1932 R328 U.S. Caramel Babe Ruth Signed Baseball Card
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $48,000
Although Babe Ruth's signature is by no means rare (he probably signed more items than any player in history), that does not imply that anything he signed is common. A perfect example is this extraordinary piece: a 1932 R328 U.S. Caramel Babe Ruth (card #32) signed by Ruth across the front. This is the only Babe Ruth signed 1932 U.S. Caramel card we have ever seen. Ruth has inscribed the card in black fountain pen across his image, "Sincerely/Babe Ruth," with both the salutation and signature grading "9." The combination of Ruth's signature and this particular card makes it not only one of the most elusive Ruth-signed items in the hobby, but one of the most prized and ideal-for-display as well. Our consignor purchased this card at auction in 1999 at a cost of $6,435. Interestingly, according to our consignor, he recalls speaking with James Spence about the card after the auction and learning that Spence himself was one of the underbidders! This is one of Ruth's rarest 1930s cards and one of the key cards to the U.S. Caramel set. The 1932 multisport set produced by U.S. Caramel is considerably rarer than Goudeys and most other 1930s sets, and has long been recognized as among the most desirable issues of the era. As the last card in the set, the R328 Ruth tended to gravitate to the bottom of the stack, exposing it to much more wear than other cards. This example is no exception. The card displays heavy wear, including a number of moderate creases, edge and corner wear, and slight abrasions. The back displays adhesive residue, as well as a number of vintage ink notations: "(Hall of Fame)," "1933," and "Retired 1936." It should be noted that when the card was originally sold in 1999 it had paper residue on the reverse from having once been mounted in an album. Our consignor was able to carefully remove the paper residue so that the entire back is now visible. Technically in Poor to Fair condition, but the colors remain bright and the signature contrasts beautifully against the white background of Ruth's uniform. This is an exceptional Ruth signed item and one that might be unique given the rarity of the card itself. Full LOA from James Spence/JSA.
Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $48,000