Discovering a New Baseball Card - 1970 Globe Babe Ruth

1969-1970 Globe Imports

Priced like it's fully licensed but very oddball
Priced like it's fully licensed but very oddball

Understanding the Set

If you've been collecting baseball cards for any real length of time, than you've likely come across this set of 'cards' in dealers dime boxes or dollar boxes (for the bigger stars). It was produced back in 1969 and likely into 1970 as Mickey Mantle was removed and replaced in the set when he retired. The set is small, measuring only 1 5/8" by 2 1/4", printed on thin paper stock and features a playing card design in the upper left and lower right corner with a black and white player photo in the middle.

All of the stars of the day are featured in the set. Obviously, as standards change, there are players in the set we would consider fairly common. That said, this set was distributed by Globe Imports through gas stations in southern states and they might not have been an MLB-approved product. Nevertheless, they are listed in all of the price guides as if it was a licensed product.

Due to variations in later printings of the set there are in fact 58 cards plus a joker.

  • 3 Hearts: Tony Conigliaro, Don Drysdale
  • 3 Clubs: Jerry Koosman, Mike McCormick
  • Ace Clubs: Richie Allen, Carl Yastrzemski
  • Ace Diamonds: Bob Gibson, Babe Ruth
  • 2 Spades: Denny McClain, Cesar Tovar
  • Ace Spades: Ken Harrelson, Mickey Mantle


Seen Them All - Except This One

A New Discovery
A New Discovery

Variations yes, but Babe Ruth??

So there are variations in this set and I've seen all of the other ones. The Mantle is the most difficult to find as it seems he was replaced rather early and he is expensive because of it. While the biggest stars like Willie Mays, Pete Rose and Tom Seaver sit in the $10 range, the Mantle has a value of $40.

What I had never seen before, was this card.

Babe Ruth? Really? And he replaces Bob Gibson of all people (or maybe it was the other way around - nobody really knows). He's the only player in the set not from the era so he really makes no sense in this set. The picture they used is a very well known picture that has been used on many other reprint-type cards for Babe Ruth but again, why is he even here?

If the set had other baseball legends in it like Ty Cobb and Cy Young, it would make sense. Babe Ruth by himself, doesn't. Not only that, but Ruth is a Yankees legend. These card sets were produced and distributed in the southern United States where Ruth probably isn't the same type of draw he would have been up north.

In the end, we'll likely never know why there is a Ruth card but the bigger question is what is it's value. I've NEVER seen one before except on eBay where they go in the $20 range but that doesn't sound right if Mantle is $40. The Ruth seems just as hard to find, if not more difficult as I've had the Mantle at least a half-dozen times in my life but I'd never seen the Ruth before.


The Complete Checklist

So for those of you who like to collect vintage superstars at an inexpensive price, here is the complete checklist for the set - including variations:

  • 1969 Globe Imports #CAa Richie Allen
  • 1969 Globe Imports #CAb Carl Yastrzemski
  • 1969 Globe Imports #C2 Reggie Smith
  • 1969 Globe Imports #C3a Jerry Koosman
  • 1969 Globe Imports #C3b Mike McCormick
  • 1969 Globe Imports #C4 Tony Oliva
  • 1969 Globe Imports #C5 Bud Harrelson
  • 1969 Globe Imports #C6 Rick Reichardt
  • 1969 Globe Imports #C7 Billy Williams
  • 1969 Globe Imports #C8 Pete Rose
  • 1969 Globe Imports #C9 Jim Maloney
  • 1969 Globe Imports #C10 Tim McCarver
  • 1969 Globe Imports #CJ Max Alvis
  • 1969 Globe Imports #CQ Ron Swoboda
  • 1969 Globe Imports #CK Johnny Callison
  • 1969 Globe Imports #DAa Bob Gibson
  • 1969 Globe Imports #DAb Babe Ruth
  • 1969 Globe Imports #D2 Paul Casanova
  • 1969 Globe Imports #D3 Juan Marichal
  • 1969 Globe Imports #D4 Jim Fregosi
  • 1969 Globe Imports #D5 Earl Wilson
  • 1969 Globe Imports #D6 Tony Horton
  • 1969 Globe Imports #D7 Harmon Killebrew
  • 1969 Globe Imports #D8 Tom Seaver
  • 1969 Globe Imports #D9 Curt Flood
  • 1969 Globe Imports #D10 Frank Robinson
  • 1969 Globe Imports #DJ Bob Aspromonte
  • 1969 Globe Imports #DQ Lou Brock
  • 1969 Globe Imports #DK Jim Lonborg
  • 1969 Globe Imports #HA Willie Mays
  • 1969 Globe Imports #H2 Chris Short
  • 1969 Globe Imports #H3a Tony Conigliaro
  • 1969 Globe Imports #H3b Don Drysdale
  • 1969 Globe Imports #H4 Bill Freehan
  • 1969 Globe Imports #H5 Willie McCovey
  • 1969 Globe Imports #H6 Joel Horlen
  • 1969 Globe Imports #H7 Ernie Banks
  • 1969 Globe Imports #H8 Jim Wynn
  • 1969 Globe Imports #H9 Brooks Robinson
  • 1969 Globe Imports #H10 Orlando Cepeda
  • 1969 Globe Imports #HJ Al Kaline
  • 1969 Globe Imports #HQ Gene Alley
  • 1969 Globe Imports #HK Rusty Staub
  • 1969 Globe Imports #SAa Ken Harrelson
  • 1969 Globe Imports #SAb Mickey Mantle
  • 1969 Globe Imports #S2a Denny McLain
  • 1969 Globe Imports #S2b Cesar Tovar
  • 1969 Globe Imports #S3 Rick Monday
  • 1969 Globe Imports #S4 Richie Allen
  • 1969 Globe Imports #S5 Mel Stottlemyre
  • 1969 Globe Imports #S6 Tommy John
  • 1969 Globe Imports #S7 Don Mincher
  • 1969 Globe Imports #S8 Chico Cardenas
  • 1969 Globe Imports #S9 Willie Davis
  • 1969 Globe Imports #S10 Bert Campaneris
  • 1969 Globe Imports #SJ Ron Santo
  • 1969 Globe Imports #SQ Al Ferrara
  • 1969 Globe Imports #SK Clete Boyer

When buying a full set, there really is no way of knowing which variations, if any, exist in the set so if you are looking for anyone specific, it may be better to look for that card on an individual level, like the Mantle or Ruth cards.

It's a cool, generally inexpensive set full of stars from the late 60's. This Ruth card caught me off guard but after doing the research, it seems a legitimate, if little known, variation in this very oddball set.

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