1931 W517 #20 Babe Ruth SGC EX/NM 80

Sold For: $1,440

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 795

Item Year: 1931

Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

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Graded EX/NM 80 by SGC. The 1931 W517 set features two cards of Babe Ruth and presented in this lot is card #20, which pictures Babe Ruth in a striking portrait pose. Ruth is the only player in the fifty-four card set to be honored with two cards. This is one of Ruth’s most unusual cards. The W517 set is much appreciated by collectors for being so different in dimension and design from most other cards featuring Ruth's likeness. It is also from an unusual era, as W517 is one of the very few card sets issued after the popular strip cards of the 1920s but just before the bubble-gum cards of the early 1930s. The popular W517 large-style strip card (3 x 4 inches) issue was originally sold in vertical strips of three, which were intended to be hand-cut by youngsters. Because of their method of issue, cards from this set are often found in somewhat rough condition (miscut, creases, back damage, etc.). This example is far nicer than usually found for this condition-sensitive issue. It is bright and clean, with a crisp image, strong corners, and is extremely well centered. The blank back is perfectly clean. This is an extremely attractive high-grade example of this distinctive and classic Ruth card in a very desirable condition. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+.

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