Lot # 11: “Scarce for the Grade” 1921 National Caramel E220 Babe Ruth (PSA Good 2) - Only 3 PSA Examples Graded Higher!

Category: 1921-1939

Starting Bid: $2,500.00

Bids: 19 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Spring Rarities Auction 2020",
which ran from 5/6/2020 12:00 PM to
5/30/2020 7:00 PM

(LOT 11)
"Scarce for the Grade" 1921 National Caramel E220 Babe Ruth (PSA Good 2) - Only 3 PSA Examples Graded Higher!

From 1921 thru 1923, the National Caramel Company in Lancaster, Pa. distributed a black & white card set with their caramel brand, dubbed by many hobbyists as the scarcest 1920's "E" cards extant. Rarely seen, these specimens are highly desirable due to many of their ultra-obscure images only appearing on the E220 issue. Rightly so, the most prestigious and highly coveted illustration just happens to belong to the incomparable George Herman "Babe" Ruth; a classic follow through batting image as he watches another mighty clout soar into the Polo Grounds grandstands. Considering the year, and the fact that Ruth is wearing his Yankee pinstripes and white cap, we would assume the Ruth subject was issued in either 1921 or 1922 (1921 was the last year the Yankees wore a white pinstriped cap), with the Polo Grounds grandstands and American Flag providing an iconic background. What photo could possibly better represent America's Pastime than Babe Ruth walloping a pitch into the furthest confines of this historic ballpark with the American Flag and grandstand serving as a spine-tingling setting!

Most miraculous is that the PSA population report indicates only 18 other encapsulated copies, with this PSA 2 Babe Ruth National Caramel offering one of only 7 at this plateau with a paltry 3 specimens graded higher (a PSA 3; PSA 3.5 and PSA 5). Imagine, this PSA 2 memento is being offered as one of the finest graded copies in the hobby; a true testament to the coupled rarity and condition sensitivity of this highly sought-after Babe Ruth "type" card. Any card of the great "Bambino" immediately arouses interest amongst the memorabilia circuit since he stands as the ultimate baseball icon. For that reason alone, serious enthusiasts are constantly seeking his rarest memorabilia artifacts. Whether it is his hallowed rookie card, tough to find early 1920 caramel issues or the ever-popular Goudey gum cards, there is an on-going lust to covet almost anything associated with his revered name. "Pop" statistics don't lie, and none of the aforementioned Ruth treasures from an obscurity perspective can compete with this extremely scarce offering. This card was issued at the time when the unparalleled "Sultan of Swat" was virtually out-homering every Major League team, blasting 54 and 59 round-trippers in his first two record setting seasons in the Big Apple while leading the mighty Yankees to World Series appearances from 1921 thru 1923.

Ruth's classic swinging image provides atypical spectacular contrast and resolution, with a majority of other existing examples emulating extremely light contrast. The relatively well-centered illustration depicts only modest favoritism towards the left edge, and most significantly, the image reveals virtually no "tilt" whatsoever (a significant number of the known E220 Ruth's exhibit obtrusive angled factory cuts and abrasive image "tilts"). Its stellar aesthetics are only compromised by a diagonal crease that runs from border to border directly beneath Ruth's arms. Otherwise, no glaring surface flaws are evident, with some negligible stray wrinkles, "VG" corner wear and modest toning not impeding the card's eye pleasing quality. Considering its unquestionable obscurity, the fine aesthetics supersede the technical assessment that even at the "2/Good" plateau, stands as one of the superior grades for this extremely condition sensitive issue. The absolute splendor of our sanctified hobby continues to be the on-going expectation of the next cardboard "home run" that will surface. Highly underrated for quite some time, this undervalued E220 Ruth subject resides as an extraordinary Ruthian masterpiece that just might stand as one of the Bambino's next "Holy Grail" heirlooms!

MIN BID $2,500

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