A historic artifact from the world of baseball is set to captivate collectors and sports enthusiasts alike as one of the rarest Babe Ruth trading cards prepares to go under the hammer. The 1914 Baltimore News card, featuring a young 19-year-old Ruth during his minor league days with the Baltimore Orioles, is expected to fetch a price as legendary as the player it portrays. Only ten copies of this card are known to exist, making it a highly sought-after item among collectors.
Robert Edward Auctions (REA) is hosting its anticipated Fall Catalog Auction, where this coveted Babe Ruth card will be showcased. Graded SGC 3 (VG), it is regarded as the finest example of its kind to grace the auction stage in over fifteen years. With its unique back featuring the team’s schedule, this card stands out not only for its depiction of the future baseball icon but also for its historical significance.
Brian Dwyer, President of REA, doesn’t shy away from emphasizing the card’s importance, stating, “The Baltimore News Babe Ruth rookie card stands as the pinnacle of baseball cards. This isn’t just a rare sports memorabilia item; it’s a seminal piece of Americana, representing the dawn of the Babe Ruth legend—a figure who is synonymous with baseball itself.”
The card’s condition is top-tier within its class, as noted by the SGC Population Report, and is second only to a singular PSA 4 example in the entire collectibles sphere. This Babe Ruth card has a storied past, having entered the private collection of a passionate Floridian collector who acquired it for an impressive $6 million in June 2021. It was also made available as part of a fractional ownership opportunity on the Collectable platform. However, the collective ownership was dissolved earlier this year.
The provenance of this card can be traced back to a Baltimore family, where it remained for a century before changing hands this decade. From 1998 until earlier this year, the card was exhibited for the public’s delight at the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum. Fans of the Great Bambino and memorabilia collectors will have the chance to view the card once again before the auction. REA is organizing a public display of the card, alongside a blue variant, on November 15th from 2-4 PM. Exclusive private viewings will also take place on the evening of November 15th and later in New York City on November 29th. Those interested in witnessing this rarity can contact REA for an invitation to these select events.
The Babe Ruth card is expected to be the star attraction in a vast collection of 4,000 lots featured in the auction, running from November 17th to December 3rd. Reflecting on the trajectory of sports memorabilia, it is worth noting that REA sold a PSA 1 example of the card in 2012 for over $450,000—an amount that pales in comparison to the recent record-breaking sale of a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card for $12.6 million.
Brian Dwyer encapsulates the allure of the Ruth card, saying, “This is the dream card, the one that every collector aspires to hold. Its rarity is such that those who possess one of these jewels are loath to part with it. This might well be the only opportunity to acquire one for many years.”
The upcoming auction presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors to acquire not just a valuable item but also a piece of American sports history. The Babe Ruth 1914 Baltimore News card represents the genesis of a sports legend and a bygone era of baseball. Its value transcends the physical card itself, symbolizing the enduring legacy of Babe Ruth. With only a few examples in existence and the market for rare sports cards reaching unparalleled heights, this auction could potentially witness the Babe Ruth card achieving an eight-figure selling price, setting a new benchmark in the world of sports collectibles. It is more than just a transaction; it is a historic event celebrating the lasting impact of one of the most iconic figures in sports history.