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This lot is part of a special offering of PM1 "Ornate Frame" Pinbacks of the Dreier Collection—click here to read more.
Babe Ruth (no name) - Red Sox; this widely known image of the raw-boned Boston rookie depicts the Babe as he was anticipated. The pin's metallic frame is mildly tarnished and the photo image is somewhat imperfect with a surface blemish toward the right aspect and some light spot staining elsewhere (entirely in the benign background). Much to its benefit however, the image is crisp and the light is optimal in this very early rendering of the yet unproven Bambino. The pin, likely unique in our industry, would be welcomed as VG/EX; and its original retail card backing is about VG as a function of a horizontal crease traversing.
Additional Notes about This Abundantly Intriguing, Valuable Piece:
As stated in the Standard Catalog, “Little is known about these tiny pins, such as who issued them, when and how they were distributed.” Generally, collectors accept a midpoint range of 1914-15 for a prospective period of issue, likely due to the dated 1914 Braves pin. Considering the diversity of players included, it is probable that the series was distributed over a number of years. For example, players like Chance and Mathewson were just finishing their HOF careers while the tenures of players like Bressler, Scott and Ruth were only beginning. In trying to stock the set with high-caliber players the manufacturer took a big risk by guessing whether emerging players would make the grade. For instance, Bressler was a “bit” player who did not appear in 100 games until 1919. On the other hand, Ruth was a clear winner. The Conlon batting pose of Ruth is generally considered to be a circa-1918 image, which would mean that the pins could have been distributed over a 4- to 5-year period of time.
Due to the significance of the Ruth pin—and the lack of a dependable third party service to authenticate it—we went to great lengths to ensure its authenticity. We showed the item to reputable hobby veterans and examined it under high magnification. As can be seen in the additional photos (which were taken under 50x magnification) the surface of the Ruth pin is consistent with that of the Johnson and other pins examined, and it shows definitive signs of crazing and pitting—which would be expected as a result of nearly 100 years of exposure to even controlled elements. We are pleased to be able to present what could arguably be the earliest card/pinback collectible that depicts Babe Ruth in a batting pose ... the pose that is indelibly stamped in our mind when we celebrate Ruth as the best to ever play the game!
1915 PM1 "Ornate Frame" Pinback Featuring Rookie Image of Babe Ruth - the Only Known Example - Includes Retail Card
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