Babe Ruth Rookie Card Sells for $7.2 Million at Auction

Babe Ruth Rookie Card Sells for $7.2 Million at Auction

A 109-year-old Babe Ruth rookie card has set a new benchmark in the world of sports memorabilia by fetching $7.2 million at an online auction on November 17, 2023. This sale not only marks the highest amount ever paid for an item associated with the legendary baseball player but also ranks as the third-highest price ever paid for a baseball card. Despite the staggering figure, the final sale price fell short of the over $10 million that was estimated by the auction house.

The card in question measures approximately 2.6 inches by 3.6 inches and was produced in 1914 by The Baltimore News. It features a young 19-year-old Ruth, who at the time was playing for the Baltimore Orioles in the International League. The back of the card interestingly displays the team’s home and away game schedule for that season, a season significant for Ruth’s subsequent move to the Boston Red Sox. This transition marked the beginning of Ruth’s journey to becoming one of the most iconic figures in the history of baseball.

Originally distributed by the newspaper, today, only ten of these cards are known to exist. The card sold at the auction was previously owned by Archibald Davis, a Baltimore resident who acquired the card at the age of 16. It was part of a collection of 15 cards that he later passed down to his family. Before its sale, this piece of baseball history was on display at the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore, allowing fans and historians alike a glimpse into the early days of Ruth’s storied career.

REA president Brian Dwyer remarked on the significance of the card, stating, “Simply put, The Baltimore News Babe Ruth rookie card is the most significant baseball card ever produced. This card is the genesis of Babe Ruth, a man who transcends the game of baseball. This card is not only one of the most elusive pieces of sports memorabilia, it’s one of the rarest collectibles in American history.”

The sale of this Babe Ruth rookie card not only highlights the enduring legacy of one of baseball’s greatest players but also underscores the significant cultural and historical value that such memorabilia holds for collectors and fans around the world.