Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Babe Ruth

One of things that makes the 1933 Goudey set so great is that it features four Babe Ruth cards (as well as two Lou Gehrigs). It's also one of the reasons that the set is so challenging and expensive to put together. I have resigned myself to the fact that the Ruths that will be included in my set will all be in generally poor condition, most likely in the SGC 10-30 range, as higher grade examples are very expensive.

The #53 Ruth, or the yellow batting ruth, is the toughest of the bunch and comes with the highest price tag. The #149 Ruth (pictured), which is the same as the #53 but with a red background, is the next toughest. The #181 Ruth, which features a seated Babe, is the next most expensive. A cropped version of this image would appear on Ruth's 1935 Goudey 4-in-1 card, when he was a member of the Boston Braves. Finally, the #144 Ruth is the most affordable because it was double printed.

My favorite of the bunch is #149. It features a classic Ruth batting pose and the red background is beautiful (most of my favorite cards in the set feature red backgrounds), which I prefer over the yellow background of the #53. The #181 is also nice, but Ruth looks a little old and weak in the depiction. Even though this is somewhat accurate, since he was reaching the end of his career in 1933, I prefer to think of Ruth as a robust slugger, as he is depicted on the #53 and #149 cards. (Incidentally, Ruth put up a monster season in 1932 - .341/.489/.661, with 41 home runs - so he wasn't quite done yet). The #144 is my least favorite, mostly because it is a wide shot and there is not as much personality to Ruth's depiction.

So far, I don't have any of the Ruth cards. I have been looking for some time to pick one up reasonably, preferably the #149. I am okay with an SGC 10 or PSA 1 example, so long as the image is clear and the colors are vibrant. I have not had any luck so far, most likely because I don't want to overspend.

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