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Lot # 4 (of 1525)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1916 H801-9 Globe Clothing Store/M101-4 Sporting News Babe Ruth Rookie Card PSA EX-MT 6

Starting Bid - $5,000.00, Sold For - $23,200.00

Graded EX-MT 6 by PSA. Presented is a stunning high-grade example of one of collecting's most important cards. The image presented by this card, which features an extremely trim Babe Ruth as a pitcher for the Red Sox years before he became the game's greatest slugger, is instantly recognizable as one of card collecting's most famous. The M101-4 Sporting News of Babe Ruth has traditionally not been considered to be Ruth's rookie card but, rather, his second card issued as a major leaguer. We believe that far too great a distinction has been made in years past, based on erroneous dating information, between whether the M101-5 or the M101-4 of Ruth is his major league rookie card. Previously it was believed that M101-5 was issued in 1915, and M101-4 was issued in 1916. Recent research regarding the exact date of issue of the M101-4 and M101-5 sets confirms with certainty that both sets were actually issued in 1916. For decades, collectors have been mistaken about the nature of and the year of issue of M101-5. Though the precise day and month of each printing is unknown, this recent research strongly suggests that the M101-4 set was printed within weeks of the M101-5 set, and that both "sets" are really just different printings of the very same issue, with card number changes, a few player changes, and updated information on some cards reflecting the new teams of players that were traded early in 1916 (and which in part allow the new and more accurate dating of these issues). Whatever is the exact date of release of each printing, the fact that both date from 1916, depending on one's definition of "rookie card," in our opinion gives greater merit to defining both the M101-4 and M101-5 Babe Ruth cards as Ruth rookie cards, rather than making any distinction between the two. Both the M101-5 and M101-4 printings were issued with blank backs and with a variety of printed advertisements on the reverse. Blank-backed M101-4 Babe Ruth cards have always been accepted as being M101-5 Ruth rookies, because they are indistinguishable from blank-backed M101-5s, just as is this example from the front. Though M101-4s are listed in the American Card Catalog as being issued with various backs, Jefferson Burdick also elected to assign the Globe Clothier store backs their own catalog number (H801-9). The card grades a very solid Excellent to Mint, bordering on Near Mint condition. It is bright, crisp, and perfectly clean front and back, with strong, square corners which exhibit just the slightest hint of wear under magnification. M101-4 and M101-5 Babe Ruth cards are usually plagued with two printing problems: very poor centering and a serious horizontal print line at the right center of the card. Searching auction catalogs will provide example after example of these two flaws on this card, both of which are related to the printing process. The offered example is exceptional in that it has far better centering than typically found. So many M101-4 Ruths are centered 80/20 left to right. The centering on this example is superb: slightly to the left, but far less so than normally found. The card has also entirely escaped the print line which is practically standard for the card. This is, very simply, an amazing example in all respects of one of the most highly prized of all Babe Ruth baseball cards. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000/$15,000. SOLD FOR $23,200.00

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