Babe Ruth is an icon, one of the biggest ever in baseball. Unfortunately, many of his best cards are out of reach for many collectors. There aren't many pre-war options and those that do exist cost hundreds, if not thousands, no matter the condition. Babe Ruth cards have also been featured in lots of modern sets. Although many of these look great, it's not the same as a classic piece from the past. Sure, there are cut signatures and memorabilia cards, but then you're looking at big bucks once again.
But don't fret. There are several affordable vintage Babe Ruth cards, especially if you're not as concerned about condition.
Here's a list of ten great Babe Ruth cards from the 1950s and 1960s that have sold for under $50.
Most of us frown upon creases, dings and beat-up corners. But what if ignoring that could land you a classic vintage Babe Ruth card for $50 or less? That's the case with the 1952 Topps Look 'N See Babe Ruth. Nice condition versions can run thousands. But when a few folds or evidence of bicycle spokes storage come into play, it's all of a sudden affordable. Like several Topps sets from the era, 1952 Topps Look 'N See is primarily a historical and entertainment set. Ruth is the lone baseball player. The design is very reminiscent of the iconic 1952 Topps Baseball design.
Another instance where looking slightly outside of the mainstream can lead to deals is the 1954 Topps Scoops Babe Ruth. Granted, like the Look 'N See card, you'll have to be a little less picky when it comes to condition in order to find one for under $50. But a little patience and appreciation for cards that have been well loved can lead to some great bargains.
Think company exclusives are a modern development in the hobby? Think again. Ted Williams signed a deal with Fleer back in the late-50s. In turn, the company dedicated an entire set in 1959 to the Red Sox all-time great. Williams is pictured alongside Babe Ruth for the second card in the set. It's entitled, "Ted's Idol."
Other than Ted Williams, 1960 Fleer Baseball Greats is all about retired greats. While many collectors drool over similarly styled sets today, 50 years ago the hobby was in a very different place. For bargain hunters, it's a great way to find attractive vintage cards of players like Babe Ruth.
Like the set from the previous year, 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats focuses on players from the past. Collectors may have to look for something slightly off-condition to find a Babe Ruth for under $50, but it shouldn't be too hard.
Originally included in a booklet, the 1961 Golden Press Babe Ruth comes with perforated edges. It has beautiful colors and a bold image. It's also another example of how collectors can score some great cards for good prices if they're willing to chase things from oddball releases.
Celebrating his record-setting season of 60 home runs, this cheap Babe Ruth card has a very clean design. The photo is classic Ruth. It's easy to image the situation of him watching a homer soar over the fence.
Is that Babe Ruth that's up to bat? It could be. This tobacco card comes from Britain. Its vague nature keeps the price extremely low, even in top condition. Still, it is a bright and beautiful card, whether it's the Bambino or not.
Babe Ruth is featured in a ten-card subset in 1962 Topps Baseball. This particular card honors Ruth as he addresses the Yankee Stadium at a special ceremony in 1947. Ruth may not appear at his best, but it's still a loving card that celebrates his legend. All of these cards remain extremely affordable considering their age.
Although primarily a non-sport set, Babe Ruth found a spot in 1963 Topps Valentine Foldees. The illustrated set, which measures 4 1/2" by 2 3/8", includes different panels and folds so that collectors could make silly combinations. The back of the Ruth card also has Teddy Roosevelt and Benjamin Franklin.
Okay, it's not vintage, but it is part of a set that has "vintage" in the title. And who wouldn't want a Babe Ruth game-used memorabilia card for under $50. 2009 Breygent Classic Vintage Movie Posters focused on Hollywood history and featured lots of memorabilia cards. It's not the most attractive bat piece ever embedded into a card, but the illustration makes for a nice backdrop.
Related Topics: Baseball Cards: Guides