After busting out all the windows at St. Mary’s Industrial School For Boys with his prodigious blasts, George Herman Ruth was signed to his 1st professional contract by Jack Dunn to play for the Baltimore Orioles of the International League. Dunn’s “Babe” went on to win 23 games in the International League that season, and made his Major League debut with the Boston Red Sox on July 11th. Used sparingly, the 19 year old Babe compiled a 2-1 record and went on to be a pretty decent player in the Major Leagues.
This card is considered Babe Ruth’s rookie card, part of a set released by the Baltimore News in 1914, which featured players from the Federal League Baltimore Terapins, and the International League Baltimore Orioles. There are only 8 of these cards known to exist, rarer than the T206 Honus Wagner card. This particular card sold at auction in 2005 for $243,000.00.
Who could have imagined at the time that this picture was snapped, almost 100 years ago, that this “precocious” left-hander would become an American icon like no other sports figure? I’d like to thank the photographer who took this picture of an unknown teenager who hadn’t even thrown his 1st professional pitch, and felt inclined to include it in this set.