Babe Ruth 100th Anniversary Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/19/2014
Presented is one of the baseball card hobby’s most important baseball cards. Rivaling only the famed T206 Honus Wagner card in popularity, this 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth card is much rarer than the Wagner. Approximately ten known examples of the Baltimore News Babe Ruth card exist, most in some of the finest very advanced collections in the entire world. Many of these advanced collectors consider this card to be the single most significant baseball card in the world. This card exhibits a young George Herman Ruth as an International League rookie in early 1914, recently signed straight out of St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, where Ruth was raised. Amazingly, Ruth only spent a brief time playing for Baltimore, being traded to Boston in the summer of 1914, then appearing in his first major league game July 11, 1914.

The Babe Ruth rookie card is part of a 1914 set issued in Baltimore featuring stars of the city's two professional baseball teams, the Terrapins of the new major league Federal League and the Orioles of the International League. This was the first season for the new major Federal League, which poached players from the established National and American leagues, for a time changing the entire baseball landscape. We believe this new major league is the primary reason for the 1914 Baltimore News set to be issued, due to new competition informing its readers of both teams’ schedules.

These Baltimore News cards were issued in red-and-white and blue-and-white varieties. This offered Babe Ruth Baltimore News example is the red-and-white variety. As mentioned earlier, about ten 1914 Babe Ruth rookie cards in total is known to exist. Most are located within established advanced collections, with three separate examples located in one major private collection; encompassing all known varieties with one red, one blue, and one back variation. Another major collection holds two examples, one each of the red and blue varieties. In addition, one example is in the Babe Ruth Museum exactly where this live auction is taking place. Three other examples are located in separate advanced collections. As is with the case regarding many of these ultra-rare baseball cards (especially those of Babe Ruth), it is unlikely any of these examples will be available anytime soon.

As with the case of a newly discovered blue variety within the last five years, another new example could be discovered, but scant few Baltimore News examples of any subject are rarely found – let alone another Babe Ruth. The offered card is graded by PSA PR 1. Originally, this card was presented to the hobby in 2006 by a non-hobby family who owned the card for generations, and this exact card has been sold at auction exactly three times. The first was in 2006, where it realized $150,800, then again three years later in 2009 where it sold for $152,750. The last time it was sold at auction it went for $450,000 in the spring of 2013. It was also the first time a Baltimore Ruth card had been offered in several years. That record price in that auction was higher than any comparably graded T206 Honus Wagner, further indicating the importance of Babe Ruth’s first ever baseball card. With artwork by modern painters consistently setting records in the $75-$100 million plus range, we think it is just a matter of time before one of the Baltimore News Ruth cards, along with a T206 Wagner breaks into the $10 million plus range as a National Treasure.

Despite the numerous creases and natural corner wear, the card still presents very well with tremendous eye appeal as the Ruthian image in printed well with magnificent registration. Evidenced by the uptrend in prices realized for the Baltimore News Ruth cards sold within the last decade, even low graded examples of ultra-rare and highly desirable cards create new price records. The known examples of the Baltimore News Ruth card indicate it is much rarer than the famed T206 Wagner, with estimates being in the ratio of 6 to 1 up to even 10 to 1 more Wagner’s extant! Similar to the Wagner, the 1914 Baltimore News Ruth card transcends the hobby, where highly publicized sales reach the mainstream media, bringing more attention to our little hobby. As more new deep pocketed collectors enter our world, the prices paid for extremely rare and desirable cards such as the 1914 Baltimore News Ruth card will only increase. It is basic supply and demand. This might the last opportunity in quite some time to obtain this national treasure – Babe Ruth’s first ever baseball card – available on the 100th Anniversary of his major league debut.
1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth Rookie Card – Ruth’s First Ever Baseball Card!  (PSA 1)
This lot has a Reserve Price that has not been met.
Current Bidding (Reserve Not Met)
Minimum Bid: $100,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0.00
Number Bids: 15
Auction closed on Saturday, July 19, 2014.
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