1924 Willard Chocolate (V122) #5 Babe Ruth PSA 5.5 EX+ – "POP 3"
HOME RUN CHAMPION!!! In 1924, the Toronto, Canada-based Willard's Chocolate Candy company released the Sports Champions (V122) multi-sport set highlighting some of greatest athletes in their respective sports. This 56-card set traversed all walks of sport including surfing, swimming, wrestling, basketball, tennis, golf and, of course, baseball. Baseball was represented by a mere three Hall of Famers in #2 Eddie Collins, #5 Babe Ruth and #39 Ty Cobb, with the Sultan of Swat obviously the most valuable subject in the entire set. Presented here just happens to be an outstanding PSA 5.5 EX+ marvel that is one of only three examples at this plateau with a meager nine specimens graded higher!
In the early 1920s, Babe Ruth made it a habit to out-homer virtually every MLB team, and likewise, this museum worthy masterpiece has outdistanced a vast number of its competition by besting 24 or two-thirds of the 36 PSA encapsulated examples. The Bambino set the ultimate benchmark for any baseball player via his world-class achievements from both the batter's box and pitching rubber, and his unparalleled stature will echo for eternity. Fresh off the heels of the Yankees inaugural World Championship in 1923, The Babe had now established himself as baseball's undisputed greatest player. His 1924 campaign justified that notion with Ruth continuing his onslaught of overmatched hurlers by pacing the Junior Circuit in homers (46); batting average (.378), total bases (391), RBIs (130) and the critical OPS (1.252).
The 1-3/8" x 3-3/8" black-and-white card is printed on very thin cardboard stock with the blank-backed gem numbered #5 beneath his classic batting pose. Indeed, the Toronto based company truly chose one of the most imposing Ruthian images to grace the obverse side as the Babe completes his mighty swing and watches another colossal blast sail towards the grandstands. The lower caption boldly reads "BABE RUTH – HOME RUN CHAMPION", with a youthful Ruth having already led the American league in round-trippers in six different seasons including 1923 and 1924 when he clouted 41 and 46 home runs, respectively. No obtrusive flaws are evident on either side, and the iconic image reveals outstanding clarity and contrast.
While modest corner wear prevents a higher grade, the overall look of the card surpasses its technical assessment. It's no secret that early 1920s black & white Babe Ruth cards are realizing staggering pricing tags, with Memory Lane's 2022 auctions setting a number of records for issues such as Ruth's PSA 4.5 VG-EX+ 1922 Neilson's Chocolate ($91k), a PSA 4 VG-EX 1922 E121 Holding Ball ($44k) and another 1924 V122 Willard's Ruth in a PSA 6 holder ($35k). Undervalued for quite some time, their utmost scarcity and sudden popularity are now catching on with collectors who have already spent a boatload of money on Ruth's 1933 Goudey's subjects, excessive in quantity compared to their significantly rarer 1920s black & white peers!
MIN BID $5,000