Thanks to his being one of the most iconic figures in the history of baseball, anything remotely associated with Babe Ruth is seemingly worth its weight in gold. And just one item associated with Ruth's career has sold for a hardly-insignificant fortune.
According to a report by The Athletic, a Babe Ruth baseball card valued at more than $6 million was recently sold for a record-breaking price to an anonymous buyer. The card was dated a 1914 issue by the Baltimore News, which pre-dates Ruth's first season in Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox.
While the final selling price was not disclosed, the sale broke the previous record for a sports card, which had been $5.2 million for the sale of a 1952 Mickey Mantle card as well as a 2003 LeBron James rookie card. Interestingly, other collectors will now have opportunities to buy shares of the card at $3 apiece.
"Today's announcement represents not only a record price for a sports card, but also a historic and seismic moment for the sports collectibles industry," read a statement by Collectable CEO Ezra Levine.
Babe Ruth's 1914 Baltimore News card has long been a coveted item among collectors not only for the point in Ruth's career it represents, but also the sheer rarity of it: Fewer than 10 cards are known to be in existence, with the last one known to be sold having sold for $450,300 at an auction in 2013.
In early 1914, Ruth -- a native of Baltimore, Maryland -- began his baseball career with the minor-league Baltimore Orioles (no relation to the current MLB team of the same name), but owner Jack Dunn had to sell his best players to the Major Leagues after dealing with financial troubles. Ruth's contract was sold to the Boston Red Sox, beginning a Major League career that saw him win seven World Series titles and become regarded as one of the greatest to ever play the game.