July 2019 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/12/2019
Of the millions of different baseball cards that have been produced in the 150+ years of the game's history, the number of issues that truly stand out as standard-bearers of the industry is very small. Most collectors would place the T206 Wagner and 1952 Topps Mantle at the top of the list, and rightly so, but right there among the very best of the best comes history's greatest rookie card; the 1916 Babe Ruth. In addition to being the most explosive offensive juggernaut in the history of the sport, the irony isn't lost that Ruth began his career as a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox and became the greatest American personality of the century, but not as a pitcher and not in Boston. But the term "Babe Ruth rookie card" becomes a little more complicated considering that, like the T206 series, the card features different ad backs of widely varying rarity. When creator Felix Mendelsohn produced his baseball card series, he sold the rights to several different advertisers, most notably Sporting News, but also Famous and Barr, Herpolsheimer, The Globe and Gimbels among several others. And then there was Standard Biscuit, a regional baking company from San Francisco that packaged the cards with their bread products. Unlike the Sporting News or a clothing store, companies that can offer their version of the card for as long as their supply held out, the Standard Biscuit backed cards were packed with bread, a product that is saleable for only a day or two. When the bread went unsold, it was tossed out, along with the cards. Moreover, had the company been based on the east coast instead of San Francisco, the company's patrons would more likely have been major league baseball fans and as such, less inclined to throw them away. If you're buying The Sporting News in New York, Boston or Philadelphia, or buying clothing in Chicago, you'd likely be more of a fan of the game and keep the cards. But in San Francisco, with no direct connection to a team, the cards were more likely to be discarded, further depleting the number of existing specimens. As a result, the M101-4/5 style cards with a Standard Biscuit back are so rare that they have their own designation in the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards as D350-1. To illustrate the point, consider that PSA has graded about 20 M101-4 Sporting News Ruth cards, over 30 M101-5 blank backs and just two Babe Ruth rookie cards with the Standard Biscuit back. Two! The card itself is impressive given the technically accurate grade. Although centered lightly to the right with rounding to the corners, a crease across the top of the card and some areas of paper loss on the reverse, both the central image on the front and the Standard Biscuit ad back on the reverse are well-delivered. Again, we can't stress enough how important the Babe Ruth rookie card is to the baseball card world, and this D350-1 Standard Biscuit example is the rarest of the rare, far more scarce than the M101-4/5 series, which itself exists in numbers much shorter than the iconic T206 Honus Wagner. If you want a true museum piece, a cornerstone that challenges any other world-class collection, this gem does the trick!
Spectacular 1916 D350-1 Standard Biscuit #151 Babe Ruth PSA 2 GOOD
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $35,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $122,883.60
Number Bids: 18
Auction closed on Friday, July 12, 2019.
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