There is no more iconic figure in all of sports, or all of popular culture, than Babe Ruth.
Nearly 75 years after his death, Ruth’s name remains a constant in modern language, towering over all others. To be “the Babe Ruth” of anything, any sport, any occupation, any hobby, truly anything is to be the best that’s ever been, without peer.
Ruth’s significance relies not only on what he did, but how he did it. Everything about Ruth was bigger than life. From the mammoth, tower home runs he hit, to his public persona, to his voracious appetite for life and everything it offered. Even his vices were bigger than life. Ruth’s legacy, reputation, and legend not only lives on, it grows with every passing year.
Consider the greatest of the great in other sports – rarely is anyone called
“The Wayne Gretzky of Wall Street”, or “The Michael Jordan of politics”, or even “The Tom Brady of industry” (although Brady may encroach on Ruth’s turf over time!). Ruth stands alone as society’s hallmark for greatness and the spectacular.
The Elusive And Rarely Seen Mendelsohn Babe Ruth
The M101-6 Mendelsohn set actually contains two Babe Ruth cards, with this Yankees card always creating a stir. Released in the set’s final year of issue, 1920, following Ruth’s sale to the Yankees in late December 1919, this mesmerizing card features The Bambino still in his Red Sox uniform as a pitcher, despite the card’s centerfield playing designation. The photo, rarely used on baseball cards, shows a younger, thinner Ruth at the moment when he was about to bring baseball out of the turmoil of the Black Sox scandal and catapult the sport to a place no one had ever seen nor imagined. The home run was about to become baseball’s single most exciting and lethal weapon.
Consider this: In 1919, Babe Ruth became the first player to hit 20 home runs in a season, smashing a record 29 roundtrippers. In 1920, his first year with the Yankees, and the year in which this card was released, Ruth destroyed his own record by not only becoming the first player to hit 30 home runs, he became the first player to hit 40, and 50 long flies in a season, ending up with a then unthinkable total of 54. A record he would eclipse twice more, hitting 59 and eventually 60 home runs in a season.
This card represents the genesis of modern baseball, the moment the game transformed. This card is bigger than any of us, because it represents the exact moment in history when baseball became the game we know it as today.
To put Ruth’s impact in perspective, with the exception of his injury plagued 1922 season, Ruth finished first or second in home runs every season from 1919 through 1933, setting and breaking the single season record for home runs four times. Ruth’s career is the single most sustained streak of dominance by any single athlete in the history of sport.
Demand For Babe Ruth Cards Never Diminish
Ruth cards simply never go out of style and demand seemingly never decreases. To own a Ruth card is to own something that goes beyond sport. Whether viewed as a cornerstone of a collection or an investment, buying cards of Ruth from his playing days is akin to purchasing gold bars when the value of currency is low. You know the price is going to rise, and often rise dramatically.
Financially, Babe Ruth is a hedge against inflation, against down markets, and against just about anything, because of one simple fact: Babe Ruth, to this day, remains the most recognized name of any athlete, any celebrity, any political figure, any superstar that has ever lived. Ruth is the benchmark. I modern terms, he is the supreme G.O.A.T. The Greatest Of All Time is defined by Ruth. In the argument of greatest cultural icons of all time, across all spectrums, there is Babe Ruth and there is everyone else.
Bid accordingly. Bid confidently.