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    Description

    Fewer than ten examples known!

    1916 Gimbels M101-4 Babe Ruth Rookie #151 SGC Good 2. How does one measure supremacy? For many years, when it came to Babe Ruth, the answer was as simple as an examination of his stat line. It's been said that records are made to be broken, but Ruth positively shattered them, dismissing the standards of incremental advancement for a paradigm shift that serves as the clearest evidence of the sport's transition from Dead Ball Era to Live. Some records have fallen, occasionally with help from medical science, but any argument that Ruth was not the most dominant athlete in sports history is doomed to burial beneath a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

    But we're talking trading cards here, and personal opinion offers no such handy metrics with which one might construct a consensus ranking. All we can do is make our case, which we believe to be as compelling as it is clear and simple.

    With affectionate deference to the T206 Wagner and the 1952 Topps Mantle, cards well-deserving of their placement at the ceiling of the trading card pantheon, we are inclined to assign the primary ranking criterion to the identity of the subject. In this regard, the argument for Ruth has already been made. Certainly the matters of happenstance that made the Wagner and Mantle cards the hobby's most famous short-prints remain a point of intrigue--and each card pictures a true baseball legend--but there can only be one King, and that has to be Ruth.

    From that point, we fall very much in line with the collecting dogma that has held sway over the trading card community for generations: All hail the rookie! There is only one universally recognized Babe Ruth rookie card, and this is it.

    However, the profoundly rare advertising back of this particular #151 rookie amplifies its appeal exponentially, a format so scarce that the full census registers in the single digits. While the "Sporting News" format could hardly be considered common, this variant issued by a long-defunct department store chain is the first of its kind we've ever offered. A 2015 article in Sports Collectors Daily tells us that these cards were produced to tempt children to visit the "Boy's Clothing Section" of Gimbels, where twenty cards were issued for ten consecutive weeks to complete the set.

    The card is marvelously centered, with points lost primarily to the rounded corners and horizontal creasing that transverses Ruth's torso. This creasing is not apparent on the boldly printed verso. Certainly any condition quibbles must be tempered in light of the card's outrageous rarity. This is very likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at ownership.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2021
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 29
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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