Babe Ruth Baseball CardsWhether you are new to the hobby or have been collecting baseball cards for decades, at some point you've probably looked up the value of classic Babe Ruth cards to see what the biggest name in sports memorabilia collecting is worth. Despite his cards not being the most valuable on the planet (that honor goes to the Honus Wagner T206), original Ruth cards have continued to appreciate and are commonly seen as a bellweather in the baseball card collecting community.
Only a handful of baseball cards depicting Babe Ruth were printed during his career. During the era he played in, baseball cards were not printed every year. In addition, Goudey did not include Babe Ruth in its 1934 set.
Famous Babe Ruth CardsBabe Ruth's rookie card was printed in 1914 by the Baltimore Sun Newspaper when The Babe was a minor league ballplayer for the Baltimore Orioles. There are only ten known Babe Ruth rookie cards in existence. It is considered the second most valuable baseball card ever. Only the Honus Wagner T206 card is considered more valuable.
The Babe Ruth cards most commonly known by casual baseball card collectors are his Goudey cards, printed in 1933 and 1935. The 1933 Goudey cards are quite popular and commonly sell for a few thousand dollars to over $20,000, depending on condition. Goudey also issued a Sport Kings card of Babe Ruth in 1933, another popular choice with collectors. His 1935 Goudey card was the only card produced during his career as a member of the Boston Braves.
The 1948 Leaf set, which was produced long after Ruth retired and the same year he passed away, produced another popular Babe Ruth card. Ruth was the lone player from his era to be featured in the set.
How Much Are Babe Ruth Baseball Cards Worth?Depending on the year, brand, and condition of the card, Babe Ruth cards can sell for anywhere from pennies to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Generally, cards from his playing days (1935 Goudey and earlier) can be found for a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars. His rookie card has commanded more than $500,000, most recently in an early 2008 auction.
Determining the value of a particular Babe Ruth card is not as simple as looking it up in a price guide. To find out more on how much your card might be worth, check out our tips on assessing the value of Babe Ruth cards.
Find Babe Ruth Cards for Sale
With only a limited number of pre-1935 Babe Ruth baseball cards available, it will take some searching to find the Ruth card you are looking for in the right condition. Obviously, our auction listings are always a great place to start. Baseball card shows can also be a place where an old Ruth card will turn up, offering you the opportunity to evaluate the condition of the card for yourself.
The nice thing about collecting baseball cards in today's era is that online sites (such as this one) can make it easy for the casual collector to find the right card at the right price. Chances are, you can find that old Goudey card for a few hundred bucks. It may not be graded a PSA 10, but it will make a beautiful display item and fantastic conversation piece.
Finally, Babe Ruth cards often make appearances at high-profile auctions - look up your nearest big-time auction house to find out whether they dabble in vintage sports cards and memorabilia. Auctions are generally where the most valuable Ruth cards are sold. If you want that 1914 Babe Ruth card you'll need to keep an eye on the auctions! If you are looking for ultra high-end sports memorabilia, your best bets are probably Heritage, SCP, Robert Edward, or Mastro.
If you have a limited budget but are interested in collecting Ruth cards, you have plenty of options. We've put together a list of five popular Babe Ruth cards that can be purchased for under $100.