Lot # 15: Ultra-Scarce 1922 W575-1 “Babe” Ruth – Babe in Quotes Variation PSA 2.5 Good+ – “Pop 1”; Only 1 PSA Example Graded Higher!

Category: 1921-1939

Starting Bid: $5,000.00

Bids: 28 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed




This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Fall Rarities Auction 2021",
which ran from 9/25/2021 12:00 PM to
10/9/2021 7:00 PM




(LOT 15)
Ultra-Scarce 1922 W575-1 "Babe" Ruth – Babe in Quotes Variation (PSA Good+ 2.5) – "Pop 1"; Only 1 PSA Example Graded Higher!

Piggybacking off the 1921 American Caramel Company's landmark E121 issue, the 1922 W575-1 set included many images exactly the same as their 1921 peers. The two major differences are the W575-1 examples being "blank-backed" as well as the set including roughly 200 subjects (vs. only 80 subjects in the E121 compilation). The W575-1 players are likewise represented by fine black & white player images, and similar to the renowned 1916 Felix Mendelsohn M101 and Boston Store/Collins-McCarthy/Standard Biscuit 1917 issues, the most prestigious and sought-after player in the 1922 W575-1 set is the incomparable George Herman "Babe" Ruth. One of the highly coveted pre-war cards, a low-grade example sold in excess of $20K some 15 months ago, and considering the staggering price tags now realized for E121 examples (that are significantly more plentiful than their W575-1 counterparts), we cannot even begin to estimate the current value of any W575-1 Ruth. Consider that an E121 "NM 7" example has sold for a staggering $271K; an "EX-MT 6" fetched $116K and a "VG+ 3.5" realized an incredible $83K (the latter two price tags were both realized in Memory Lane Actions).

Indeed, the floodgates have opened for this magnificent Ruth subject that was undervalued for so long, especially considering it represents a mere fraction of the thousands of existing Ruth Goudeys. With that in mind, presented here is a superb PSA Good+ 2.5 W575-1 "Babe" Ruth (w/"Babe" in Quotes), the SOLE copy at this plateau with only a single example graded higher! Its irrefutable rarity is justified by PSA's illustrious "Pop" chart only listing three specimens with "Babe" in quotes. 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 baseball's finest all-time player.

The "Sultan of Swat" would continue his assault on opposing pitchers the year before this renowned W575-1 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. Further gravitating collectors towards this magnificent Babe Ruth cardboard marvel is the fact that he is donning an early Red Sox uniform. In fact, this is the EXACT pose affixed to his ultra-scarce 1917 Boston Store, Collins-McCarthy, Standard Biscuit issues, 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. The neat aspect of this card is that it represents Babe Ruth as a New York Yankee while still featuring him in his Boston uniform. Its superb aesthetics for the grade start with the outstanding 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 "BABE" RUTH's hallowed name and the R.F.- New York Americans typography in bold fashion.

Even more impressive is that the hallowed image atypically reveals relatively fine centering (with only a moderate favoritism towards the right edge). Accounting for the assessment are a number of diminutive surface abrasions barely visible to the naked eye, with a majority of them affixed to his right-side pantaloons directly beneath his belt as well as by his right knee. Even corner wear actually provides an eye pleasing uniformity, no obtrusive flaws are evident, the blank back is relatively clean and an additional surface abrasion is situated along the lower border directly above the "cans" in "Americans". An ultra-scarce offering, it truly resides as one of Ruth's most coveted cardboard mementos, especially considering its extremely sparse PSA population count of only three specimens with "Babe" in quotes. Most significantly, this artifact provides the collector an abundance of attributes including a super eye pleasing early 1920s Ruth card, a Boston Red Sox Ruth "rookie era" image, and considering the recent early 1920s Bambino record setting sales, an issue that has not even remotely approached the pinnacle level of its seemingly infinite value!

MIN BID $5,000
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