A rare example of Babe Ruth’s 1916 rookie card sold for a record-setting $110,612 as RR Auction wrapped up its latest sports card and memorabilia auction.
The card, under the umbrella of M101-4, was distributed by Herpolsheimer’s clothing store in Grand Rapids, MI and is one of only four graded by PSA.
While M101-4 cards were produced by The Sporting News and primarily promoted for its own readers, numerous clothing stores also held promotions in conjunction with the cards and were able to distribute sets with their advertising message on the back.
According to a period newspaper advertisement, Herpolsheimer’s distributed the cards 20 at a time to children in their area for ten weeks. Only a few exist today.
According to RR Auctions, the winning bid for the PSA 2 (Good) example came from a collector from Northern California who wishes to remain anonymous. The price was the most ever paid for a Herpolsheimer’s Ruth at public auction. In 2012, an SGC 4 example sold for $77,025 and in 2010, the lone PSA 7 went for $82,200.
The Herpolsheimer’s Ruth wasn’t the only lot to reach six figures in the RR sale. The second best 1956 Topps baseball set on the PSA Set Registry, with a GPA of 9.44, soared to $300,000 including the buyer’s premium. The set includes both Checklist cards and 12 additional scarce team card variations qualifying it for “Master Set” status.
Other highlights from the sale included a PSA 6 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, which netted $88,800; a 1951 Bowman Mantle rookie graded PSA 7 ($35,079); Mantle’s 1953 Yankees contract ($28,555); Joe DiMaggio’s 1936 contract ($28,555); Olympic torches from Calgary (1988, $24,000) and Albertville (1992, $24,000); Vince Lombardi’s 1966 brown wool topcoat ( $18,368) and a 1929 Green Bay Packers NFL championship trophy presented to Curly Lambeau ($18,213).
Auction prices and current listings can be found on the RR Auction website.