October Legends and Americana Ending November 14th
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/15/2015

Graded 60 EX 5 by SGC. Hall of Famer, in an impossibly challenging manifestation of his rookie year trading card appearance. SGC has holdered four copies of this excruciatingly rare collectible; competing service PSA has examined none. The offered card stands two full grading increments above the best of the three inferior examples documented in that company’s census reporting, firmly establishing this wonderful piece as the very finest of its kind known to the hobby industry.

It’s truly incredible that a thin and delicate, 1-5/8" x 3" printed relic can symbolize so much history, and so tellingly evoke the essence of American sport. This sublime insert card, originally distributed on a casual basis as a bread company promotion, pricelessly depicts Babe Ruth as a slender young pitcher with the Boston Red Sox. It’s amazing, too, with respect to all of the circumstances that needed to coalesce, in order for the youthful, untested player to have been included in this storied production. Ruth had only pitched in four games in 1914, but somehow impressed sufficiently to warrant nationwide distribution of his subsequent rookie portrayal.

This heirloom, from a set branded “H. Weil Baking Co.” of New Orleans, was manufactured by the Felix Mendelsohn Company of Chicago, the business that conceived and marketed the expansive collection employed by "The Sporting News" as well as Weil and more than a dozen other concerns. (A Mendelsohn advertisement from the period, directed at potential sponsors, noted, “For a trifling expense, you can obtain these photographs [the cards] with your advertisement on the back and circulate them individually in connection with your advertising. The advertising force is cumulative because each collector will strive to get the complete set of 200 and especially strive to obtain the pictures of their favorite players.”) The minimally circulated, locally distributed Weil-branded cards are considered to be among the toughest of all of the issue’s fascinating, black-and-white incarnations.

The rookie card of Babe Ruth represents one of the peak achievements in all of card collecting, and a peerless and singular, Excellent example of the coveted rarity is offered here. Its corners uphold a surprising and admirable degree of their proper and distinct configurations. Satisfying centering (aligned just slightly toward the left) frames a magnificent image of the future legend in his pitching follow-through. A faint, horizontal print line beside Ruth's left thigh is seen in many of this rookie depiction’s counterparts, but not even a vestige of the usually characteristic mark can be seen in this specimen’s immaculate Ruth photograph. Here, the cardfront is wonderfully crisp and bright in its timeless aesthetic, and the reverse – with its boldly inked “H. Weil” promotional advertisement – is correspondingly clean with tiny spots of toning but no hint of dirt or blemish. This cardboard jewel projects marvelous aesthetics, and delivers preservation quality that's especially remarkable when one considers its endurance of a near-century's worth of exposure to Louisiana heat and humidity.

In many ways, the Babe's presence defined baseball, and this best-of-its-kind, regional card is a cornerstone memento of his unparalleled career – as well as the highest-tier example of one of the most significant of all baseball cards. Upon visual examination of the card's features, the piece seems to vibrate with echoes of the past, and of the origins of now-revered events. This is the most prominent foundation piece imaginable for all of the prized hobby activities, and the appreciation of baseball, that we've come to cherish so deeply. Here is a chance, of the kind that emerges so seldom, for firsthand experience with a quality artifact that's truly elemental to both a hobby and a sport. Supremely clean and attractive Excellent condition.

1916 D329 Weil Baking Co. #151 Babe Ruth Rookie Card – SGC 60 EX 5 – The Highest-Graded Example in the Hobby!
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $25,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $87,235.00
Number Bids: 15
Auction closed on Sunday, November 15, 2015.
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