Babe Ruth Candy Club Card, ca. 1926

Value (2013) | $1,500 Auction$2,000 Auction

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.

Well, this indeed is a membership card for the Babe Ruth Home Run Candy Club.


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.

My dad really loved sports, so it would be important to him.

In the realm of Babe Ruth collectibles, this is one of the rarer items.

Oh, it is? That's wonderful.

Prior to today, there were only three of these known to exist.

Oh my goodness.

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.

Wow! Well, I'm happy I brought it today. I'm surprised it's so rare.

Appraisal Details

Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Davenport, WA
Appraised value (2013)
$1,500 Auction$2,000 Auction
Boise, ID (June 29, 2013)
20th Century

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.