The 1914 Babe Ruth Rookie Card
The first baseball card ever to feature Babe Ruth was printed by the Baltimore Sun Newspaper in 1914. The 19-year-old Ruth was photographed along with his Baltimore Orioles teammates for the set, which was printed with player pictures on the front and team schedules on the back. The set included Babe Ruth and his Orioles (then of the International League) teammates as well as the Terrapins of the Federal League. The cards were printed in both blue and white as well as red and white.
There are only 10 known original Babe Ruth rookie cards in existence today. The scarcity of this card has driven recent sales up and over the $200,000 mark. Only the 1909 T206 Honus Wagner card (valued at over $2 million) has consistently commanded higher sale prices.
Recent Sales of the Babe Ruth Rookie Card
Recent sales of the 1914 Baltimore Sun Babe Ruth baseball card can provide an excellent barometer for the value of existing Ruth rookie cards. With only ten known 1914 Ruth cards in existence, they do not come up for sale too often. Here are the last few known sales of the Babe Ruth rookie card.
- May 2009 - $150,800 - listed in poor condition by Robert Edwards Auctions, the 1914 Ruth was overshadowed by several other cards including a PSA 1 condition T206 Honus Wagner, which sold for $399,500.
- May 2008 - $517,000 - this VG condition Ruth rookie card had been passed down through generations in Baltimore before being sold at a Robert Edwards auction and commanding one of the highest sales prices ever for a baseball card. The card outshined a T206 Honus Wagner in poor condition at the same auction. The Wagner sold for $317,250.
- April 2007 - $200,000 - previously owned by a longtime casual collector, this Babe Ruth rookie card was also sold at a Robert Edwards Auction. The family nearly sold the card for $8000 to a dealer prior to putting it up for auction - a nice reminder to always assess the market for a vintage card before buying or selling.