BOSTON, MA – A rare 103-year-old baseball card featuring rookie Babe Ruth with ties to a former Grand Rapids department store sold for $110,612 at auction Thursday, Nov. 21, according to Boston-based RR Auction.
The 1916 baseball card has advertising on back for Herpolsheimer’s clothing store – the Boys Fashion Shop.
A Northern California collector purchased the card during an online auction, according Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of RR Auction.
Bidding closed at $92,177 but the purchase price includes a 20 percent buyer’s premium. The baseball card was projected to sell for $100,000-plus.
Hepolsheimers’s history dates back to around 1870. In 1949, the downtown store opened and thrived. Lazarus purchased the company in 1987.
“There were lots of bidders because that particular Babe Ruth card is rare in any form but of the 18 different variations only four are Herpolsheimer versions,” Livingston said.
He said the card was already rare because it shows Babe Ruth as rookie but the future home run hitter is also a left-handed pitcher on the card.
The Babe Ruth card has a crease, but otherwise is in good shape with a “bright and crisp” image.