It was June 2, 2015, the 80th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s final Major League Baseball game. That day, I bought a lottery ticket. I spied a 1935 Goudey Babe Ruth card on Ebay, which casually mentioned it was an “RP,” which is usually shorthand for “reprint.”
Chances were, the seller was telling the truth, and hoping some bidders would fail to notice the code word. But the card looked just convincing enough that I decided to place a bid, just in case the seller was wrong. I won. The total price including shipping was $11. No one else had taken the bait.
The card arrived yesterday. Indeed, it was a very convincing looking card. I think it shares the same pedigree with the last Ruth card I bought. The card stock is thinner and smoother than the original, but other than that, the card looks genuine. Even the wear on the card looked convincing.
I was handling the card when my wife walked in.
“See my new card? The way I’m handling it tells you everything you need to know.” I was holding the card in my bare hands, shoving it into the empty spot in my album reserved for the Ruth card, giving it no more respect than I would give a Yuni Betancourt or Tony Peña Jr. card.
“Where’d you get that!?”
“It’s fake,” I said. “I wouldn’t take a real one out of its holder.”
But it fooled her.
I placed an $11 bet, and I guess you could say I lost, but then again, it looks nicer than a blank spot in the album, and any Ruth card I do buy is likely to be in a graded holder, so it won’t go in that spot in the album anyway. It’s a convincing stand-in.
And I took a suspicious-looking card out of circulation, which can’t be all bad.