1948 Leaf Babe Ruth

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  • July 20, 2012

Contrary to what some believe, Leaf didn’t put Babe Ruth into its 1948 set as a ‘tribute’ after the Bambino’s death.  Ruth died in August of 1948 and the Leaf Candy Company’s cards had already been on the market for awhile.  It’s likely true, however, that his failing health may have had something to do with his inclusion in the set, some 13 years after he played in his last game. The ’48 Leaf Babe Ruth is no less popular with collectors of vintage baseball cards, however.  You rarely see them come on the market, but we have one up for bid right now on eBay.  In fact, it’s the only one offered publicly in almost two years!  Better still, it’s a very respectable SGC 60, free of creases or major corner wear.  Not surprisingly, we received more than two dozen bids on this card in the first few days after the auction went live!

Along with Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson’s rookie card and Ted Williams, the Ruth card is one of the keys to the 1948 Leaf set. ’48 Leaf is the first post-War baseball card set and widely collected.  The Ruth card is numbered, appropriately, 3 in this series, which is a challenge for collectors because of the short prints that comprise half of the set. Babe Ruth baseball cards are simply a ‘can’t miss’ proposition.  While we don’t usually recommend buying for investment purposes, but rather for the simple enjoyment of collecting, there’s no doubting that Ruth cards and memorabilia have been among the safest places to put hobby dollars with an eye on the future.  The demand continues to be great for vintage Ruth cards of all kinds and we don’t think that’s going to stop anytime soon. A card like the 1948 Leaf that is among the more difficult specimens to find makes it all the more attractive no matter what your motivation might be.  We’ll be anxious to see how this one plays out.


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