Babe Ruth’s Personal 1933 Goudey Cards Fetch Big Money at Auction
Goudey cards owned by Babe Ruth were part of Hunt’s recent auction
1933 Goudey Babe Ruth cards aren’t cheap but they aren’t typically too difficult to find, either. At any given time, eBay will usually have dozens of them available. But ones actually owned by the Bambino himself are certainly in a class of their own.
Hunt Auctions recently held an auction full of Ruth-owned items. Most of the items were memorabilia but included in the lot were two 1933 Goudey cards.
I was somewhat curious to see what these would sell for. Market prices on ‘regular’ Ruth cards are pretty well known but what would a card that Ruth once owned himself sell for?
Well, we’ve got some answers.
A low-grade Ruth No. 149 card graded only Authentic by PSA sold for a whopping $4,200 ($3,500 plus 20% buyer premium). To give you an idea of how large that amount is, the card in that condition would not be a slam dunk to sell for even $1,000.
A better conditioned PSA Authentic version of Ruth’s double printed No. 144 card from the set did even better. That card sold for $7,200. Again, without Ruth owning the card, we’re talking about a card worth about a grand or maybe a little more.
The big values make sense to some degree. And collectors do pay more for cards owned by even non-athletes. For example, cards once owned by noted collector Jefferson Burdick sell for more. But obviously collectors wouldn’t pay that kind of a multiplier on a Burdick-owned Ruth.
Part of the value here was no doubt because of the provenance of the items. The cards came from Ruth’s own family so there’s little chance that they were not as advertised. In this day and age of numerous fakes, collectors will pay a premium for good provenance.
This is a good example of the lengths collectors will go to in order to own something once owned by Ruth.