Card Collector Buys Rare Babe Ruth Card Worth Millions For $2 Because Store Owner Thought It Was Fake

A Babe Ruth plaque
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

A card collector found a rare Babe Ruth card on sale in a Nevada shop listed for only $8 — then got it for $2 because the store owner was convinced it was a fake.

As KRNV reported, Dale Ball was visiting the area from Fresno, California, and went to the small collectible store to sell some Sacajawea coins when he saw the Babe Ruth baseball card on sale. He was shocked to see such a rare card on sale for a minimal price, and the store owner said it was because he was convinced it was actually a fake card. The owner offered the card for $2, and Ball couldn’t resist the price.

After Ball purchased the card he brought it to an expert to get authenticated, and found out that it was indeed an authentic Babe Ruth Shotwell E-121 model — among the rarest cards of the baseball legend.

The card could be worth millions of dollars on the open market, and Ball said that he has gotten three offers in the multi-million dollar range.

Cards of the baseball legend have fetched some big money in recent years. In 2014, a rookie card of Babe Ruth, one of only nine in existence, was put up for sale at a New York City memorabilia shop for $695,000. The owner of the store told the New York Post that it was a once-in-a-lifetime find, and he believed that someone would be willing to pay the enormous price.

As Forbes noted, the high price for the Babe Ruth card may still be worth it. The magazine noted that rare baseball cards — Babe Ruth cards in particular — have shown to be an excellent long-term investment. The report tracked a rare 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth card that sold for $312,000 in 2014, a huge return on the card buyer’s initial investment.

“In the past 12 years, this mint Ruth has soared 423% from $73,624 to $312,000; doubling the gains of the Dow Jones, which has jumped from 12,002 to 25,187, or 210% (as of yesterday’s close),” the report noted.

Back in Nevada, Dale Ball said he couldn’t believe his luck in happening upon one of the rarest baseball cards of all time.

“I didn’t even know what to say,” Ball said. “I had tears running down my face. I can’t even imagine the feeling.”

Ball didn’t say if or when he planned to sell the rare Babe Ruth card, or if he might give the unlucky store owner a cut of the proceeds.