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Mile High Card Co.

Babe Ruth Rookie Card Sells for Nearly $200,000

{mosimage}Robert Edward Auctions found a buyer for the 1914 Babe Ruth rookie card it discovered last year–and for plenty of other goodies in the annual sale.

It was just a kids’ keepsake in 1914. Something to show a friend, maybe. And the young player named Ruth was nothing special in 1914. Barely out of the orphanage, but good enough at least to have his own picture in a little set of trading cards issued by the Baltimore News.

The rest eventually became history and now one of those little unremarkable piece of cardboard has a new home at a price of nearly $200,000. Robert Edward Auctions concluded its April sale over the weekend Babe Ruth baseball cards again asserting their dominance. The Ruth card generatee the most interest for REA. 40 bids were entered before the PSA graded ‘2’ finally sold for $170,000. With a 17.5% buyer’s premium added, the realized price was $199,750. 

Vintage Babe Ruth cards are always crowd-pleasers, but the earliest Ruth cards are starting to rival the T206 Honus Wagner in popularity and are certainly more scarce.

The other one-of-a-kind item that generated some pre-auction publicity was an 1838 "Constitution" from the Philadelphia Olympics baseball club, considered the first organized baseball team. The original copy sold for $141,000 with the buyer’s premium.

Card collectors always salivate over the 1952 Topps issue and a high grade set drew plenty of interest. The final bid was $140,000 ($164,500).

Other highlights from the sale:

  • Previously undiscovered 1914 Baltimore News team card featuring Babe Ruth $52,875
  • Collection of 403 Old Judge tobacco cards $111,625
  • Baseball film library of 167 pieces from the Barry Halper collection $117,500
  • High grade 1953 Bowman color set $94,000
  • T206 near set (520/524) $105,750
  • 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth $82,250

Owning a Ruth card of any kind is a thrill and not all are ultra-expensive. In fact, eBay has a number of Babe Ruth baseball cards available now.

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].

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