Lot # 9: Rare for the Grade 1923 Willard Chocolate V100 Babe Ruth PSA 3 VG – POP 1; Only 3 PSA Examples Graded Higher!

Category: 1921-1939

Starting Bid: $6,000.00

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 9)
Rare for the Grade 1923 Willard Chocolate V100 Babe Ruth PSA 3 VG – POP 1; Only 3 PSA Examples Graded Higher!

POP 1 RUTH RARITY!!! This world-class PSA 3 VG 1923 Willard Chocolate V100 Babe Ruth just happens to be the sole PSA example at this eye-pleasing plateau, with a meager three PSA specimens graded higher! Interestingly enough, any 1923 Willard Chocolate Babe Ruth example is extremely scarce, regardless of the grade. The combined PSA and SGC census reports list only 27 total copies (14 PSA, 13 SGC), with this issue's extreme condition sensitivity justified by only two examples graded higher than a 5 EX specimen (one PSA 8, one SGC 6). Most of the encapsulated copies have not surpassed the 2 assessment, substantiating the ultra-fragile state of these thin stock cards. It's no secret that early 1920s black and white Babe Ruth caramel and candy cards are now realizing staggering pricing tags. The past several years, Memory Lane has paved the way with some lofty record sales for the following obscure Ruth keepsakes: a PSA 4.5 VG-EX+ 1922 Neilson's Chocolate ($91K); a PSA 3.5 VG+ 1921 E121 ($83K); a PSA 4 VG-EX 1927 E126 ($65K); a PSA 4 VG-EX 1922 E121 "Holding Ball" ($44K), a PSA 6 EX-MT 1924 V122 Willard Chocolate ($36K); and a PSA 7 1921 E121 fetching an extraordinary $337K, the highest value ever paid for any post-1920 Ruth black and white candy card.

Considering the elusive population counts for this rare for the grade PSA 3 Ruth 1923 Willard Chocolate, it would make perfect sense for this highly coveted early 1920s Ruth masterpiece to follow suit with regard to its ultimate price tag. The V100 set's history can be traced back to 1923, when the Canadian based Willard Chocolate Co. produced a 180-card set with one subject inserted within each package of their candy product. Unique sepia toned images were placed on the front side with blank backs. Super popular with collectors due to their one of a kind images and facsimile autographs, most subjects are considered ultra-scarce. Obviously, the most valuable subject is George Herman "Babe" Ruth, with this PSA Pop 1 Ruth marvel being one of his rarest 1920s issues. Babe Ruth made it a habit to out-homer nearly every MLB team, and likewise, this museum-worthy masterpiece arguably stands tall as one of the most sought-after black and white Ruth cards via its awe-inspiring batting pose, unique to the 1923 Willard's Ruth subject. Distributed during the renowned 1923 campaign, this would be the year that "The House that Ruth Built" would first open its doors, with the Sultan of Swat's incredible 41 dingers, 130 runs batted in, .393 batting average, and 1.309 OPS catapulting the Bronx Bombers to their inaugural World Championship.

One look at this grandiose gem reminds us of the Bambino's diamond dominance, and most would agree at first glance that this card easily presents itself in mid-grade fashion. The classic batting pose reveals Ruth's mighty swing, most likely watching another mammoth home run sail towards the Polo Grounds' furthest confines. This unique image was most likely taken at the Polo Grounds in 1922, based on the background grandstands as well as Ruth's Yankees pinstripes and dark cap. Rich sepia-toned hues are complimented by near-perfect contrast and crystal-clear clarity, with the fine perimeter, relatively clean surfaces, and minimal corner wear consistent with most 5 EX examples. For full disclosure, preventing a higher grade is a diminutive notch situated about halfway up the right border and barely visible to the naked eye. Yet, most would agree that the sparkling mid-grade aesthetics and population rarity are far more prevalent than any technical assessment. This breathtaking Bambino offering truly stands right alongside any of Ruth's other early 1920s black and white candy cards in terms of iconic stature, and similar to the Babe's hallowed immortality, it is worthy of the highest hobby accolades!

MIN BID $6,000

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