The rookie baseball card of slugger legend Babe Ruth is on sale for a whopping $695,000. The incredibly rare card, of which there are only believed to be about nine or 10 in existence, is up for sale at a New York City memorabilia shop. The sports memorabilia shop, Gotta Have It Collectibles on Manhattan’s East 57th Street, alerted local paper the New York Post to the availability of the card, and the hefty price tag that comes with owning a bit of Babe Ruth baseball fame.
The current price of the card that pictures Babe is upwards of three-quarters of a million dollars. Gotta Have It President Pete Siegel told the Post that the Babe Ruth card is for someone who has “everything and can’t find anything else.”
The Baltimore News card depicts Ruth in a red and white print as a 1914 rookie as an unknown minor-league player fresh from his days at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys. It is one of a set of obscure cards issued in Baltimore with depictions of the city’s two professional baseball teams, the Terrapins of the Federal League and the Orioles of the International League, according to the Gotta Have It website. Ruth was identified as a pitcher for the Orioles on the card.
[Image via Gotta Have It website]
New York City’s pool of ultra-rich baseball fans is relatively large, so Siegel is hopeful he will sell the card for the asking price.
Babe Ruth spent most of his storied major league career playing for the New York Yankees as a right fielder and a batter who had as many amazing hits as phenomenal crash-and-burn attempts at bat. His larger-than-life personality and build were also part of his persona, and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. He remains one of the most beloved and legendary baseball players in America.
Eventually nicknamed the “Sultan of Swat,” Ruth started his major league career with the Boston Red Sox and won a stunning 89 games in six years at the same time as setting the World Series record for consecutive scoreless innings, according to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Manhattan shop selling one of Ruth’s rare rookie cards is also hawking a Honus Wagner card sometimes referred to as “the holy grail of memorabilia” as well as some other choice sports memorabilia that are quintessential pieces of Americana. Despite the incredible perceived value of the Wagner card, it is selling for a price far below the Babe Ruth card at only $450,000.
Ruth is the most collected baseball player among those who hunt and gather memorabilia. Items depicting the legend or with his signature are so sought after that sometimes thieves rob them from right out under owners’ noses. Just this November, a collector in Vermont who owned a baseball with Ruth’s signature and some other items in his home was robbed, according to the Burlington Free Press. The owner didn’t disclose the value of the items, but has offered a “significant cash reward” for the return of the Babe Ruth baseball and the other items.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]