Outstanding 1916 Babe Ruth Sporting News Rookie Card #151 (PSA EX/MT 6) - "1 of 4" PSA EX/MT 6 M101-4 Sporting News Ad-Backs; Only 2 Graded Higher!
The illustrious card hobby continues to produce record setting prices on a seemingly daily basis for its finest rookie card/iconic issues, evident by the recent stratospheric pricing points for legendary heroes such as Mickey Mantle, Michael Jordan and of course, George Herman "Babe" Ruth. Recently, card prices have spiraled to a new plateau, with the historic and record-setting sales of a PSA Mint 9 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle ($5.2 million) and a 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Superfractor 1/1 ($3.8 million) paving the way. Additional examples of this remarkable price escalation include a PSA 10 Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer Rookie recently fetching $738K; a PSA 8 1952 Topps Mantle miraculously realizing $1.6 million, and not to be outdone, an SGC Fair/1.5 1916 Babe Ruth blank-back rookie selling for an un-heard of $242K! Indeed, the floodgates have opened for the hobby's highly coveted cardboard gems, and it comes as little surprise that Babe Ruth is near the top of this soaring market. In fact, at the time this was written, an SGC 3.5 Sporting News Ruth rookie was approaching $400K in a public auction, and a PSA 7 example privately sold in excess of $1 million roughly a year ago, substantiating why the Ruth rookie value certainly knows no boundaries. Issued in 1916, various manufacturers utilized a classic Babe Ruth Boston Red Sox image to help advertise their brand such as Sporting News, Globe, Famous & Barr, Gimbels, Weil Baking, Standard Biscuit, etc. and in some instances, "blank backs" (no advertisement issued on the backside). All releases, regardless of either blank back or manufacturer status, are categorized as the sanctified "Babe Ruth" rookie card. We cannot even begin to speculate on its unlimited potential value in this lucrative market, for it stands alongside any T206 Wagner or Baltimore News Ruth as one of the most highly coveted pre-war baseball cards on the planet!
Interestingly enough, we are now seeing an abundance of "modern sports stars" fetch $1 million+ prices, and considering Babe Ruth unquestionably stands as one of the most renowned all-time sports figures (along w/Jordan & Brady), we can only begin to speculate the "lost ground" the hallowed 1916 Ruth Rookie needs to make up versus these modern card values. Safe to say, the unlimited investment potential for the "Sultan of Swat's" rookie card is a forgone conclusion, with its associated price tags already steamrolling ahead with tsunami like force. It is clearly obvious that advanced enthusiasts and investors are carefully selecting the hobby's premier artifacts not only to satisfy their collecting goals, but also as a sound investment strategy to bolster their esteemed portfolios. True, the Honus Wagner T206 is the hobby's "Holy Grail", but it certainly appears that the 1916 Babe Ruth rookie card is finally making a relentless move towards competing with the sanctified Wagner keepsake. That said, we are proud to present a seldom surfacing high-grade PSA EX/MT 6 M101-4 Babe Ruth rookie card that includes a stellar SPORTING NEWS ad-back. PSA's illustrious "Pop" Chart indicated that this is one of only 4 M101-4 Sporting News encapsulated examples at this coveted "EX/MT" tier, with a meager 2 specimens graded higher! Scarce for the grade, its sheer existence turns back the clock some 105 years to an era when the "Babe" was embarking on the greatest career in our National Pastime's glorious history. Undervalued for quite some time, it is finally achieving its merited recognition, and we cannot even begin to speculate as to the unlimited height of its ultimate value.
This particular PSA EX/MT 6 museum worthy masterpiece portrays a magnificent well-centered "Ruthian" pitching image with only a slight favoritism towards the left edge (approximately 45/55 "left to right"). The imposing Bambino illustration reveals an extremely slender Ruth, an awe-inspiring rookie-era image taken long before Ruth would indulge himself with hot dogs and beer that expanded his waistline at an exponential rate. Like most Sporting News ad-back issues, some faint factory-issued spotted black print is evident along the left border, and the corners on this timeless marvel have retained a majority of their right-angled formations, revealing a solid near-mint consistency. The flipside's SPORTING NEWS ad-back is very bold, affixed to a super clean surface and exhibiting no glaring flaws whatsoever. Had it not been for a "soiling" spot situated near the lower left frame, this Cooperstown worth offering just might be residing in a "Near-Mint" holder. While this surface blemish is certainly visible, fortunately it does not impede upon the brilliant Babe Ruth pitching pose that emanates breathtaking clarity; with this iconic illustration eluding any of any typical print lines that plague a hoard of 1916 Ruth rookie specimens.
The cornerstone of virtually any cardboard gathering, no elite collection could possibly be considered complete without a high-grade 1916 Babe Ruth rookie card. There is no evading the fact that a PSA 6 M101 subject of the "Babe" is arguably the ultimate collectible, comparable even to a T206 Wagner as it relates to hobby significance. Think about the momentous impact Babe Ruth bestowed upon America's Pastime; clearly standing tall as the greatest all-around player to ever grace a baseball diamond via BOTH his miraculous pitching and batting feats. Unquestionably, Ruth would have surely been a Hall of Fame hurler had he not jumped from the pitching rubber to the batter's box where he eventually left an indelible mark on the game itself via his colossal-like round-trippers and unparalleled persona. Every sophisticated collector "dreams" of owning a high-grade M101 Ruth rookie card, yet most of the surfacing examples typically depict technical assessments between "Poor/1" and "EX/5". Thus, this PSA EX/MT 6 is truly an enigma, for it has been quite some time since a high-grade Ruth M101 has surfaced for the taking, with their respective owners safely tucking them away in private collections. As previously mentioned, price tags for the Babe Ruth M101 Rookie card have officially joined other iconic cards in climbing the ladder towards infinite-like figures. The card hobby has defined a hollowed stature for any rookie card, let alone one that portrays the immortal image of baseball's all-time pinnacle player, and we cannot even begin to imagine the true worth of this revered keepsake a few years down the road. Considering the potential value of a Babe Ruth rookie card is both incomprehensible and evitable, we will let YOU, the sophisticated collector, ultimately determine its true worth; keeping in mind there is no end in sight for this meteoric-like pricing surge that is already impacting the Ruth rookie at an unprecedented level!