1917 H801-8 Boston Store #147 Babe Ruth

Sold For: $32,313

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 461

Item Year: 1917

Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

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Graded VG 3 by PSA. Presented is an extremely attractive H801-8 Boston Store card of Babe Ruth, one of Ruth's most significant, rarest, and in our opinion, most overlooked cards. By any measure, in our opinion, this is one of the best of all Babe Ruth cards. It is also one of the very few dating from the beginning of Ruth's legendary career. We haven't had an example of this important card to offer in years. 1917 Boston Store cards (and the closely related Collins-McCarthy candy cards, which are identical but with a different advertising reverse) are one of the few major card issues dating from the mid-teens. They are somewhat similar in design to the smaller and far more frequently seen M101-4/5 Sporting News cards, which are from the same general era, and also have 200 cards in the set. The similarities between Boston Stores and the far more common M101-4/5 issues (both sets are black-and-white and have 200 cards) have probably played a role in the Boston Store set having a lower profile in the collecting world, being somehow overshadowed by the popular and more frequently seen M101-4/5 issues. H801-8 Boston Store (and E135 Collins-McCarthy cards), however, are considerably rarer. Boston Stores were never issued as complete sets to the public. They are usually encountered only in small groups and usually in low grade. In addition, they were produced on a slightly thinner stock (compared to M101-4/5) that is far more susceptible to wear, and with a very glossy surface, which is very prone to creasing. This is a magnificent example of Babe Ruth with tremendous eye-appeal. The card is very well centered, with outstanding image quality, even wear on the corners, a light diagonal crease near the lower left corner, and some minor toning on the reverse. This is a sharp-looking card, which in the old days of collecting would be considered in Vg-Ex condition. The image on this card is an early pitching pose of Ruth. It is interesting to note the image on this card is the very same used on Ruth's 1921 E121 American Caramel candy card. Few cards of Ruth date from the earliest days of his Hall of Fame career. The set was issued in 1917 (often miscatalogued as issued 1916, is the case on the PSA label here), making this one of the earliest of all Babe Ruth cards and one of the very few dating from his days with the Boston Red Sox. This is an exceptional example of one of Babe Ruth's most elusive and premier cards, and an extreme rarity and would be a highlight in any world-class Babe Ruth or vintage-card collection. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000++.

SOLD FOR $32,313

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