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'The Great Bambino': Babe Ruth 1914 rookie card sells for $7.2 million

'The Great Bambino': Babe Ruth 1914 rookie card sells for $7.2 million
'The Great Bambino': Babe Ruth 1914 rookie card sells for $7.2 million 01:52

BALTIMORE - How much would you pay for a rare baseball card?

A rare and expensive baseball card of a Baltimore legend sold for big bucks.

Babe Ruth's 1914 rookie card sold for a near-record $7.2 million at an auction.

Just after midnight on Monday, a buyer purchased the card that shows Ruth in a Baltimore Orioles' uniform.

Ruth played one season with the minor league Baltimore Orioles before he became arguably the greatest baseball player ever with the Boston Red Sox and then the New York Yankees.

"To think something, you know, a piece of cardboard this big, is now moving into the genre that you would expect fine art to be in, $7.2 million. Crazy," said Shawn Herne, Executive Director of the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore.

Ruth was born on February 6m 1895, in the Pigtown community of Baltimore.

He played in the major leagues from 1914 until 1935. He finished with 714 home runs, 2,214 RBIs and had a career .342 batting average. Ruth was also a sensational pitcher, as well as an outfielder.

His 1914 rookie card shows a 19-year-old Babe Ruth. There are only a handful of these cards in the world. 

A blue version of the rookie card is on display at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in downtown Baltimore. 

"The local newspaper printed both colors and people started collecting them," Herne said. "The blue ones are more rare than the red ones, but we are talking about only 10 cards known to exist anyway."

Herne calls Babe Ruth an American icon, and investing in Ruth collectables is a wise investment. 

"You think of Marilyn Monroe, you think of Lucille Ball, you think of John Wayne, they have become almost legendary in their status, and Ruth has done that," Herne said. "He went from being a legend to being mythical, almost larger than life."

The: $7.2 million price tag is the third-largest amount ever paid for a sports card. 

A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sold for $12.6 million and a Honus Wagner card sold for $7.25 million.

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