1921 E121 American Caramel Babe Ruth "No Quotes" – Series of 80 PSA 4 VG-EX
The floodgates have surely opened for the long-time undervalued 1921 E121 Babe Ruth subject. For years, this extremely underrated issue depicting Ruth in the early stages of his legendary Yankee career stood in the shadow of Ruth's Goudey peers; however, recent pricing surges unquestionably stand as bona fide proof that this most significant card has finally achieved its well-merited recognition. Now one of the most highly coveted pre-war cards, an "EX-MT 6" has sold for a staggering $116K, a "VG 3.5" specimen fetched a momentous $83K price tag, and two separate sales for PSA 7s earlier in 2021 produced record setting price tags of $271K and $338K, the latter realized in Memory Lane's historic Dr. Newman auction in 2021! Presented here just happens to be an outstanding PSA 4 E121 Babe Ruth (no quotes) marvel that is one of only four examples at this desirable plateau with a mere eight specimens graded higher. In 1921, the American Caramel Company of Lancaster and York Pennsylvania reignited the card collecting community with its landmark E121 candy set.
With 80 different subjects represented by fine black & white player images, and similar to the renowned 1916 Felix Mendelsohn M101-6 and 1917 Boston Store/Collins McCarthy issues, the most prestigious player in the 1921 E121 set is George Herman "Babe" Ruth. The imposing Babe Ruth Red Sox pitching image places it as one of the foremost "Sultan of Swat" cards extant, and it just happens to suffice as a true 1915 rookie Ruth image, originally taken at the Red Sox 1915 Hot Springs, Arkansas spring training facility. Before the 1920 season, Ruth had been traded from the Red Sox to the New York Yankees with Boston owner Harry Frazee selling Ruth for the hefty price tag of $125,000. True, Frazee loved baseball, but his first passion was producing Broadway hits and he desperately needed money to help fund his new show "No, No Nanette". History was in the making and in his first season with the Yankees, Ruth annihilated his 1919 home run record of 29 round-trippers by walloping an amazing 54 home runs. In the process, unfathomable as it may seem, Ruth belted more dingers than virtually every Major League team, establishing himself as the greatest player to ever grace a baseball diamond.
The "Sultan of Swat" would continue his assault on opposing pitchers the year this renowned E121 Ruth baseball card was issued, belting 59 home runs in the 1921 season which stood as the pinnacle mark for only six seasons when Ruth once again broke his own record by tallying his renowned 60-mark in 1927. For these reasons alone, Ruth's early 1920's cards are highly sought-after by elite enthusiasts since they represent an era when Ruth was in the process of revolutionizing baseball via his mammoth homers. Further enticing collectors to capturing this magnificent Babe Ruth cardboard marvel is the fact that he is donning an early Red Sox uniform, and this is the EXACT pose affixed to his ultra-scarce 1917 Boston Store/Collins-McCarthy issues. We can only assume that since Ruth had only played a single season with the Yankees, rather than seeking out one of his first-year Yankee images, the American Caramel Company took the "easy road" by utilizing an already existing Red Sox pitching pose.
Its superb "aesthetics for the grade" starts with the superior black & white image portraying superb crystal clear clarity and contrast as Ruth delivers another tantalizing pitch in his Bo-Sox uniform. The bold and vivid text beneath his iconic pose reflects the BABE RUTH hallowed name (w/no quotes), and the "R.F.- New York Americans" typography in bold fashion. Even more impressive is that the hallowed image atypically reveals near-perfect centering, with many of these 1921 Ruth subjects reflecting skewed images. Accounting for the grade is some modest soiling along the upper left border, with no other noteworthy surface flaws evident to the naked eye. The even corner wear is consistent with most "EX-5" cards, and the final "thumbs up" is the verso's relatively clean AMERICAN CARAMEL/Series of 80 advertisement. Simply stated, this grand offering provides the collector with an abundance of stellar attributes including a super eye pleasing early 1920's Ruth card, a Boston Red Sox Ruth "rookie era" image, and considering the E121 Ruth's continuous record setting sales, an issue that has not even remotely approached the pinnacle level of its seemingly infinite-like value!
MIN BID $15,000