Lot # 5: 1921 E121 “Babe” Ruth Series of 80 - Babe in Quotes Variation PSA 3 VG

Category: 1921-1939

Starting Bid: $10,000.00

Bids: 25 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Summer Rarities Auction 2023",
which ran from 8/17/2023 9:00 AM to
9/9/2023 7:00 PM

(LOT 5)
1921 E121 "Babe" Ruth Series of 80 - Babe in Quotes Variation PSA 3 VG

EARLY 1920s RUTH!!! This magnificent 1921 E121 American Caramel PSA 3 Babe Ruth firmly resides as one of the Bambino's most desirable and valuable cards, with PSA's prestigious Pop Chart listing less than 50 of the Babe in Quotes variation at the time this was written. It's no secret that the floodgates have officially opened with regard to the stratospheric pricing points being realized for early 1920s Ruth black and white caramel cards. Suppressed for quite some time versus their over-populated Goudey peers, their utmost scarcity has finally caught on with collectors, with a PSA 7 1921 E121 Ruth selling for a staggering $337K in a Memory Lane 2021 auction. Furthermore, an SGC 3.5 fetched a record for the grade of $83K in 2021, with numerous examples eclipsing the $50K mark over the past several years! Their 102-year history can be traced back to 1921, when 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 and white player images, similar to virtually all pre-WWII issues, the most prestigious subjects in the 1921 E121 set are any of the three Babe Ruth variations: "Babe"; Babe and George. As an added feature, this iconic Babe Ruth pitching pose has been verified as a rookie-era Ruth image by PSA's photo expert, originally taken at the Red Sox's Hot Springs, Arkansas spring training facility in March 1915. Before the 1920 season, Ruth had been traded from the Red Sox to the New York Yankees for a hefty price tag of $125,000, with Ruth walloping an amazing 54 home runs in his inaugural campaign in the Big Apple. The Sultan of Swat would continue his assault on opposing pitchers the following year when this renowned E121 Ruth baseball card was issued, belting 59 home runs in 1921 and firmly establishing himself as baseball's greatest player.

No wonder Ruth's early 1920s cards are highly sought-after by elite enthusiasts since they represent an era when Ruth was in the process of revolutionizing baseball via his abundance of mammoth round-trippers. Further enticing collectors is the fact that he is donning an early Red Sox uniform in his 1915 rookie season, the exact pose affixed to his scarce 1917 Boston Store, Collins-McCarthy, and Standard Biscuit issues. We can only assume that since Ruth had played only 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 a pre-existing and popular Red Sox pitching pose. 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 outstanding aesthetics commence with the imposing black and white image portraying superb crystal-clear clarity and contrast as Ruth delivers another tantalizing pitch in his Bo-Sox flannels.

The text beneath his iconic pose reflects "BABE" RUTH, with his name in quotes and "R.F.- New York Americans". Most significantly, the hallowed image atypically depicts near-perfect centering, with a majority of the 1921 E121 Ruths portraying skewed images. Accounting for the grade are several light horizontal wrinkles running across the center of the card that are barely visible to the naked eye and even corner wear. No obtrusive surface flaws are evident, and the verso's bold AMERICAN CARAMEL ad back is relatively clean, revealing only some negligible toning. This exalted offering is truly one of Ruth's most coveted cardboard mementos, providing the collector with an abundance of attributes, including a super-eye-pleasing early 1920s Ruth card, a Boston Red Sox Ruth rookie era image, and, considering the E121 Ruths continuous record-setting sales, an issue that has not even remotely approached the pinnacle level of its infinite value!

MIN BID $10,000

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