 2013 Auction Auction 02043953
04/14/2014 $948 8 603 Robert Edward Auctions 2014 Spring Auction 07034179
03/20/2015 $1,837 8 181 Mile High Card Company March 2015 Auction Auction 40430415
04/14/2016 $2,151 8 80189 Heritage Auctions April 14 2016 1933 Goudey PSA Set Registry Catal... Apr 14, 2016 Auction 40430415
12/09/2016 $1,669 8 103 Goodwin and Co. Auctions Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons LXIX Auction 30499726
07/06/2017 $2,237 8 142427350964 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 08067831
08/09/2017 $1,426 8 352128606977 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 30499726
09/21/2017 $1,200 8 50189 Heritage Auctions September 2017 1933 Goudey PSA Auction Auction 60069770
11/12/2017 $1,781 8 401435080870 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 60069770
01/24/2019 $2,880 8 50189 Heritage Auctions 1933 Goudey Ended Jan 24th Auction 06060188
04/20/2019 $3,600 8 51392 Heritage Auctions 2019 April 18 - 19 Spring Sports Card Catalog Auction Auction 50027596
12/16/2007 $503 7 246 Memory Lane, Inc. Serious Rarities - December 8th Auction Auction 04680094
10/21/2011 $236 7 169 Mile High Card Company October 2011 Auction 06053282
07/26/2012 $330 7 111 Greg Bussineau Auctions Summer 2012 Vintage Trading Cards and Memorabilia Auction Auction 14230052
05/06/2017 $514 7 904 Memory Lane, Inc. Spring 2017 Holy Grail Rarities Auction Auction 07010246
07/06/2017 $449 7 112223226240 eBay jtur5101 Buy It Now 90364218
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04/20/2018 $360 7 81285 Heritage Auctions 2018 April 19-20 Spring Sports Card Catalog Auction Ended Apr 20th Auction 27287122
02/17/2019 $511 7 202595239687 eBay cooperstownsportscards Auction 42910463
05/08/2019 $630 7 401757482598 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 41806544
12/14/2015 $214 6.5 92 Goodwin and Co. Auctions Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons LVIII Auction 22978488
08/15/2015 $198 6 374 Love of the Game Auctions Summer, 2015 Premier Auction - Closes August 8, 2015 Auction 90436122
04/19/2016 $301 6 290 Mile High Card Company May 2016 Auction Auction 90050756
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06/22/2018 $122 4 298 Goodwin and Co. Auctions Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons LXXV Auction 31227636
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