Obscure Card of the Month: Babe Ruth 1942 Editorial Bruguera

The Obscure Card of the Month is an international Babe Ruth card

Many times, the Obscure Card of the Month is a card I recently have acquired. That’s the case this month with a rare Babe Ruth card produced outside of the United States.

This month’s card is from the 1942 Editorial Bruguera set. This was a small collection of paper-thin cards featuring athletes from around the world.

While the set is generally graded as a 1942 issue, some believe it could have been produced later and merely cite it as a 1940s set. The set features American fighters Joe Louis and Max Baer. But the biggest card in the set, by a wide margin, is that of the legendary Babe Ruth.

I wasn’t necessarily looking for the Ruth card in this set. It’s from the 1940s so a little later than most of the stuff I collect. And it’s also a post-career card of Ruth, so it didn’t hold massive appeal for me. But I’d always been intrigued by it and when I found a graded one at a good price, I immediately grabbed it.

Ruth wasn’t always depicted great in international issues, and it’s a bit of a mixed bag on this card. The large portrait of him on this card clearly looks like him. However, he’s also pictured as a very thin batter taking a swing at a card and almost looks sickly. The ugly striped uniform he is wearing is similar in appearance to his hideous card in the 1933 Eclipse set. Backs of these cards are blank.

Appearance aside, the card is a fairly rare one. While many of Ruth’s other international cards are not terribly rare, this is certainly one of the tougher ones to be found.

Coming from Barcelona, I have noticed more of these making their way to the U.S. in recent years, similar to the 1932 Sanella Ruth cards that were, at one time, hardly ever seen here. Still, it is not nearly as common as those cards. To date, PSA has graded more than 350 of the Ruth Sanella cards. They’ve only graded 20 of the Editorial Brugueras.

In addition, like many international issues, these cards were intended to be placed inside of a commemorative album that was also distributed by Editorial Bruguera. Because of that, the cards are paper thin and extremely delicate. They are hardly ever seen in high-grade condition. Only one PSA 7 example exists and none have been graded higher than that.

In terms of price, the card is somewhat affordable given it a pre-1948 Ruth issue. Low-grade examples in decent shape typically start in the $500-$1,000 range.

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