1922 Lou Gertenrich Babe Ruth Holding Bird PSA 3 VG – POP 1; Only One PSA Example Graded Higher!
LOU GERTENRICH RUTH!!! Remarkable to say the least, presented here is the ever-elusive PSA 3 VG 1922 Babe Ruth Holding Bird pose, including the near-impossible Lou Gertenrich ad back. PSA's illustrious Pop Chart indicates this is the SOLE encapsulated example at this eye-pleasing plateau with a single PSA 4 graded higher! Only three total specimens exist on the PSA census report, and even more impressively, only six of the possible 120 subjects have been graded by PSA. This justifies why any examples of the ultra-rare 1922 Lou Gertenrich are near-impossible to find, let alone one representing the Sultan of Swat. The 1922 Lou Gertenrich cards utilized a 120-subject checklist mirroring the 1922 E121 American Caramel set, with the one exception being the versos portraying the Lou Gertenrich advertisement as opposed to American Caramel. It comes as little surprise that candy manufacturers jumped on the Babe Ruth bandwagon in the early 1920s, utilizing his unparalleled success to promote their brand.
The 1922 American Caramel candy card issue included the following three Babe Ruth subjects: Holding Bird, Holding Ball and Photo Montage which portrays three different images on a single card. The Holding Bird pose is one of the most eclectic Ruth images extant, as the Bambino is pictured releasing a carrier pigeon to relay the score of the Cleveland vs. New York game played on September 26, 1921. The gentleman in formal attire standing next to Ruth is Charles Farbizo, a carrier pigeon aficionado who sent the score of the game to fans on New York's East Side every inning. While it is assumed this game was used as a carrier pigeon test case for the upcoming Yankees vs. Giants fall classic, what we do know with 100% certainty is the momentous stature of this ultra-rare PSA 3 Lou Gertenrich marvel that merits a final resting place in any world-class Ruth gathering.
Entering 1922, Ruth had turned the baseball world upside down via his mammoth round-trippers, walloping 54 dingers in 1920 and breaking that record with an unfathomable 59 homers in 1921. Revolutionizing baseball via his uncontested home run prowess, Ruth was now outhomering virtually every MLB team. Unfortunately for Ruth, legendary commissioner Judge Mountain Landis would suspend him and teammate Bob Meusel the first six weeks of the 1922 campaign for violating the strict league rule forbidding players to participate in any barnstorming tours. In October 1921, Ruth and Meusel barnstormed across the country, including appearances in California, prompting their suspension, which resulted in Ruth swatting only 35 round-trippers in 1922. The Babe's unmatched popularity led to a myriad of companies utilizing his hallowed name as a sound marketing tool to propel sales for their respective brands, ultimately leading to the highly coveted and extremely rare Lou Gertenrich caramel cards.
This offering's jaw-dropping aesthetics start with an imposing black and white image portraying crystal-clear clarity and superb contrast as Ruth and Farbizo are about to release the fabled carrier pigeon. The text beneath his iconic pose reflects "BABE" RUTH in quotes, and most significantly, the classic image reveals atypical near-perfect centering. General surface and corner wear as well as some subtle soiling along the upper border account for the assessment, and the lack of any notable surface flaws on the central image completes a fine obverse side. Of utmost significance is the super eclectic Lou Gertenrich ad back, which includes a portrait pose of the former MLB player. Right-fielder Gertenrich played in three official games with the Milwaukee Brewers (1901) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1903), ending his brief MLB stature with a single hit in six plate appearances. His name is scripted in bold across the top, with a baseball diamond line drawing affixed directly beneath Gertenrich's name.
Along the bottom, a bold caption reads as follows: "THE BASEBALL PLAYER – CANDY MANUFACTURER", the final superlative for this super scarcity that is a near-impossible issue to locate, regardless of the player it represents. Any early 1920s Babe Ruth caramel card is super desirable, to say the least, let alone this miraculous Holding Bird Gertenrich treasure. Some hefty pricing points for early 1920s Ruth black and white subjects substantiate that notion, with two 7 NM 1921 E121 Ruths realizing $271K and $337K the past several years. Added to that list is an SGC 3 VG 1922 Lou Gertenrich Babe Ruth Photo Montage $50K sale in 2021, and it's no secret that the values of Ruth's obscure 1922 black and white caramel cards have recently soared to stratospheric heights. Indeed, the floodgates have opened for these magnificent early 1920s Ruth cards that were undervalued for the longest time, especially considering they represent a mere fraction of the thousands of existing 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth subjects!
MIN BID $10,000