Babe Ruth has long been considered the greatest player and one of the most significant figures in baseball history. Now one of his most rare baseball cards is living up to Ruth's iconic reputation.
Collectable, the industry's leading sports memorabilia investment platform, has acquired an extremely rare Babe Ruth card for more than $6 million, making it the most expensive sports trading card ever.
Collectable is offering shares in the 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth pre-rookie card. The card, which was acquired by an unnamed purchaser for a record price, will be displayed at the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore and offered by Collectable for $3 per share at a valuation just north of $6 million.
The 1914 Baltimore News card is considered one of the ultimate assets in the sports collectibles industry. With fewer than 10 in existence, it is the first transaction involving the card since 2013. According to Collectable, the purchase broke the previous $5.2 million record that was set by a 1952 Mickey Mantle card earlier this year and a 2003-04 LeBron James rookie card, making it the most expensive purchase in sports card history.
“Today’s announcement represents not only a record price for a sports card, but also a historic and seismic moment for the sports collectibles industry,” said Ezra Levine, CEO of Collectable. “For the first time in history, via Collectable, collectors and sports fans of ALL income brackets will be able to co-own this record setting asset.
“We continue to see tremendous excitement for rare and exciting pieces of sports history, and we’re thrilled that today’s announcement showcases the power of fractional ownership to democratize and modernize our special industry.”
Graded an SGC 3, the card is the rarest and most valuable Babe Ruth card in existence, and is considered his true Minor League rookie card. This is the second-highest graded example; with one being graded a 4.
Ruth’s Major League rookie cards were printed in 1916. Though coveted and valuable, his cards from 1916 and later are far more available than the 1914 Minor League version. There are approximately 60 T206 Honus Wagner cards from 1909-11 in circulation, including three that have been sold and purchased publicly this year. By comparison, there have been no sales of the Babe Ruth Baltimore News card since 2013.
The card has been showcased for 23 years at the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore, where it will remain in a newly created special exhibit showcase for shareholders to be able to visit their asset in person.
“The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum celebrates and preserves the legacy of baseball’s greatest star, George Herman ‘Babe’ Ruth,” said Shawn Herne, executive director of the Babe Ruth Museum. “This incredibly generous offer to exhibit Ruth’s 1914 Orioles’ rookie card enables the museum to offer visitors the unique opportunity to experience — up close and personal — the Mona Lisa of baseball cards, and to further appreciate Ruth’s continuing impact on the game, and on our society, as an American cultural icon.”
As part of its partnership with the private owner, Collectable, the only fractional ownership app decided to sports memorabilia, will issue a limited number of shares to the public. The owner may release more shares to the public at a later date.
The card was originally owned by Baltimore News paperboy Archibald Arnold Davis and passed down through his family over the years. Sports Collectors Daily has more on the history and back story of the card.