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    Description

    From the John Esch Collection.

    1933 Butter Cream Babe Ruth SGC Authentic - A Card 50 Years In The Making, The Butter Cream Confectionery Corporation of Union City, New Jersey stood just across the Hudson River from the island of Manhattan, less than a mile from the spot where Aaron Burr ended Alexander Hamilton's life in their 1804 duel. Long since lost to the never-ending rush of progress, the candy company is remembered today only by the tiniest supply of trading cards issued in 1933, a season that would see the New York Giants make their triumphant return to World Championship glory after ceding Big Apple baseball supremacy to Babe Ruth and his New York Yankees a decade earlier.

    But if the Giants had captured the golden ring, the Babe still maintained the firmest grasp upon the hearts of New Yorkers, and the nation at large. Why then was the most famous man in baseball history apparently absent from the roster of subjects selected by The Butter Cream Confectionery Corporation for its twenty-nine-card promotion? It was a question that haunted trading card experts for years.

    But the answer would finally arrive in 1989 when the very first example of a Butter Cream Ruth surfaced to bring an end to the mystery and elevate the set's subject count to the round number of thirty. While the reason for the card's relative rarity to the other subjects still remains a point of debate, the discovery of that first specimen over thirty years ago would begin a high-stakes arms race among top collectors of Ruth cardboard for the ultimate Bambino rarity. Just ten examples appear in the combined populations of SGC and PSA today.

    While a (presumably) small initial print run and the passage of nearly a century since the production unquestionably play leading roles in the rarity of the R306 today, this issue offers its own unique population-thinning factor. At the time of issue, the cards were viewed more as contest entry forms than collectible keepsakes, challenging its sweet-tooth clientele to predict the batting average of the pictured player on October 1st. Presumably there was some prize for the most accurate prediction, but the card back makes no mention of what that may have been. We should also note that several cards have surfaced with a September 1st guessing date, with that variation lacking any mention of the Butter Cream company whatsoever.

    So it can be safely surmised that a sizable portion of the original population of this issue was utilized in its intended manner, returned to the candy factory for the contest and ultimately destroyed. Today fewer than 600 examples from the entirety of the issue are housed in a major service's slab. Other noteworthy subjects include Frank Frisch, Gabby Hartnett, Hack Wilson and both Waner brothers.

    But, of course, the Babe will always reign supreme, and this is just the second example that has found its way to the Heritage auction block. The first, a dazzling PSA EX 5 specimen sold in July 2019, drew a winning bid of $192,000. As a closing note, we should mention that the actual photograph that was used to produce this card--not just the same image, but the one hand-edited by the Butter Cream production team, appears within this auction, as does a full set of cards, listed individually.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2021
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 57
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