1923 Lections Babe Ruth - Highest Graded!

Sold For: $5,288

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 499

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Addendum: The following information provided by Jon Canfield can be “taken to the bank” and finally explains with certainty exactly how the Lections card set was really issued! “I note in the auction that the general belief is that the cards were issued as a candy premium. I can actually confirm that is not the case. I purchased an original near set of Lections from an original owner. The man I purchased the cards from recalled the story to me of his acquiring them as a boy. In the early 1920's, he attended a fair with his father. The fair was in Albany, NY. His father visited many of the "politician podiums" where local officials running for office would give speeches and shake hands with the crowd. The adults who watched these mini rally's were given Election cards showing the candidate (I have these too and can scan them for you later). [Note: For reference, a scan has been posted online]. The children who accompanied the parents to the fair where instead given a "Lection" card by the candidates depicting a baseball player.” Thanks to Jon Canfield for taking the time to share this valuable information with us. It is greatly appreciated! Graded VG 3 (MK) by PSA. This is an extraordinary Ruth card! It is by far the highest-graded example ever of Lections Babe Ruth by PSA (the PSA population report lists four other examples of Ruth: three are PR 1s and one is Authentic) or SGC (the SGC population report list six examples of Ruth, all graded POOR 10). The condition of this extremely rare Lections card of Hall of Famer Babe Ruth is all the more impressive when one actually looks at the card, as it is very conservatively graded! This is the first example we have ever offered of one of Babe Ruth's rarest and most visually interesting cards. This series of cards is so rare it was actually unknown in the hobby until 1997, when a small group of approximately 30 cards was discovered in Albany, New York. The cards measure 4 x 2.5 inches, and are printed on thick cardboard stock with rounded corners. (Note: This is the only example we have seen with one corner not rounded; no doubt related to the manufacturing process and the placement of this card on the sheet when produced). The front pictures an oval black-and-white player portrait with artwork of a baseball game in progress, and the Lections company logo. It is interesting to note that the head-shot of Ruth used for the image of this card was cropped from a larger photo taken at Yankee Stadium of Ruth shaking hands with President Warren Harding on April 24, 1923. It is still unknown exactly how these cards were issued, but it is generally believed they were a candy premium. This is an exceptionally rare Babe Ruth card from the early 1920s, an era in which few card sets were issued. The card has evidence of two extremely light vertical paper-clip marks on the top border (these are very hard to see, and are only slightly more noticeable on the back), and a couple minor inks marks on the blank reverse, and is otherwise in Excellent condition. The finest example known of this extremely rare Ruth card and the key card from the unusual and highly regarded 1923 Lections set. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+.

SOLD FOR $5,288

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