This example of the ever elusive Yellow Background 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth card was once the treasure of a baseball fan long, long ago. A fan who sought out the game’s greatest player and asked for a simple signature. Of course, Babe Ruth’s signature was anything but simple. Ruth was the first player to have his own publicist and understood the power of the personal brand before the term had even been publicly presented. To “The Big Bam”, as his teammates often called him, an autograph was actually a logo. Replicated again and again with precision and consistency, Ruth’s signatures were more than words on a ball or a piece of paper, they represented a tiny piece of himself he was sharing with a single individual. And he took great pride in signing everything everyone presented to him.
The canvas for this work of art, known as Babe Ruth’s autograph, is none other than the legendary 1933 Yellow Background Goudey card #53. Of the four Ruth cards in the Goudey set, it is possibly the most difficult to find in stellar condition. This example, like most Yellow Background Ruths, shows residue from handling and personal admiration. The yellow color, with its glowing light cast, hides nothing and shows all the love that has been bestowed upon the card for year.
For the investor and collector, the card would normally grade somewhere in the vicinity of a VG 3 if not for a tiny bit of paper loss on the reverse, limiting the grade to AUTHENTIC. But make no mistake, this is still an investment of the highest order and an opportunity seldom seen within the hobby.