Remarkable “POP 1” SGC 8.5 NM/MT+ Babe Ruth 1933 Goudey #53 Subject – “Pop 1” on the Combined PSA & SGC Pop Charts & the Highest Graded SGC Example!
In our highly celebrated Dr. Thomas Newman Auction, a PSA Mint 9 1933 Goudey #53 Babe Ruth example recently achieved a staggering $4.2 million price tag, by far the highest number ever paid for any Ruth Goudey subject. It comes as little surprise that this "Pop 1" marvel would realize such an extraordinary figure since the finest cards in our illustrious hobby have been experiencing unfathomable pricing surges over the past year, spearheaded by a PSA Mint 9 '52 Topps Mantle and a LeBron James 2003-04 Exquisite Collection Rookie Card both fetching $5.2 million. It is no longer a far-fetched "dream" for highly coveted rare sport cards to realize seven-figure+ values with some other miraculous prices including $3.7 million for a PSA 2 T206 Wagner, $3.8 million for a "1/1" Trout Bowman Chrome Rookie Refractor; a 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady Rookie realizing $2.3 million, and a PSA 7 M101-5 Ruth rookie privately selling for nearly $3 million! Clearly, the premier and rarest sport cards are now viewed as not only collectables, but as bona fide investment commodities, with hobbyists yearning to capture the next remarkable cardboard keepsake.
Only several months removed from the iconic Newman auction and seemingly before even "catching our breath" from its record-breaking results, we were presented with the SECOND FINEST 1933 Goudey #53 "Yellow" Ruth to place in our late summer auction! Indeed, this extraordinary SGC NM/MT+ 8.5 Ruthian gem proudly stands tall as the SOLE and HIGHEST GRADED example on SGC's illustrious census report. Only bested by the previous PSA "Mint 9" specimen that just fetched $4.2 million, it resides as the only "8.5" example on the planet. It is no secret that the 240-subject 1933 Goudey Gum landmark issue suffices as one of the most prestigious pre-war sets in the hobby. Babe Ruth's fascinating popularity ultimately led to the Cambridge, Massachusetts Goudey Gum Company to include four different cards of the great Bambino in their inaugural issue, three of which portraying the renowned Charles Conlon Ruth batting image (subjects 53, 144, & 149). The #53 yellow background subject unquestionably resides as the most desirable and valuable specimen, substantiated by its superior pricing points that literally leave its three other peers "in the dust". Considering its "Pop 1" NM/MT+ 8.5 assessment, this illustrious #53 Ruth offering rightfully stands right alongside the Newman "Mint 9" subject as the two finest #53 Yellow Goudey Ruth's extant!
Synonymous with the "Sultan of Swat's" pinnacle standing as our National Pastime's greatest all-time player comes along this 8.5 Goudey marvel that has outdistanced all of its 500+ SGC encapsulated peers. What could possibly be more satisfying than owning a hallowed Babe Ruth card issued during his playing days that holds an undisputed niche as the "king of the hill" on the SGC Census report, with only the single PSA Mint 9 copy surpassing this world-class offering. The immortal "Babe" exemplifies everything baseball represents, and it is no wonder that each and every day, his popularity increases profoundly. While both Aaron and Bonds have surpassed his 714-home run total, there remains an unequivocal mystique tied to the Bambino's 714 mark. His pitching exploits with the Boston Red Sox combined with his uncontested batting achievements have earned him the rightful nod as baseball's greatest all-time player, justifying why he was a 1936 Hall of Fame charter member. It is an astonishing concept that Ruth would have been a Hall of Fame "pitcher" had he not abandoned the pitching rubber for the batter's box to pursue his destiny as the game's greatest slugger. Baseball will never see the likes of him again, a nearly perfect icon with a combination of sheer playing excellence and personality that prompted a seemingly infinite number of enchanted young fans to storm their local candy stores in 1933 with the hope of pulling a Babe Ruth card from a Goudey Gum wax pack. While we will never know the extremely fortunate baseball enthusiast who bought this #53 Ruth card for a handful of pennies, what we do know with 100% certainty is that the card has miraculously defied "Father-Time" by retaining virtually all of its original factory issued attributes.
Presenting itself as if it was just pulled from a 1933 Goudey wax pack, this remarkable bubble gum treat captivates its audience, boldly highlighted by Ruth's grandeur image emanating brilliant facial hues, unimprovable clarity and a radiant yellow background. It literally appears as if the Bambino has just walloped a baseball towards the furthest confines of any ballpark, with the iconic Charles Conlon batting image revealing Ruth donning his classic Yankee pinstripes as he completes his mighty swing. The nearly immaculate surface exhibits blizzard white borders and superb centering, with only a very modest favoritism towards the lower right edges. Four pinpoint corner tips result in pristine right angles, no obtrusive blemishes are apparent, and the final exclamation point is a clean verso revealing bold green typography. In fact, had it not been for an extremely faint "spec" near the upper right corner that is barely visible to the naked eye, this supreme SGC offering just might be sporting a "Mint 9" assessment.
Our utmost compliments to the previous owners who meticulously "passed the baton" and preserved this revered gem since its original 1933 issue date. The hobby has defined an overwhelming mystique for low population prestigious cards, and considering this momentous Ruth offering firmly stands as one of the two best preserved examples on the planet, it certainly merits the prominent distinction of becoming an additional member of the prestigious Goudey Ruth seven-figure club. Similar to the previous "Mint 9" Goudey Ruth sale, this Cooperstown worthy masterpiece will once again prompt an electrifying bidding frenzy among the hobby's most advanced enthusiasts. Unlike this "unique for the grade" rarity, there are some 60-plus T206 Wagners, ten Baltimore News Ruths, six PSA Mint 9 '52 Topps Mantles, and even three PSA Gem Mint 10 '52 Topps Mantles in existence. Yet, incredible as it may seem, both PSA and SGC have only awarded a single 1933 Goudey #53 Babe Ruth the exalted NM/MT+ 8.5 grade. It is a virtually surreal concept that the second finest 1933 Goudey #53 Ruth subject would present itself to the pubic fresh off the heels of the record-setting Mint 9 sale. Yet, courtesy of Memory Lane, the availability of the only existing 8.5 example is now a bona fide reality, anxiously awaiting a new home in one of the premier 1933 Goudey or Babe Ruth gatherings!
MIN BID $200,000