Three years have passed since a Ruth signed plaque postcard set an auction record of $77,675. In that time, the values of all signed sepia and b/w plaques have skyrocketed as advanced collectors claw tooth and nail for the holy grail of a complete set. Case in point: Grover Cleveland Alexander's signed plaque postcard actually ECLIPSED Ruth earlier this year, selling for $78,870 in our February auction. Now it's the Bambino's turn to take back his rightful crown.
Ruth practically invented the souvenir signature. He arguably did more for the popularity and looming legacy of autographs than even John Hancock! The Babe signed mountains upon mountains of baseballs in his lifetime, and those orbs have reached upwards of $350,000 at auction. Yet inexplicably, despite his presence at the 1939 Hall of Fame Grand Opening, and his active signing throughout the early-to-mid 1940s, Ruth virtually never encountered HOF plaque postcards. Just four signed examples are in existence, and more than a few hobbyists have wondered why such extreme rarities shouldn't be more desirable, more pricey, than even the finest of Babe's ubiquitous signed balls.
Like its predecessor auctioned for nearly $80,000 in 2014, this one too is of the earlier 1939-43 Sepia Type 2 variety, whereas the other two known copies are 1940s Albertypes. Ruth's iconic signature here rates "7" strength. The postcard itself displays frontally as EX with mounting remnants on the reverse. Encapsulated as "Authentic" by PSA/DNA.
This item has a reserve (estimated value $60,000-$100,000).