A PSA 7-graded blank back 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth smashed all records for the issue early Thursday morning when it sold at auction for $200,168. Goodwin & Company sold the card in its first auction of 2012.
One of three at the PSA 7 level, the card represents one of the six highest graded Ruth cards from the issue that pictures him as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.
The combined SGC and PSA “Pop” charts list approximately 85 Eddie Plank T206 encapsulated specimens against only some 70+ examples for the Babe Ruth rookie card (including “blank backs” and all back advertisements). Plank cards in VG condition have been selling in the $60-70,000 range at auction, much higher than the 1916 Ruth cards.
Of course, the Plank is associated with the famous T206 set which has thousands of die-hard collectors pursuing at least part of it. As the auction company stated in its listing, however, the M101 Ruth represents baseball’s most famous icon.
Recent sales have included $42,000 for a “VG-3”; $65,000 for an “EX+ 5.5”, and $75,000 for a “VG-EX+ 4.5”.
High grade examples of the 1916 Sporting New Ruth are very rare. The card sold overnight generated 19 bids and the final price included a 19% buyer's premium.