1926 Spalding Champions Babe Ruth (Text Style Reverse) - PSA NM-MT 8

Sold For: $2,015

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 412

Item Year: 1926

Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

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Graded NM-MT 8 by PSA. This is the premier 1920s Babe Ruth baseball card. Outstanding ultra high-grade example of the key card from this 1920s set issued by the Spalding Sporting Goods Company. Arguably the most classic cards of the 1920s, the Spalding Champions set is beautifully and elegantly designed. In our eyes, these are the "Ramlys" of the 1920s. They are also rarer than most collectors realize. There have only been two major "finds" of pristine examples of these cards over the years. Both have been handled by Robert Edward Auctions, so we have some extra insight into this set. In 1990, we turned up a find of about 400 uncirculated cards, and in 1996, we auctioned a find of 798 uncirculated cards. The cards from both finds had been saved in a virtually perfect state. (The owner of the 798-card find had been given the cards by a storeowner as a child in 1926. He kept them undisturbed for the next seventy years. In 1996, he realized they were extremely valuable and consigned them to REA.) Whenever there is a "find," especially of a substantial quantity of high-grade cards from a rare set, there is naturally uncertainty about how many have been found. With Spalding cards, there have been two significant finds. However, these two finds combined represent a total of only about 1,200 cards from this 200-card set. Included were approximately sixty Babe Ruths, far more than suggested statistically by the quantities found. This is because Spalding printed more cards of Babe Ruth than the other subjects in the set. Aside from these two finds, only a random smattering of cards in various conditions have survived here and there, usually not in high grade. As the years have gone by, the high-grade "find" Ruths have disappeared into collections. It's not hard to see why: this is the single best Babe Ruth card from a standard set from the 1920s, a decade which was Ruth's peak as a player, but with very few quality card issues. Compared with all other Ruth cards, it is hard for us to understand how this card can list in the SMR at $1,250. Compared to other Ruth cards, this seems very reasonable. Something is overpriced or underpriced! Whatever its value, this is a great card in every respect. Bright and crisp, with four sharp corners, flawless picture quality, and perfect contrast. The text-style reverse refers to his 356 homers to date, his three homers in one game in the 1926 World Series, and his Major League record of 59 home runs, made in 1921. "Nov., 1926" Copyright. This card originates from the REA "Spalding Card Find" of 1996. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000+.
SOLD FOR $2,015

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