The 200-card 1917 Collins-McCarthy "Baseball's Hall of Fame" issue is the company's only non-PCL issue. Printed on thin stock and featuring black and white player photos with a thick, gloss surface, the set is loaded with stars and Hall of Famers, and has become incredibly popular among collectors in recent years due to player selection and scarcity. The glossy surfaces are also subject to wear, resulting in condition-sensitivity that makes high-grade examples difficult to obtain.
Presented here is the unquestionable key card of the issue, one of the earliest cards of Babe Ruth. Graded PR 1 by PSA, the card presents extremely well, despite being accurately graded. The primary condition flaws relate to cracking and light wrinkling of the gloss surface, primarily light, with heavier creases at the right corners. Some additional wrinkling is visible near Ruth's cap, as well as very light horizontal wrinkling near Ruth's glove.
In this image, Ruth is pictured as a Boston pitcher, coming off his second complete season with Boston, in which he led the league in ERA (1.75) and games started. Though The Babe boasted a strong bat for his position, he had yet to take his eventual place in the outfield and begin wielding his prodigious bat. Indeed, heading into the 1917 season, Ruth had just seven lifetime home runs.
Cards from the Collins-McCarthy issue are extremely difficult to find, the card of Ruth is ultimately one of the most scarce of all Ruth's card issues. Indeed, PSA has assessed just 14 examples of the Collins-McCarthy card, with PSA grading just ten. Issued just one year after his 1916 major league rookie card, the E135 is exceptionally rare, an extremely desirable early card of Babe Ruth.