1916 Babe Ruth card steals the show in $11M sports keepsakes auction

Babe Ruth in 1916 and the 1916 Babe Ruth card.

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In the previous week, Heritage Auctions’ Winter Sports Card Catalog sale achieved remarkable success, amassing over $11 million through the sale of a diverse array of rare memorabilia. The undisputed highlight of the event was a 1916 M101-5 Babe Ruth card, graded SGC Excellent+ 5.5, which commanded an astonishing $630,000, emerging as the top lot.

This exceptionally preserved rookie Babe Ruth card, one of only eight known examples, showcases a young Babe Ruth in his Boston Red Sox uniform, capturing a moment before he became the iconic slugger we recognize today. Heritage Auctions commended the Babe Ruth card’s “sharpest obverse image,” noting minimal corner wear and a slightly off-center picture as its only imperfections.

Babe Ruth wasn’t the sole sports legend commanding significant value though his cards are high in demand. A 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card, graded PSA Gem Mint 10 (indicating virtually perfect condition), fetched $372,000. The card features an iconic image of His Airness executing a dunk in his Chicago Bulls uniform.

Babe Ruth in Action at Yankee Stadium.

Babe Ruth card crown jewel of sports memorabilia auction

This auction once again underscores the thriving sports memorabilia market, where a single card has the potential to command millions. So, the next time you’re sorting through your attic, it might be worth examining those old trading cards closely – you never know what hidden treasures they might hold!

Here is a list of items other than the 1916 Babe Ruth card put for auction.

  • A signed 1949 Jackie Robinson Bowman card ($117,000)
  • A signed 1949 Bowman Roy Campanella rookie card ($69,000)
  • A 1953 Topps Willie Mays card graded near Mint-Mint 8 ($186,000)

However, the most coveted item for many collectors was a sealed box of 1965 Topps Baseball cards, containing 24 unopened packs. This potential treasure trove, which could include rookie cards of legends like Mickey Mantle, Pete Rose, and Hank Aaron, sold for an astounding $336,000.

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