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A tale of 4 Ruth's


Jan 19, 2010
Wear 2600.jpgCrease 3600.jpgPin Hole.jpgx7006.jpg

I present for your viewing, 4 different 1933 Goudey #181 Babe Ruth cards. Each card has been given a grade of 1 by PSA. Each card is uniquely different from the other though, and a testimony to the phrase "Buy the card, not the grade".

I call the 1st one "well loved"
I call the 2nd one "crease"
I call the 3rd one "pin hole"
I call the 4th one "?"

I am posting an abbreviated version for this thread. If you want the longer, sappier version, check out my blog.

I wanted to see what people thought about the differences between what is otherwise an identical baseball card. Aside from the obvious conditional differences, these are all authentic, 1933 Goudey #181 cards and likewise, all are graded PSA1, the lowest numerical grade I believe a card can receive.

1). Should all cards of the same grade cost the same?
2). Which card would you prefer, given your personal tolerance for the various possible card flaws.

I do own one of these and was fortunate enough to buy it before this crazy card market caught on file. That is what got me thinking...how much are people paying for PSA1 Ruth cards these days.

Well loved sold for $2600
Creased sold for $3600
Pin Hole is mine (paid $1200 a few years back)
? is currently for sale on ebay with an asking price (obo) of $6,000


Well-known member
Aug 17, 2008
If I was looking for a 1933 Goudey Ruth. And had to have one no matter what. I would buy #1. The same goes for #2. The pin hole wouldn't bother me either. I would take card #2 even with the creases. The colors are awesome. Creases don't bother me on pre-war cards. Those prices are crazy. But, you got a got price on yours.


Active member
Sep 24, 2016
Mystic, CT
A crease or a pinhole doesn't bother me provided it doesn't distract. I like the colors on the crease card, that would be my first choice, yours with the pinhole would be my second choice, I'd probably be willing to pay slightly more for the crease because I like the colors better but likely not very much.
I do have a soft spot for a vintage card that tells a story. A while back I almost pulled the trigger on a red williams rc that had a pinhole and in pencil they wrote "the kid" on the front. The idea that some kid in Boston in the 40s had that card tacked to his wall added a lot to the feel for me, I didn't care it was a 1.


Well-known member
Mar 22, 2015
Lafayette, Colorado
That's a really cool post.

As far as the cards go, I'm with Stanwood. I like #2 the best - the colors are really vibrant and it makes Ruth's face really evocative. Second choice would be #3, the pinhole one. You scored on that.


Jan 19, 2010
Now that I see these together and think about it, my card may have faded out a little. It's definitely not as vibrant as #2, but the crease bothers the hell out of me. I still would have avoided it when I bought mine, opting for a more muted color copy that was crease free. I guess that is why I like the last card, although it is not as bright as 2. Decent centering, decent color, more glaring flaws and just a good old card that was probably loved by several owners over the years. Not for $6K though!


Active member
Sep 30, 2017
4, 3, 2, 1 for me.

#4 is the best blend of color, condition, and eye appeal I think. If there wasn't the paper loss due to the crease on #2 I'd move it ahead of #3 because it has the best color of the four. The pinhole actually doesn't detract from the look of the card at all for me but the muted color and centering do (still a great buy for that price).

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