Join to get Daily Sports Collecting News in your inbox!

Babe Ruth Rookie Card Fetches $517,000

1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth rookie card It may have been a T206 Honus Wagner weekend–but the ‘Holy Grail’ was bested by the Bambino as two major catalog sales closed.

You had to be up in the wee hours of Sunday morning to finally see the cyber hammer fall, but when the dust finally settled at Robert Edward Auctions, a mid-grade Babe Ruth “rookie card” dating from his days with the minor league Baltimore Orioles cost one collector over 1/2 million dollars.

The card, graded SGC 40 (VG), generated 59 bids and reached a final bid of $440,000. Tacking on REA’s 17.5% buyer’s premium, the realized price settled at $517,000.

The Ruth card had been an heirloom passed down through generations of a Baltimore family. Not realizing it’s monetary value, it was kept as a sentimental link to the consignor’s great-grandfather. Upon learning of REA’s 2007 sale of the last Ruth Baltimore News card for $200,000, they decided to sell it.

The annual REA sale generated proceeds of $9.07 million according to company president Rob Lifson.

An Atlanta man needing money and looking around his house for items to liquidate, discovered a stash of T206 tobacco cards early this year. Amazingly, the group included a Honus Wagner–the first new Wagner to surface in the sports collecting hobby for years. The man sent them to Beckett, which graded the group and consigned them to REA for the original owner. The grade received a ’1′ from Beckett’s Vintage Grading service, but even in poor condition, it brought $317,250 in REA’s auction.

T206 Honus Wagner BVG 1 T206 Honus Wagner graded SGC 10

Another Wagner, this one also graded poor by SGC, sold to an internet bidder in Friday night’s auction by Heritage Galleries for $227,050, which included a 19.5% buyer’s premium. It’s the first time two Wagner cards were offered in successive days via two different auction houses.

1933 Buttercream Babe Ruth The Ruth rookie card wasn’t the only Bambino rarity in REA’s sale, however. The company touted the consignment of a rare 1933 R306 Buttercream Ruth card and bidders didn’t disappoint, pushing the final price to $111,625.

Among the other highlights in the auction was an 1889 Burke Ale poster featuring 19th century baseball stars Cap Anson and Buck Ewing enjoying a cold beverage. Believed to be the first baseball-related poster of its kind, the unique advertising piece generated heavy interest as well, and sold for $188,000.

A near set of T206 cards (520 of 524) brought $176,250 while an 1887 Kalamazoo Bats card of John Ward was nailed down with a realized price of $141,000.

Other highlights from the auction included:

  • Babe Ruth side-written pro model bat ($91,000)
  • 1914 Cracker Jack master set of 145 cards ($88,125)
  • 1938 Babe Ruth Brooklyn Dodgers coach’s cap ($70,500)
  • 1962-65 Jim Brown game used Browns jersey ($70,500)
  • T206 Ty Cobb with Ty Cobb tobacco ad back SGC 20 ($64,625)
  • 1984-85 Michael Jordan rookie year uniform ($49,937)

Babe Ruth baseball cards on eBay

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

Trackbacks

  1. [...] ago after a non-collector decided to liquidate a small collection that had been in the family.  It sold for $317,250, even in a lowly "Poor" grade.  Beckett graded cards do not suffer in the [...]

Speak Your Mind

Flash ad ID:22