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Lot # 422 (of 1512)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1917-1920 M101-6 Felix Mendelsohn (Sporting News): Babe Ruth - First Card with the New York Yankees!

Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $24,000

Graded VG 40 by SGC. This is the ONLY example graded at this level with just two higher out of only seven cards evaluated by SGC to date! The M101-6 set was produced by Chicago publisher Felix Mendelsohn and offered in the pages of the Sporting News over a period of several years (approximately 1917-1920). This card of Babe Ruth is extremely significant not just as the key card of this rare set, but also as the very first card ever to feature Babe Ruth as a member of the New York Yankees. Earlier issued versions of this card identify Ruth as a member of the Red Sox. When Ruth was sold to the Yankees, just before production of this set ceased, the team listed on Ruth's card was changed from Boston to the Yankees to reflect his new team affiliation. Close examination of the photograph, which remains unchanged in both versions, reveals that Ruth is in fact wearing a Red Sox uniform on this card. This photograph of Ruth is also the very same image which was used on Ruth's smaller Sporting News (M101-4/5) card. Because he had just become a Yankee, there apparently was no time to get a picture of him in pinstripes. It is possible this card was issued just after Ruth's sale to the Yankees and prior to the start of the 1920 season. In the winter of 1919, in a deal which remains the most famous transaction in sports history, Ruth was sold by Boston owner Harry Frazee to the Yankees for $100,000 and a $300,000 loan. The card (4-3/8 x 6-1/2 inches) has two small creases, one in the lower left corner and one along the right border, which are responsible for the modest assigned grade. It is otherwise in Excellent condition. There has been a tremendous surge in the value of early Ruth collectibles in recent years, especially in cards such as the Sporting News M101-4/5, and the offered M101-6 presents a superb opportunity to acquire a card featuring the same image with the significance of presenting Ruth as a Yankee for the very first time. The M101-6 Babe Ruth is considerably rarer than the M101-4/5 Babe Ruth (which has risen dramatically in value over the past several years), perhaps by a factor of ten. Thus, there are far fewer auction price results for the M101-6 Ruth to reference. The last two M101-6 Babe Ruth auction sales were the sale of an PSA EX+ 5.5 example in 2012, which sold for $44,265, and an SGC POOR 10 example, which was offered in 2013 and sold for $16,559. This is an outstanding, fascinating, and very rarely seen example of one of the most significant of all Babe Ruth cards, and one that would be an extremely important highlight in even the most advanced collection. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $24,000


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