In the 1920s, there wasn’t a bigger baseball star than the Yankees’ Babe Ruth. As a result, Ruth can be found appearing as a headliner for not only baseball card sets but as the face of numerous sports-related promotions. Quaker Oats turned to Ruth as the key figure in the 1934 Quaker Oats Ask Me Trivia Game set. Here’s a bit more on this unique pre-war issue.
1934 Quaker Oats Ask Me Trivia Game Basics
The 1934 Quaker Oats Ask Me Trivia Game was created for the company’s puffed wheat product. Collectors could receive this set of trivia cards through a special mail-in offer.
In all, there were 26 cards in the game, each one featuring two questions and answers to a baseball question. The look of the cards was somewhat unique. One side had a blue border while the other side had an orange border. The cards did not feature pictures of specific players. Rather, they included generic baseball pictures on them. Among those featured as answers to questions are Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and other Hall of Famers.
Another unique feature is that the cards had a “stop sign” design. Collectors unfamiliar with them may believe they have had the corners clipped. However, that is the way they were distributed.
Game play was pretty simple. Participants answering questions correctly would receive the card. If no one playing could answer the question, the person asking it would keep the card. The player with the most cards at the end was declared the winner.
Babe Ruth Game Endorsement
Ruth’s involvement in the game was significant and he has numerous cards and collectibles in the issue. His appearance here isn’t a complete surprise, of course. Ruth had an endorsement deal with Quaker and was featured on numerous products throughout his career.
In this issue, Ruth is featured heavily on the cards as answers to questions. He was answer to nine of the 52 total questions in the game so if a participant didn’t know the answer, guessing ‘Babe Ruth’ gave him/her a pretty decent shot at answering correctly.
Ruth’s image was also featured on a collectible pin which features a headshot of Ruth along with the words, “Ask Me.” Whether the pin was distributed along with the game is unknown. However, it is seen with some frequency and isn’t especially rare.
Finally, Quaker Oats also made it appear as if the game was sent by Ruth himself. The shipping envelopes for the game, featured Ruth’s name as well as a P.O. Box in the return address portion. Obviously, Ruth didn’t directly mail these games but it was another nice touch from Quaker Oats to push Ruth’s involvement with the game.
The games are over 80 years old and many no doubt fell victim to spring and fall cleanings, paper drives and rugged use so while they aren’t “common”, individual cards and pins are available with some regularity.
Individual cards are usually priced at $5-$10, although ones featuring Ruth can sell for a little more. The Ruth pins are significantly more expensive and a nice collectible from his playing days.
Collectors should beware of fakes. Authentic pins can sell in the $200-$400 range, depending on condition. One sold in an Love of the Game auction in 2017 for $360. You can check the current eBay inventory here.