1916 M101-4 Herpolsheimer #151 Babe Ruth Rookie - PSA NM 7 (1:1)

Sold For: $82,250

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 16

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Graded NM 7 by PSA. "1 of 1," with no other examples at any level graded by PSA. Presented is an extraordinary high-grade example of the M101-4 #151, Babe Ruth's rookie card. This card (and set) is usually referred to as issued by The Sporting News , but the M101-4 set was actually issued with a variety of advertising backs as well as with blank backs. This particular example is an extremely rare M101-4 variety of Babe Ruth's rookie card, featuring advertising for Herpolsheimer's clothing store on the reverse ("Herpolsheimer Co. – Boy’s Fashion Shop – Grand Rapids – Mich."). This is a stunning example of Babe Ruth's rookie card, universally regarded as one of card collecting's most recognizable and highly prized baseball-card rarities. It would be hard for a piece of cardboard to better symbolize the history, the essence of American sport, than this 1916 rookie card of Babe Ruth. Ruth had only pitched in four games with Boston in 1915 but fortunately impressed the card manufacturer enough to warrant inclusion in this major issue. The distinction between the rookie status of the M101-4 and M101-5 Ruth cards, which feature the very same image and card number, has been blurred since it has been discovered that both sets were actually issued in 1916. It is our opinion that both equally qualify as Ruth's first Major League card. (Note: The 1914 Baltimore News card of Ruth featuring him as a minor leaguer, of course, predates both the M101-4/5 issues.) The rookie card of Babe Ruth is one of the most significant cards in all of card collecting. This is one of the finest examples in existence. It is an outstanding and extraordinary example in all respects. No creases. The front and back are both perfectly clean. The image is bright and crisp. The corners are sharp with only the slightest insignificant hint of wear visible under magnification. The card has been downgraded by PSA because of the approximately 30/70 L/R centering and two minor print marks related to the manufacturing process on the right border. It is otherwise in Nr/Mt-Mt condition. The reverse advertisement for Herpolsheimer Company is bold and crisp. In the entire PSA Population Report, with all M101-4 advertising backs accounted for, there are a total of only four Babe Ruth examples (including this one) that have ever graded NM 7, and only one that has graded higher (a single PSA NM-MT 8). This is a stunning ultra high-grade example of one of the most significant and highly prized of all baseball cards. Reserve $10,000. Estimate (open).

SOLD FOR $82,250

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