LOT 2 - 1920 Headin' Home Babe Ruth Horizontal Format PSA 2 GOOD

One of Ruth's First Yankee Cards! - Only 3 PSA Encapsulated Examples

ULTRA-RARE 1920 BAMBINO!!! The staggering price tags associated with early Babe Ruth cardboard issues continue to forge ahead like an uncontrollable tsunami. Some examples include a PSA 7 Ruth Rookie fetching $3 million+ in a private transaction; a PSA 7 E121 Ruth selling for $338K; a PSA 5 E220 National Caramel hammering at $195K; and low-grade 1917 Collins McCarthy Ruths consistently realizing between $100K-$125K!

One of the hobby's best-kept secrets has always been the few existing mainstream Babe Ruth 1920 first-year Yankee cards, including a M101-6 Felix Mendelsohn subject and several examples of his ultra-rare 1920 Headin' Home movie cards distributed to promote his inaugural silver screen appearance in 1920. While a handful of "W" 1920 strip cards also exist, sophisticated collectors place their focus on the aforementioned Mendelsohn and Headin' Home keepsakes, with a PSA 5.5 M101-6 Ruth fetching $126K in August 2023. Regarding Ruth's ultra-scarce Headin' Home cards distributed between 1920 and 1921, these museum-worthy collectibles rarely surface for the taking.

1920 Headin' Home Babe Ruth Horizontal Format PSA 2 GOOD

Nine different Ruth poses were chosen to endorse the Bambino's first Hollywood movie, eight of which utilized a vertical format with only a sole horizontal pose. That said, presented here just happens to be that SOLE horizontal Ruth batting pose in a splendid PSA 2 holder, one of only three meager examples listed on the illustrious PSA Pop Chart! Of utmost significance, this classic Sultan of Swat batting pose was first issued in 1920 by the renowned photographer Charles M. Conlon and was also utilized on the Babe's legendary M114 Baseball Magazine premium, as well as the front covers for a 1920 Baseball Magazine issue and a 1920 Who's Who in Sports periodical. This 1920 Headin' Home marvel is significantly rarer than its 1920 M101-6 Ruth brethren, for which there are 15+ encapsulated copies, and it also depicts the iconic Ruth donning a New York Yankees uniform for the first time (the M101-6 reveals Ruth in a Boston Red Sox pitching pose).

It was only a matter of time before the incomparable Ruth would emerge as a star on the Hollywood stage, which was one of his major goals after Harry Frieze's shocking sale of the Bambino to the NY Yankees after the 1919 season to fund his new theatrical production "No, No, Nanette". Fresh off the heels of his record-setting 29 homers in his final 1919 Bo-Sox campaign, the Babe would begin revolutionizing baseball when he blasted an inconceivable 54 round-trippers in 1920. His unprecedented assault on the fences not only saved baseball in lieu of the recent 1919 Black Sox scandal, but it also sparked a seemingly countless number of companies to yearn for the rights to use his hallowed name for promotional purposes.

These Headin' Home cards were only issued to movie theater operators in 1920 to endorse the release of Babe Ruth's screen debut in Headin' Home, substantiating their extreme paucity level. Headin' Home was first released on September 19, 1920 by the renowned Kessel & Baumann production company. Directed by Lawrence C. Windom and produced by William Shea, the 55-minute film's storyline was written by Authur "Bugs" Baer and Earle Browne, with Babe Ruth starring as himself (additional stars include Ruth Taylor and William Sheer). The fictional story portrays a young country bumpkin (Babe Ruth) who cannot get the hang of playing America's favorite pastime, resulting in him being the butt of all jokes in his small hometown. Ruth handles the severe criticism, and one day he wallops a majestic home run like nothing anybody has ever seen.

This propels him to fame and fortune in the Major Leagues, yet when he returns home, he is still seen as the same loveable fellow he was before he left for the big leagues. Ironically, the Babe grew up as an incorrigible child, eventually placed in a Baltimore, Maryland orphanage by his parents since they could no longer control their son's volatile behavior. Many critics concluded that the 25-year-old Ruth played himself in a capable manner, with some rare footage from the movie depicting Ruth playing baseball at such a young age (both playacting on the diamond as well as clips of him in a Yankee uniform) elevating the overall interest in Headin' Home.

1920 Headin' Home Babe Ruth Horizontal Format PSA 2 GOOD

One super positive review of Ruth's role in Headin' Home is this eloquent quote published in the Ogdensburg, New York Republican Journal on June 17, 1921: "Babe Ruth as an actor is as great a success as is Babe Ruth the greatest hitter of all time. He is cast and starred in a play that is brimful of thrills, pathos and laughs and will entertain any class or sort of audience from the criticism of the New York World." While the movie ultimately bombed at the theaters, it did serve as a somewhat inspiration to the classic 1984 Robert Redford film The Natural, where a young Roy Hobbs makes a bat out of a tree just as Ruth did in Headin' Home.

Interestingly enough, Ruth was paid $25,000 for this film, and he was so proud of his first film paycheck that he refused to cash the check for quite some time, carrying it for purposes of showing off the check to his friends. Unfortunately for Ruth, by the time he decided to cash the check, it bounced because of the film's poor box office results, with the Bambino shrugging off his loss and keeping the check as one of his favorite heirlooms. This magnificent PSA 2 rarity features the previously mentioned 1920 Charles Conlon immortal sepia-toned Ruth batting pose, depicting near-perfect contrast and crystal-clear clarity.

Other than a few negligible surface scrapes, no obtrusive flaws are evident, with the grade due to even corner wear, a front side circular crease/surface impression barely visible to the naked eye, and what appears to be some diminutive scrapbook residue on the verso. Regarding the flipside, it reveals Headin' Home will be played at the FROLIC THEATRE on October 9th, with all of the verso's text clearly visible. Officially closing in 1961, the Frolic Theater was located in the Chicago, Illinois Hyde Park neighborhood on 55th Street between South Cottage Grove and Ellis Avenues. The theater was built for the Ascher Brothers circuit in 1915 and was designed by prestigious architect Henry L. Newhouse.

This remarkable offering's exceptional aesthetics for the grade, microscopic POP 3 existence, and Ruth's 1920 first-year Yankees stature all combine to place it as one of the most momentous Sultan of Swat cards on the planet. Indeed, we cannot even begin to emphasize the significance of owning one of Babe Ruth's rarest first-year Yankee cards. This iconic cardboard memento clearly represents the Sultan of Swat's transition from Bean Town red stockings to Big Apple pinstripes, with Ruth about to embark on a career that would place him as our National Pastime's undisputed greatest all-time player!

MIN BID $15,000