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Rare Babe Ruth rookie card on the rise at Goldin Co.

Of all the sports legends that have appeared on cardboard, none carry the clout of Babe Ruth. Goldin Co. has a rare Ruth rookie card in its latest auction.

Rookie cards of such legends as Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Mike Trout have soared in value in recent years, while vintage cards of such immortals as Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays have consistently set records.

But according to market expert Ken Goldin, none can match the value and mystique of the ultimate sports legend — Babe Ruth.

Goldin Co. has a 1916 M101-4 Sporting News #151 Babe Ruth rookie card in its Jackie Robinson 75th Anniversary Auction that runs through May 2. The card, graded PSA 6, is one of only four that exists in that grade, with only two graded higher.

1916 M101-4 Sporting News #151 Babe Ruth rookie card up for bid at Goldin Co.

1916 M101-4 Sporting News Babe Ruth rookie card. 

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“Let’s face it, this is Babe Ruth. This is the one and only Babe Ruth rookie card,” says Goldin, the founder and executive chairman of Goldin. “You look at the Aaron rookies, you look at the Mantle rookies, you look at the LeBron rookies, you look at a [Wayne] Gretzky rookie, this is the man. This is the card, this is the card that I would personally buy.”

The card has a current bid of $610,000. The record for the public sale of a Ruth rookie card is $2.46 million for a PSA 7 sold by Memory Lane Inc. last November (a PSA 7 reportedly sold for $3 million in a private sale). Memory Lane sold a PSA 6 for a record $1.45 million in the Thomas Newman Collection last summer.

According to PSA’s card report, there are only 14 examples of the 1916 Sporting News blank-back card, which shows a young, slender Ruth pitching for the Boston Red Sox. The Goldin card is one of only four graded PSA 6 examples.

“You want the ultimate vintage card of the ultimate player in any sport in the highest possibly attainable grade, because the other two are off the market, this is the card to own,” Goldin said. “I look down the road and I would not be shocked to see one day this is a $5 million or $10 million card. This is the card to own.”

Goldin’s latest auction features several high-end modern and vintage cards and pieces of memorabilia, including a 1951 game-worn Jackie Robinson jersey with a current bid of $2.6 million. A bat Robinson used in the 1949 MLB All-Star Game has a current bid of $290,000. 

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