Babe Ruth Candy Club Card, ca. 1926
Appraised Value: $1,500 - $2,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:08)
Collectibles, Sports Memorabilia
Mroczek Brothers Auctioneers & Associates
GUEST: This is an item that belonged to my father. He would be 100 years old this year. It was kept by my grandmother, and when her estate was distributed, this little box of all kinds of things that she kept was brought to our family. My mom and dad actually took it to a card shop, and the gentleman attempted to find something about it, but he wasn't able to, and he indicated to them that it might be valuable. They didn't pursue any more appraisals and when my mother's safe deposit box was emptied, it was in that box. And it was given to me by my brother.
APPRAISER: Well, this indeed is a membership card for the Babe Ruth Home Run Candy Club.
APPRAISER: And this was an item that you would have sent off for through a written letter. Originally, it came with a written letter and the membership card. This is circa 1920s. Most likely between 1926 and 1928 is when these were mailed from what we can determine. On the front, we have the same portrait that's used on the candy bar, which is nice. And then on the back, what's interesting is it has some tips from the Babe. One of the more interesting ones we see is number six, "Don't be a sore loser." (laughs) Number seven, "Don't think of individual honors but of your team." So general rule number ten, "Don't be afraid to play the game hard and fair, "because when you lose, "this way you are satisfied that you did your best, so you win." The tips from the Babe was one of the nice parts about it.
GUEST: My dad really loved sports, so it would be important to him.
APPRAISER: In the realm of Babe Ruth collectibles, this is one of the rarer items.
GUEST: Oh, it is? That's wonderful.
APPRAISER: Prior to today, there were only three of these known to exist.
GUEST: Oh my goodness.
APPRAISER: This one here today being the fourth to surface. Originally, as I said, it came with a letter, an original mailing envelope, also very scarce-- only one letter known to exist. It looks like there was even two steps to the process: a letter first, and then there was even a second step where they had to send another letter or card back where they agreed they were going to form a membership in their community. Because this item is so scarce, it's not clear whether the letter and the card came together or if the letter came first and then the membership card perhaps came second after the youth had agreed to form this membership for a baseball team in their community. There's no way of knowing how many of these went out. There are no records. But that's the thing with ephemera, is not many people kept these things. It's still surprising that there's only four of them. It shows how scarce of an item it was. As far as the condition, we have the one crease right here. It's a barely noticeable crease. It's about as light as a crease gets. Because of that crease, it'd be what we'd consider in very good condition. This item today at auction would sell for between $1,500 and $2,000.
GUEST: Wow! Well, I'm happy I brought it today. I'm surprised it's so rare.
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