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Lot # 401 (of 1512)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1922 E121 American Caramel (Series of 120) "Babe" Ruth - Holding Bird (Bird Mystery Solved!)

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,920

Graded VG 40 by SGC (submitted by REA). Presented is an attractive mid-grade E121 American Caramel card of Babe Ruth, one of several different cards of Ruth in the set, and certainly the most distinct and memorable. This card features one of the most unusual photographs of the Babe to ever appear on a card. He is pictured holding a bird, with an unidentified gentleman sharing the spotlight with him on the field to his right. For years collectors have wondered exactly what was going on in this photo, but the answer seemed forever lost to time. Until now! The mystery was recently solved courtesy of RMY Auctions, specialists in historic vintage photography. Its recent discovery and offering of an original news photograph of this very image with caption attached provides the answer! In this photograph Ruth was releasing a carrier pigeon to relay the score of the Cleveland vs. New York game on September 26,1921! The gentleman at his side is Charles Farbizo, a carrier-pigeon enthusiast, who, during this game, sent the score of the game to fans on New York's East Side every inning (as a test for use during the upcoming World Series). In the photo, Ruth's eyes are firmly fixed on the bird, which is what we would be doing if we were holding a bird, while the gentleman's gaze is toward the camera. The box at Ruth's feet is very likely the bird's carrying case. This is a fascinating card with a unique story. Clean front and back, with near-perfect centering and light wear at the corners (slightly more in the top and bottom left corners). The black text on the reverse is crisp, bold, and essentially flawless. This card is one of the highlights of an original-owner collection of 126 American Caramel cards consigned to this auction. (We have separated out two of the four highlight Ruth cards to be offered individually, with the balance offered as a collection.) This is a very presentable example of one of Babe Ruth's most interesting and unusual cards. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,920

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