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Lot # 10 (of 1512)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Extremely Rare 1921 Frederick Foto Babe Ruth - One of Only Five Known!

Starting Bid - $25,000, Sold For - $42,000

Graded GOOD 30 by SGC. One of the most important, and because of its extreme rarity, also one of the most overlooked, Ruth cards in all of card collecting. This card of Babe Ruth is significant not just as the key card of the rare 1921 Frederick Fotos set, but also as one of the earliest cards to feature Babe Ruth identified as a member of the New York Yankees. In fact, this card was issued so soon after Ruth joined the Yankees that he is clearly pictured wearing a uniform with "Red Sox" across the front, though the card design identifies him as "Babe Ruth N. Y." In addition, the photo is unique to this card, and appears in no other set. In fact, we can't find this youthful image anywhere except on this card. The Frederick Foto of Babe Ruth is an incredible rarity, and to the best of our knowledge this is one of only five known examples of this fascinating and significant Babe Ruth card. The small "tobacco-size" card, measuring approximately 1-3/16 x 2-5/8 inches, features an exceptional high-quality real photo of Ruth. Issued by the Sacramento-based Frederick Foto photography studio, this rare set is comprised of players from both the Pacific Coast and Major leagues. The extreme rarity of this card is obviously a result of its regional distribution. It is unknown exactly how these cards were distributed. Ruth's 1921 season was one for the record books, as he took the baseball world by storm with his prodigious batting feats. In addition to setting new single-season records for home runs (59) and RBI (177), Ruth also lead the league in runs (177) and slugging percentage (.512) in powering the Yankees to their first pennant in franchise history. The card has a very tiny crease in the upper left, evenly rounded corners, and is slightly miscut along the left side (a portion of another card from the set is visible along the right side). The blank back is clean with very minor soiling. There has been a tremendous surge in the value of early Ruth collectibles in recent years, and the value of the Frederick Foto has risen as collectors appreciate its incredible scarcity and its early depiction of Ruth in a Red Sox uniform. REA has handled just a few of the known Frederick Foto examples, including the extremely impressive sale of a newly discovered example in 2013, which appeared as lot #392 in the spring auction, realizing $44,437.50. This is an outstanding, fascinating, and very rarely seen example of one of Ruth's most interesting and distinctive early cards. Reserve $25,000. Estimate (open).

SOLD FOR $42,000

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