Babe Ruth: Most Valuable Trading Card vs. Most Valuable Piece of Memorabilia
It’s no secret that the Bambino, the greatest hitter of all time, makes fans and collectors empty their pockets to own any object that once belonged to him. Fans especially love to purchase old bats, jerseys, or trading cards- the older, the better.
Babe Ruth played for the Boston Red Sox from 1914 to 1919. On December of that very same year, he was sold to the New York Yankees, starting what today many superstitious call “The Curse of the Bambino”. This curse lasted 86 years, since the Boston baseball team lost another World Series from 1918 to 2004. Despite playing for these two major teams, Babe Ruth’s most valuable trading cards are the ones from the year 1914, Baltimore News #7, which can be seen below:
This is a set of two cards centered on two teams that were based in Baltimore at the moment: The Baltimore Terrapins from the Federal League and the Baltimore Orioles of the International League. As many know, Baltimore was Babe Ruth’s hometown. The red and blue cards both feature a young looking Babe Ruth that had just graduated from Saint Mary’s Industrial School.
These red and blue cards are extremely rare. Today there are only ten known copies and just trying to find one is an enormous task. A single one of these cards can reach the amount of $900,000, even if found in poor conditions. If a collector ever bumped into an intact copy of any of these two cards, the price would very likely skyrocket. Of course, you can find much cheaper copies on eBay, if you simply want them and owning the original is not one of your ambitions.
When talking about pieces of memorabilia, the prices are of course higher. Collectors are crazy about objects that, one way or another, played a significant part in a determined historical event.
The most valuable pieces of Babe Ruth’s memorabilia include, as one might easily imagine, the contract where the Boston Red Sox signed him off to the Yankees, which was sold in the year 2005 for $996,000. Bats and caps used and worn by this legendary player have been sold for more than $300,000. But, what is the most valuable object related to Babe Ruth? Maybe the bat he used to hit his first homerun at the Yankee Stadium? No. However, if you are curious to know, it was sold for $1,265,000 on December 2004, occupying the second place on the list of valuable memorabilia related to the Bambino. Now, the first place belongs to –drums, please– a jersey worn by the player in the year 1920 at a Yankees game. This jersey was sold on May 20th, 2012 for $4,415,658.
When it comes to trading cards, collectors seek for the oldest one. It does not matter if it is from a small team with no glorious history. The older and the rarest, the better. On the other hand, memorabilia is all about owning a piece of an important moment in history. It does not have to be from the first game ever played, but from the most significant one.
Certainly owning an object related to Babe Ruth is a cool thing, whether you want to sell it or keep it.