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Rare Babe Ruth rookie baseball card up for auction could break $12.5M world record

Baseball enthusiasts, sports memorabilia collectors, and fans of America’s pastime are gearing up as the world’s most expensive baseball card, according to Robert Edward Auctions of Chester, New Jersey, is going up for auction on Nov. 17, 2023.

The unveiling events are set for Nov. 15, 2023, in Baltimore, Maryland, and in New York City at a private location on Nov. 29, 2023.

The 1914 Babe Ruth rookie baseball card is said to be one of the rarest cards in the world.

It’s expected to sell for $10M at the minimum — and could even break the world record that’s pegged at $12.5 million, according to Brian Dwyer, president of Robert Edward Auctions.

The auction will run from Nov. 17 until Dec. 3, 2023.

The card will be on display at the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore on November 15.

“We will also hold a private reception for interested bidders in New York City on November 29,” Dwyer said.

Said Dwyer, “The 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth is the most important card ever made, as it represents the origin of Babe Ruth in the game of baseball and in the trading card hobby.”

Pictured on the card is a 19-year-old Babe Ruth of his hometown Baltimore Orioles of the International League.

The 2 5/8″ x 3 5/8″ card features Ruth as a member of Baltimore’s minor league club and was part of a set of cards that featured player images on the front and a team schedule on the back.

By the end of the year, Ruth would be on the Red Sox — and the team would cease to exist by the following season, adding to the storied history of this card, Dwyer told FOX Business.

“This is one of only 10 examples in existence and is the first publicly available example in more than a decade,” he said.

“When this set was released by the Baltimore News in 1914, the newspaper released the cards in red and blue versions,” said Dwyer.

“This is one of only 10 examples in existence and is the first publicly available example in more than a decade,” he said.

“This one, which is red, is graded VG (‘Very Good’) 3 by SGC. Only one example is graded higher (a PSA 4). This is also the finest condition example to appear at auction in more than 15 years.”

He added, “We believe that this card will sell for upward of $10 million or more.”

Robert Edward Auctions has had a longstanding relationship with the consignor, and the individual ultimately chose to sell the card in its fall auction because of the strong pedigree the company has in vintage sports collectibles, said Dwyer.

He specifically referred to “our record-setting sale of the famous T206 Honus Wagner card for $6.6 million in 2021, as well as the 1921 game-used Babe Ruth bat that sold in our last auction for $1.3 million,” said Dwyer about the consignor.

There is significant pent-up demand from established sports card collectors for this card, according to Dwyer.

“And we believe that its rarity and significance will attract the attention of a new wave of buyers since examples come to market so infrequently,” he said.

“When you compare it to some of the other legendary and record-setting cards such as the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle and the 1909 T206 Honus Wagner, they pale in comparison on a rarity scale next to the Ruth.”

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