Few Baseball Cards Document Ruth’s Sole Boston Braves Season
Few cards or memorabilia items depict Babe Ruth’s final major league season with the Boston Braves
Babe Ruth spent the majority of his career with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. What fewer collectors can tell you about is his final season as a major leaguer with the Boston Braves.
There’s good reason for that since it was mostly one to forget. Ruth was sufficient in 1934, batting .288 while still slugging 22 home runs to push him past the 700 career mark. But 1935 was a different season entirely.
Ruth joined the Braves in 1935 and it was clear his skills had diminished greatly. He did provide a heck of a moment with his final three home runs all coming in a single game at Forbes Field against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ruth managed six home runs in only 28 games but was hitting a paltry .181, the worst figure of his career, when he retired midseason.
Because of Ruth’s limited amount of time with the team, he did not appear depicted as a Boston Brave very much in collectibles. He’s found with the Braves on some post-career cards, of course. But in terms of pre-war cards during his career, there’s not many times where he was pictured as a member of the Boston Braves.
Ruth’s most famous Braves card is his 1935 Goudey card, shown above. This is one I’ve suggested could be due for a spike in value at some point because of its overall rarity compared to earlier Goudey cards.
The card, like many others in this set, used a previous Goudey image of Ruth. The portrait shot on the card is from one of the four Ruth cards in their 1933 set. The only thing different, of course, is the team designation of Braves on this card as a member of his new team.
Another famous card of Ruth from that season is also a 4-in-1 deal as he appeared in the 1935 Exhibit card set with three other players. As was the case on his Goudey card, Ruth is shown with other Boston Braves players on that card, too. Ed Brandt is the only player that is pictured with Ruth on both the Exhibit and the Goudey card.
Ruth also appeared on a 1935 pin for Quaker Oats. He was a spokesperson of sorts of the company and appeared on all sorts of Quaker Oats stuff. The pin he’s featured on actually pictures him in a Boston Braves hat, easily identifying the year of that pin as 1935 since that was his only season with the team. Similarly, Ruth also appeared on a Quaker Oats scorer’s button that year, also with the Braves hat. Finally, Ruth also appears on a miniature medal from Qauker Oats, also with the Braves hat.
Ruth is also found on some other 1935 issues, including the Schutter-Johnson set. But on that card (shown right), he is only named and his team affiliation is not stated.
Is this card truly a Ruth Braves card?
Technically, I’d say so since it was distributed when he was a member of the Braves. And since the depiction of him doesn’t clearly show him in a Yankees uniform, it’s generally a Braves card, I suppose. The same goes for the card depicting Ruth’s grip of a baseball bat found in the same set.
One of the really oddball Ruth cards from 1935 is found in the Whitman Party Stunts game. That card, however, would be considered less a true Ruth card since it pictures a cartoon batter where participants then had to mimic the iconic slugger.
Is that a Boston Braves card? Not really. Ruth is named on the card but it’s hard to make the case that it’s a Braves card or even a real depiction of Ruth, for that matter. Another non-Braves Ruth card from the 1935? That would be the foreign Muratti card, which as mentioned before, does not even picture Ruth at all.
Ruth does appear on some 1935 cards but it’d be great to have a few more of him donning the Braves uniform.