Top 10 Babe Ruth Cards of All-Time

Top 10 Babe Ruth Cards of All-Time

Babe Ruth is a player who needs no introduction and Babe Ruth cards are equally important in the hobby. Widely considered one of the greatest baseball players in history, Ruth was a star before athletes were stars. His dynamic personality and the ease in which he seemingly dominated the sport, earned him a legion of fans and collectors.  As such, Babe Ruth cards are the most sought-after collectibles in the hobby, and were it not for a certain short-printed Honus Wagner tobacco card, Ruth would own the undisputed crown for most valuable baseball card.

Originally a pitcher when he entered the league with the Boston Red Sox, Babe Ruth cemented his legacy in baseball lore as a power hitter for the New York Yankees. The 1918 trade that brought him from Boston to New York grew to mythical proportions as the Red Sox failed to win a World Series for 86 years after he left the team. "The Curse of the Bambino" was eventually broken in 2004, when Boston finally prevailed as World Series Champions. In 1921, Babe Ruth set the single-season home run record with 59. He would better that total in 1927, knocking in 60 home runs. This record would stand for 34 years, until Roger Maris bested it by one home run in 1961.

Shop for Babe Ruth cards on eBay.

When Babe Ruth finally hung up his cleats for good, he was a seven-time World Series champ and was named AL MVP in 1923. He also lead the AL in total home runs for 12 seasons and total RBI for six seasons. Ruth was only named an All-Star on two occasions, but the All-Star game did not originate until 1933 and Ruth retired in 1935. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. Unfortunately, Babe Ruth died only a decade later in 1948 after a battle with cancer.

Many of the baseball cards from Babe Ruth's playing days are obscure offerings with a limited release. However, the ones that surface in good condition generally sell for huge amounts. The following list aims to identify the ten most valuable Babe Ruth cards in existence. Because rarity and condition greatly affect value, historical significance was also factored into this list. See the most popular cards for Ruth on eBay using our real-time hot list.

Due to the incredible values seen by Babe Ruth cards, narrowing down the list meant that a few popular cards did not make the cut. While time may reveal other hidden gems, the following list represents the dream checklist for many Babe Ruth card collectors. All the cards are worth a small (or large) fortune, and prices generally start around $5,000, and can escalate very quickly.

Not all Babe Ruth cards will cost you a mortgage payment, or twenty. Here are 10 vintage Babe Ruth cards that can be found for under $50.

Top Babe Ruth Cards

Shop available cards on eBay using the links below. 

1914 Baltimore News #7 Babe Ruth

The 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth card is the very first card for "the Bambino," and easily his most valuable. The set centered around the two professional baseball teams based in Baltimore at the time. This included the Baltimore Terrapins from the Federal League, and the Baltimore Orioles of the International League. Baltimore was also Ruth's hometown, and at this time he was a virtually unknown minor league player for the Orioles. The image shows a very young Babe Ruth, fresh out of St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys. The cards were issued with blue or red fronts, and there were also back variations. A red PSA 1 (PR) version was sold in 2013 by Robert Edward Auctions (REA) for $450,300.

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1916 M101-4 / M101-5 #151 Babe Ruth

As the first card to show Babe Ruth as a pro, the M101 is significant for many collectors. The image shows the lean pitching phenom as a member of the Boston Red Sox. While not his "official" rookie card, this is the card that is widely viewed as the true Babe Ruth true rookie card. There is some confusion because it was originally it was thought that the M101-5 set was issued in 1915 and the M101-4 set was issued in 1916. However, the M101-4 features an identical front and is now believed to have been released only a few months after the M101-5. The general consensus is that both are equally considered to be Babe Ruth rookie cards.

Although the set is commonly associated with Sporting News, 18 different advertisers are featured on the backs of these cards and there are also blank backs. Several advertisers overlapped between the two releases. While both Ruth cards are number 151, most of the other players do not have the same card number for both sets. A PSA 3 (VG) M101-4 Ware's Basement Sporting Goods was sold by REA for $130,350 in 2013. In fairness, this is the only PSA-graded version with a Ware's Basement Sporting Goods card back, in existence. In 2013, Heritage Auctions (HA) sold an SGC 70 (EX+) M101-5 with a blank back for $83,650.

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1917 E135 Collins-McCarthy / H801-8 Boston Store #147 Babe Ruth

Another card included in virtually identical sets, the Babe Ruth cards found in 1917 E135 Collins-McCarthy and 1917 H801-8 Boston Store are both number 147. The only true difference comes from the advertisers on the card backs. The card design greatly mirrors the M101-4 and 5 of the previous year. Once again, Ruth is shown in a pitching stance. A PSA 4.5 (VG-EX+) version was sold by REA for $65,175 in 2013.

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1921 Frederick Foto Babe Ruth

Not generally thought of amongst the top Babe Ruth cards, the 1921 Frederick Foto card is a very unique collectible. Showcasing a photo-quality image of Ruth, it lists "the Babe" as a member of the New York Yankees, despite showing him in a Boston Red Sox uniform. Although some may question its designation as a card, it deserves a place on this list based on value and rarity. An SGC 45 (VG+) version was sold for $44,437.50 by REA in 2013.

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1921 E121 American Caramel Series of 80 #82 Babe Ruth

Using the same image and design as the 1917 E135 Collins-McCarthy and H801-8 Boston Store cards, this Babe Ruth card lists his team as the New York Americans. There are actually three variations of this card that all list different names. The version shown below uses simply Babe Ruth. Another version also has Babe Ruth, but "Babe" is listed in quotations. The third version features his official name, George Ruth. HA sold an SGC 86 (NM+) version for $19,418.75 in 2013.

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1932 R328 U.S. Caramel #32 Babe Ruth

1932 U.S. Caramel is a multi-sport set that includes golfers, boxers and baseball players and Babe Ruth is the last card in the set. The red background immediately catches the eye, as does the profile shot of a relaxed Babe Ruth, sporting the iconic NY ball cap. The general design is similar to the 1933 Goudey Baseball.

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1933 R306 Butter Cream Confectionery #23 Babe Ruth SP

The 1933 R306 Butter Cream Confectionery card is one of the rarest options for Babe Ruth card collectors. With just a few documented examples in existence, only two remain by virtue of bad luck, after the third was apparently thrown away by mistake. The card is very narrow, with dimensions of 1-/4" x 3-1/2". The card backs offer two variations that deal with a promotion for collecting all 30 cards. One version references September (SEPT), and the other shows October (OCT).

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1933 R319 Goudey #53,144,149,181 Babe Ruth

While many Babe Ruth cards were released before 1933 Goudey Baseball, these four cards are the only official rookie cards for "the Sultan of Swat." Card #53 (yellow) and card #149 (red) both feature the same image of Ruth. Card #181 (green) showcases a different close-up image of Ruth, while card #144 shows him warming up, with a field and several structures in the background. Card #53 is the rarest and most condition sensitive. Understandably, this Babe Ruth card with a yellow background is also the most valuable. REA sold a PSA 8 (NM-MT) version of card #53 for $59,250 in 2013.

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1933 R338 Goudey Sport Kings Gum #2 Babe Ruth

Arguably one of the best designs from Babe Ruth's playing days, 1933 Sport Kings includes 18 different sports in its varied checklist, with only three baseball players. Like 1933 Goudey, the Sport Kings card showcases a colorful and detailed sketch of Ruth, with a light green background. Current collectors may recognize the design, which is the same used for base cards in the modern Sportkings Series.

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Babe Ruth Cut Signature Autographs

Although the more recent Babe Ruth cards do not normally intrigue collectors in the same way as his original cards do, one of the few exceptions is cut signature autograph cards. These extremely low-numbered cards perfectly fuse old school with new school and have created a very valuable chase for collectors. The most sought-after and valuable versions usually contain a jersey or bat piece, in addition to the cut signature.

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Trey Treutel

E-Mail Author | 
Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. In more recent years, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute.

User Comments

  1. I have a 1927 Bayreuth photo card from the Yankees what’s the valuemade that by the Sporting News

  2. I have a 1992 Trivia Babe Ruth card with a man on his left that is holding a crown over Babe’s head and a smaller (jockey-looking guy behind his right shoulder. In bottom left of card, it reads “TRIVIA” below that “Never Won A Triple Crown”. the card is black & white. On backside of card is “BABE RUTH” and “102” on top of card; then, “The Triple Crown Race” with its story below. Then statistics listed for Babe Ruth for years 1921-1931 home runs, RBIs & Batting Average stats! Near very bottom, “The Babe Ruth Collection” “1992 Megacards, Inc.” Also, stated on bottom of card, “Photo New York Daily News, New York, NY All Rights Reserved Printed in U.S.A.” Can you give me any info on the value of this card?? I appreciate any help you can provide!

    Thanks for any information you can provide for me!!!

  3. Patti Jackson Unfortunately, it is a common card. They sell for $1-2 on eBay.

  4. I have an original 1931 Boston Redsox hat. Any idea how much that might be worth or where to refer me? No one had one on ebay, only replicas. Thank you

  5. I have a Babe Ruth card and on the back it says 9-20-1927. value?

  6. I have a megacard black and white with gold trim of Babe Ruth. The photo shows on aug. 14, 1934.Babe Ruth scores from 2nd base on a single hit by teammate Bill Dickey. catcher Ray Hayworth of the tigers dives toward Ruth it,s close,but Babe is safe.The back of the card shows the history of him.

  7. I have the Murder’s Row Quad auto from Upper Deck a true 1/1. Cut signatures of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, and Bob Meusel. What is odd is that while being a 1/1 it is also an error card because somehow Upper Deck listed Lou Gehrig as an outfielder, not as playing first base.

  8. I have to my eyes a mint condition 1914 Baltimore News #7 Babe Ruth in blue :)

  9. Have a babe ruth and lou gehrig 1923 collectable card. Would like to know the value. Thank you ,,,

  10. I have 3 babe ruth cards the top two in the 5 pictures that are shown and the bottom one with his hat off. How do I establish their value for tax gifting purposes

  11. Hi l am darlene for my father has passed and has left me 1000’s of hockey cards. I myself don’t know much about baseball. I was hoping you could help me on 1) babe ruth outfielder card 176 . 2)hank Aaron outfield braves card #Topps 110. 3) bobby Orr Boston defense card 2. Ted Williams 1946@1949 mvp card 31 out of 36. 4) Ted Williams 1939 rookie year card 28 out of 36. Lots more as well. Hope you get back to me thank you

  12. With so many cards, it sounds like you’d be best served trying to find a hobby shop that might be able to help you identify what you have.

  13. Hi there,
    I found a Babe Ruth card that I can’t find any information about online. It’s in a plastic case that says “1934 Quaker Oats #15 Babe Ruth”. The front side shows him in a hitting position and the back fielding the ball. There is no writing on the card. it almost looks like a small picture and not what I would think of a typical baseball card. Just wondering if it is worth anything or not.

  14. I don’t know much about cards but how much would a babe Ruth baby picture that’s a card be worth if anything

  15. I have a Babe Ruth, unsigned #3 base ball card. Is this card worth anything?

  16. I have a babe ruth baseball card 100th anniversary edition with a card fact about him being signed for $80,000.00.. I was wondering how much is this card worth

  17. I have a Babe Ruth card in brown and white, marked Guyana $350. On the back is No.7. On the back is a short tale of his runs. The card has to be printed since 1930 since it tells of homeruns in the 1920,21,23,27,28,and 1930. Anyone know how I can find a price in this or is anyone interested in it? Oh, the card is also signed by him.

  18. hola tengo 05 cartas de Babe Ruth special topps venezuela 1962 entre ellas la # 135 quisiera saber que precio tiene y a quien se le pudiera vender

  19. I have a Babe Ruth card that I’ve never seen before and I do not see on your website

  20. I have two Babe Ruth Cards. One says Sultan Of Swat 1926. The other The Bambino – the Man

  21. Wanting to know how much my Babe Ruth card is worth? The card says. The all time R.B.I . LEDER. On back had in a ball the number 474

  22. I have a grade 5 four-in-one 1929-30 Ruth/Gehrig with red ink. Any idea of the value?

  23. I have a George (Babe)Ruthbaseball card and I need to know how much it’s worth.I have a Joe Louis boxing card and want to know the same?

  24. I have a Babe Ruth Golden Era card from Nestle. It has his picture on the front and George Herman Ruth on the back and his statics on it

  25. I have a set of baseball cards hall of fame 1936 card 1 of the homers classics collection also have cards 2 – 9 can u tell what they are worth

  26. Card ,1 is babe Ruth, card 2 satchel Paige, card 3 left home, card 4 ty Cobb, card 5 cy young, card 6 Bob feller, card 7 Roberto Clemente, card 8 dizzy Dean, card 9 Lou gehrig

  27. I have a Babe Ruth card that says;The All Time- R.B.I. Leader c and shows **** 2,209 . On the back of the card there is other players names listed with their runs batted in ; there are 9 other players names listed; some names include-HANK Aaron,Lou Gehrig,Ty Con,Willie Mays and others.Is this card of any value?

  28. The 1933 Goudey #149 will always be my favorite. That blood orange just looks great!

  29. i have a gold ny babe ruth card gold plated i assume on the bac is major league record still in plastic no number on card i have had it for over 23 yrs was wondering if its worth anything

  30. I have several Babe Ruth baseball cards starting from 1914 to 1933 and would liketo know their value. Is there a website that I can go to to find the value or is there a book that I can purchase?

  31. I have a big chew 1929 Home Run Legends Babe Ruth card is it worth anything I also have a SkyBox NBA Rookie card of Michael Jordan number 38 is it worth anything

  32. I have a Bane Ruth card, about the size of a postage stamp. It came with gum and required developing the picture by wetting the blank card and rubbing it with the gum wrapper until the photo appeared. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I think I got it in1949.

  33. ihave a babe ruth gold rim collection of cards in each corner has a $350.00 how much is this collection.

  34. I have a Babe Ruth baseball card and cant find it anywhere on a website.
    Front is a “not real” picture of him with a bat over his shoulders as if he just swung and in the top left corner it says Babe Ruth sets record Septermber 30,1927.
    On the back its a news clipping from the Chicago Daily Sun-Times with the date and saying “BABE HITS SIXTY” with a comic picture of him smiling and holding the ball.
    Can you help me find out about this what seems to be elusive card and of course if it has any value ?

  35. So at a garage sail in 2005 I had not a Roberto clemente 1983 card and a babe ruth 1976 card. Cant really find anything about either of them. Help please

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