Friday, May 11, 2012

1932 Sanella Babe Ruth

Yup, it's German. Yes, it shows it's origin as a 'card' that was at some was mounted in the set's album. And, yes, it's the cheapest contemporary Ruth card you'll ever find. But I'm happy to have it in my collection.

Sanella was (is?) a German margarine company that sponsored a set of 112 'cards' depicting athletes. They are printed on paper stock and were intended to be placed in an album which has a space for each. Only two cards were of baseball subjects, the Ruth and one of an unidentified Japanese Olympic player. I have that one as well, in better condition than the Ruth. Better condition in the sense that the back shows no signs of being glued down.

These cards were at one time thought to be pretty rare and had a price tag in the $1000s, at least according to some vintage card sites I've browsed. Then one particular collector brought quite a haul of them out of Germany and the price dropped like a rock. They are readily available on eBay these days. I believe I paid about $75 for the pair. Both were graded but I hate slabbed cards so, for better or worse, I set them 'free'.

At one time in my collecting life I had a goal of collecting a card of every Hall of Famer. I was going to buy 'originals' to my best ability and fill it out with reprints of those Fleer Hall of Fame cards.

Anyway I never thought I'd actually own a Ruth card issued during his career. Well, this is it. I think it's a beautiful card. The painting is based on a well known shot of Ruth at the Polo Grounds dating from 1921ish.

There is more info on these two cards here and here.

The other thing like about these Sanellas is that the Japanese player fits into my growing Japanese card collection.