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Finest PSA Graded
1917 Collins-McCarthy
Babe Ruth

Spring 2014 Auction
Lot Number: 136
1917 Collins-McCarthy # 147
Babe Ruth
Blank Back
Graded by PSA as EX 5

Realized Price: $65,040

This very scarce 1917 Collins-McCarthy issue is the second-year major league card of Hall-of-Fame icon Babe Ruth. Designated as E135, this set was issued by the Collins-McCarthy Candy Co. of California and featured a total of 200 cards numbered in alphabetical order. The cards came with the following reverse formats: advertising for Collins-McCarthy, advertising for a number of other regional businesses, and blank backed (this example). Pictured as a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox, Babe Ruth is the most important and valuable card within this very scarce and desirable mid-teens set.

Regarded by many as the greatest baseball player of all time, and certainly one of the most influential, Ruth enjoyed a spectacular 22-year career. Playing his first six seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Ruth quickly became one of the American League’s best pitchers. After moving to the outfield, part-time in 1918 and full-time in 1919, Ruth spent the next 17 seasons compiling a barrage of hitting records. Foremost among them: the single season home run record of 60 round trippers - which stood until Roger Maris’ 61 home run season in 1961, an incredible 12 American League Home Run titles, the all-time record for career slugging percentage, and the all-time career mark of 714 home runs - which stood until Hank Aaron broke it 39 years later. Along the way, he was a member of ten different World Series teams. Ruth was the face of the great Yankees teams of the 1920’s and 1930’s, in what was the golden-era for baseball in America.

Tracing its roots to the collection of Midwesterner Eugene McCoid, the offered example is the absolute pinnacle of quality for the issue. Although certified as EX 5 by PSA, this copy has the eye-appeal of a higher graded card. The centering is near perfect, Ruth's image is clearly registered and boldly printed, the card has an extremely clean overall appearance, and the surface is bathed in a brilliant glossy finish. There is a small light elevated line along the left border, which most likely accounts for the conservative grade. This is one of just two examples of the blank-back variety certified by PSA (the other did not receive a numerical grade), while none have been certified by SGC!

For the last several years, cards issued during the early years of Babe Ruth's career have been among the most intensely competed for items in the entire sportscard market, and we see no end in sight to this demand. The offered card is among the very earliest issues to picture Ruth, is of the absolute highest quality, and this variety is one of just two examples (for all grades) to be certified by both PSA and SGC.

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