Monday, June 18, 2012
Babe Ruth Rookie Cards
I'd like to profile a couple of Babe Ruth rookie cards here for a moment.
George Herman "Babe" Ruth has one of the greatest rookie cards ever. His 1914 Baltimore News card is one of the holy grails of baseball cards. It is extrememly rare with 11 (I think) known to exist which is far less that the T206 Honus Wagner.
This card comes in either a red/white or blue/white combination. This is Ruth's first card and pictures him with the Baltimore Orioles of the International League. The card pictures Ruth as a pitcher right out of St. Mary's school long before he became the American icon he would later be.
The Baltimore News set consists of players from both of Baltimore's professional teams at the time, the Orioles of the International League and the Terrapins of the Federal League.
Not a lot of sets featured players from the Federal League. The T213-2 Coupon set and the 1914 Cracker Jack set both do however.
This blue example was the 10th known example to the hobby back in 2007 and sold for $199,750 at the time. The red example was the 11th known example back in 2008 and sold for $517,000. A record price for the card putting it above several T206 Wagners.
The second rookie card I'd like to mention is the 1916 M101-4 and M101-5 Sporting News cards. The M101-5 set was originally believed to have been issued in 1915, but this was later challenged and both sets are now known to have been issued in 1916 with the M101-5 being the earlier of the two issued.
Both sets feature the same image of Ruth and the same number, so the only way to know for sure which it is, is from the back of the card.
They were issued with blank backs and then advertisers would print their ads on them and distribute them to people. To date, there are 18 different brands known to advertise on the backs with a few variations of some of them. Some of the backs are known to have been issued in the M101-5 series only and are therefore more sought after when seeking a Ruth example as this was issued before the M101-4 series.
This is The Babe's first card as a major leaguer and is therefore also his rookie, even though the Baltimore News card came out a couple of years ealier. If features Ruth as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.
Enjoy the hobby all...it's a great one.