Babe Ruth’s place in baseball history is well documented. He sits at or near the top of the record books in several statistical categories. He is widely regarded by baseball historians as the most dominant hitter of his generation.
Babe Ruth’s emergence as a baseball star coincided with the surge in popularity of the sport. While baseball experienced incredible growth in popularity, baseball cards also became increasingly popular. Often produced by tobacco and candy companies, cards were frequently packaged and included with another product.
Many Babe Ruth baseball cards were produced during his legendary career. Some of his cards are among the most recognized cards in the baseball card collecting hobby. All of the cards printed during Babe Ruth’s career continue to maintain high values. A few Babe Ruth cards do stand out from the rest.
– The U.S. Caramel Company released a set of card featuring sports stars in 1932. Of the 32 athletes featured in the set, 27 were baseball stars. The popularity of Ruth combined with the difficulty of putting together a complete 1932 U.S. Caramel set has made this a popular card.
– In addition to its baseball release in 1933, Goudey released a set of cards featuring athletes from many sports. This set was a Who’s Who of the sports world in the early 1930’s. It included three baseball stars including Ruth.
– Long after Ruth’s career was over, Leaf produced a beautiful set of cards featuring modern stars such as Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, and Ted Williams. Leaf also capitalized on Ruth’s continued popularity and chose to include him in the set.
– The Goudey Gum company printed four Babe Ruth cards in 1933. These cards are often reproduced in modern sets as they are among the most recognizable Babe Ruth baseball cards ever printed.
1. 1914 Baltimore News – Babe Ruth’s rookie card was printed by the Baltimore News during his minor league days in 1914. Ruth was photographed along with his Baltimore Orioles (then a minor league club) teammates as well as members of the Terrapins. Cards were printed in red or blue and displayed a team schedule on the back of the card.
There are only a small number of known Babe Ruth rookie cards in existence today. The Ruth rookie is generally considered the second-most valuable card on the market, trailing only the famous Honus Wagner card. The most recent sale of a 1914 Babe Ruth netted over $500,000 at auction.
Babe Ruth baseball cards have continued to be a popular choice with collectors. Those listed here only represent a small sample. There are many cards for collectors to choose from, but the rookie card is the most valuable. To find examples of this and other Babe Ruth baseball cards, consult the Babe Ruth card checklist.