Babe Ruth Rookie Card from 1916 Sells for 2.4 Million Dollars

Mile High Card Company Auctioned the M101-4 Sporting News PSA 7
  • November 18, 2021

A stunning example of a Babe Ruth rookie card sold for 2.4 million dollars!  See what a Babe Ruth rookie card looks like and learn about the 1916 M101-4 Sporting News cards.

Have you ever seen a Babe Ruth rookie card? You may be familiar with the more well-known 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth cards as you've ready about collections we have purchased here at Just Collect that included those Ruth Goudey cards such as The Lone Wolf Collection. Ruth actually appeared on baseball cards well before he was setting home run records; his rookie card goes all the way back to 1916 and the M101-4 Sporting News cards.

1916 M101-4 Sporting News

In 1916, C.C Spink and Song were the publishers of The Sporting News, a publication that dates back to 1886.  The publishers decided to make a promotion for The Sporting News and created 200 cards that each measured 1-5/8” by 3." Some cards had blank backs while others offered advertisements of either The Sporting News or various other ads. The card set consists of baseball greats like Walter Johnson (card number #91), Ty Cobb (#38), Shoeless Joe Jackson (#87), and Honus Wagner (#182). Card number 151 is the crown jewel, though; Babe Ruth's rookie card.



In 1916, Ruth was still playing for the Boston Red Sox.  By the end of that season, Ruth tallied only 7 career home runs; a far cry from his 714 career total. At the time, Ruth was a pitcher! You may only know Babe as the home run slugger, but Ruth was a dual threat.  In 1916, The Babe won 23 games on the mound and had a league-leading 1.75 ERA! When Babe became a New York Yankee, he traded in that stellar pitching arm for a bat and the rest is history.

Speaking of history - last week, Mile High Card Company auctioned off a PSA 7 with a blank back.  The PSA Population Report lists just 6 total blank-back Ruth rookies being graded, and none are graded higher than a 7.  What does such a historic card sell for?  The auction hammer price was 2.4 million dollars!

If you have any Babe Ruth cards, we are ALWAYS buying!  If you inherit a 1916 rookie card or find 1933 Goudey cards in unexpected places, we'd love to hear from you!


Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss or get our industry-leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace. Check out the Just Collect buy list blog here


We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the last 25 years. Although Just Collect is known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage baseball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, too!  

Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and souls into building their collections. So when you're ready to sell, we understand the feelings that you're going through and will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.


Whether you have vintage cards or modern wax you want to sell, you can reach out to us any time! 


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