While exciting new discoveries are almost always announced in the context of promotional auction press releases, sometimes fascinating discoveries occur involving items that are not going up for sale or auction. Courtesy of Robert Edward Auctions, such is the case with a new baseball pin discovery from the extremely popular 1915 PM1 “Ornate Border” pin set: Babe Ruth. “When we saw this pin, we had to finally say ‘Now we’ve seen everything!’ We have always had a special appreciation for baseball pins.

For Robert Edward Auctions, seeing this pin in the collection of a longtime collector was almost like finding a previously undiscovered Joe Jackson in T206.” Upon seeing the pin, at first Robert Edward Auctions officials could not believe their eyes. Could it really be Babe Ruth? Most PM1s have the player’s name identified on the photo but some do not. This example is of the unidentified style, leaving REA to provide verification of the identification.

Identification of the batter on the pin as Babe Ruth may have seemed too good to be true, but in this case the identification is a certainty, confirmed not just by sight, but by also by REA’s locating a copy of the actual photograph of Ruth, which was used in the making of the pin. The Ruth pin is unchecklisted and completely unknown. The PM1 set in general is rare, and it is not uncommon for new checklist discoveries to surface. During the past year alone, Robert Edward Auctions has provided two other additional PM1 checklist additions to The Standard Catalog (Jake Daubert and a second previously unknown pose of Tris Speaker).

The discovery of this PM1 Babe Ruth, dating from his rookie season no less, is “one for the books.” According to REA President and pinback expert Robert Lifson, “This is one of the most exciting baseball pinback finds we could ever imagine existing, though before this find neither we nor anyone else, to the best of our knowledge, even considered the possibility of Ruth’s inclusion in the set.”

The PM1 Ruth pin will not be offered at auction because the owner has decided to sell the pin privately, but we appreciate Robert Edward Auctions sharing this discovery with MEARS subscribers.