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1926 Babe Ruth Candy Club Membership Card and Letter with Original Mailing Envelope!

  • Sold For: $2,133
  • Year: 1926
  • Auction: 2012 Spring
  • Lot #: 413
  • Auction Category: Prewar Baseball - 1910s and 1920s Cards

Within the realm of Babe Ruth collectibles, few items are as rare as this offering: a 1926 Babe Ruth Home Run Candy Club membership card. Prior to 1998, when one of these cards first surfaced in Oregon, no one even knew of the existence of this piece. This particular membership card, which we believe to be one of only three known, is even more extraordinary for the fact that it is accompanied by its original cover letter and mailing envelope, both of which are the only surviving examples known. Incredibly, all of this material was saved by our consignor's father, who was the original recipient, and was only just recently discovered by the family among his many possessions.

The membership card is printed on a very study card stock and actually opens, like a book, to reveal a certificate in the center identifying the recipient, "Donald Jones," as a "member in good standing" of the Babe Ruth Home Run Candy Club. The front features a portrait of Ruth, the same portrait which appears on the Babe Ruth Candy wrapper. On the reverse are the "Ten General Rules for Members of the Babe Ruth Home Run Candy Club." These include such timeless classics as Rule #6 ("Don't be a sore loser."), Rule #7 ("Don't think of individual honors but of your team."), and Rule #10 ("Don't be afraid to play the game hard and fair, because when you lose this way you are satisfied that you did your best, so you win."). The offered card is extraordinary with regard to condition and may very well be the finest example known. Aside from the tiniest bit of corner wear in the upper left, the card is in Mint condition, looking exactly as it did in 1926 when Donald Jones removed it from the envelope. The original cover letter, which is dated June 28, 1926, and printed on "George H. Ruth Candy Co., Inc.," stationery, is a standard form letter welcoming the recipient ("Dear Friend") as the newest member of the "Home Run Candy Club." Ruth's facsimile signature appears at the bottom. As noted earlier, this is the first example of this membership letter we have ever seen and the reason for that is probably explained by the postscript: "If you are vitally interested in the success of this Club and would like to get further details for the purpose of making this Club a big success, wish you would return this letter with either the word, Yes or No, and your name and address written plainly." We assume that most kids responded positively to that request and dutifully sent back their letters, resulting in their extreme scarcity today. The letter (8.5 x 11 inches) displays both horizontal and vertical mailing folds, as well as a few small light creases. In Excellent condition overall. The envelope (6.5 x 3.5 inches), which is postmarked November 23, 1926, bears the company's name and address in the upper right and is addressed to "Donald Jones." (The discrepancy between the date on the letter and the postmark is due to the fact that the letter is a form letter; i. e., they were all dated the same and sent out when needed.) Vg-Ex, with a few small tears. Total: 3 items (membership card, letter, and envelope). Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,133

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