How Babe Ruth Saved Christmas Collection

Century Old Strip Card Find in Maryland Makes a 9-Year Old Happy
  • December 22, 2021

A Heartwarming Holiday

1920 W519 Babe Ruth

We've read all of the incredible heartwarming holiday stories this winter.  We know that heroes stand up and we know that even the Grinch, the supposed antithesis of joy, became a holiday hero when, "In Whoville they say - that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day. And then - the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of *ten* Grinches, plus two!" 



Radiating Good Vibes

A woman contacted Just Collect about a small collection of strip cards that she had found about a decade ago.  She researched the Internet and found that Just Collect had a great record of helping collectors understand the value of their collections and that many great collections have come from some of the most unexpected places.  This woman's collection of strip cards, mostly 1920 W519 (Unnumbered) was no exception and had a remarkably similar aspect to the "Hole in the Wall Collection" from Jersey City a few years ago. Here is how the woman told us that she found the cards:


"I've held on to this collection for about 10 years simply because I thought it was so cool that the cards survived so long and about the little boy who obviously lived in my home many, many years ago and collected these cards. We found the cards when rehabbing our early 1900's row house in Canton (Baltimore Md.). We completely gutted the place, exposing the brick walls and removing 100 years worth of layered linoleum and wall to wall carpeting so we could refinish the original hardwood floors. When we were removing the radiators and base molding we found these cards stuck behind the plaster and base molding. We found more evidence of the little boy during the renovation with several glass marbles and an old pocket pool ball.

We stuck the baseball cards in sandwich bag and in our underwear drawer, finished our renovation and went on with life. Eventually I did put the cards in our curio cabinet to keep them safe. 10 years and 1 beautiful 9 year old daughter later I recently thought to try to sell the cards to help give my daughter the best Christmas possible after an especially rough year us."



The Babe Is Always the Answer

The collection was small by normal standards, but anytime you have a collection with a couple of playing day era cards of Babe Ruth, you're going to have some value . . . potentially significant value. We did a preliminary evaluation and the woman agreed to send the cards to our Somerset, New Jersey office for in-hand examination. The collection consisted of a small group of 1920 W519 strip cards including  2 Babe Ruth cards, a pair of infamous Black Sox member Eddie Cicotte and a handful of lesser players.  Additionally, there were a few other strip cards from 1920 including W516-1 and a W529 boxing card. 


1920 W519 Babe Ruth 1920 W519 Ed Cicotte 1920 W519 Babe Ruth


The cards were all original and authentic and we were quickly able to complete the evaluation and make the woman a cash offer to purchase the collection.  She was very pleased with the communication, the valuation and happily accepted the offer.  She shared her feelings with us after we concluded the deal with this from an email:

"I can't thank you enough for everything you've done! You've been fantastic communicating - always replying to me immediately and working with me to come up with an offer I am very happy with. As I mentioned earlier, this money will enable me to give my wonderful 9 yr old daughter a better Christmas.

So again thank you! You are literally saving Christmas because honestly I had no idea how Santa would make it here before this! I would be happy to recommend you to anyone!!"


Thank You Babe

While we were happy to have made the woman happy and allow her to give her 9-year old daughter a great Christmas, it was really The Babe that did it.  He may not have hit a homerun that he promised to a bed-ridden lad in a hospital or pointed to the bleachers before depositing another long blast, but had Babe not been part of this collection, there may have only been enough value to buy some wrapping paper and a couple of candy bars.  However, Babe was there and he did hit a homerun and we're so happy for the woman and her daughter!



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 Listt


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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