The man figured that he could just go to one more store before he went home. At the very least, it would be a good way for him to kill some time before he had to get on his flight. At the time, he had no clue that this spontaneous decision would end up making all of his dreams come true. From the corner of his eye, he noticed a card that shouldn't have seemed different from any other, but it would end up changing his life.
There are people out there who enjoy collecting things, and a lot of the time, there's no limit to what people will collect. Personally, my favorite is collecting books, but collecting stamps, coins, and baseball cards have been popular since the 1840s. Collecting things seems to come pretty naturally to some people, and it's an undeniable fact that collecting certain things can become extremely expensive.
There are certain things that are required to get the most money for your collectibles. The first thing to remember is that the item must be pretty rare because the more uncommon an item is, the more money that it's worth. Also, the item has to be in perfect, or near perfect, condition. The age of the item is also pretty important, as well. It's also the most exciting aspect of collecting things to many people.
When the man found an old card in the shop he could barely keep his composure. Throughout the years the man had seen plenty of baseball cards and he had developed a good sense of picking out originals. He was educated about his favorite hobby, and when he noticed something that everyone would think was fake, the man knew better.
Dale Ball from Visalia, California had started collecting baseball cards when he was a small child. He was interested in everything about baseball, but his absolute favorite part was collecting every and any card that he could find. Over time, he ended up collecting an incredible number of them. He also believed that he could spot a fake anywhere, but his careful eye would give him a run for his money when he visited a store in Sparks, Nevada.
While he was looking through the card collection at the store, he noticed a card of the most famous baseball player that there ever was, none other than the great Babe Ruth. The Shotwell Company made the card in 1921, but the card was so interesting because of how rare it was. In fact, the owner of the card didn't even think that it was real, and this is why.
“I can’t find it anywhere on the Internet. I think it’s fake.” The store owner explained this to Dale, and that's when Dale knew that he had to immediately buy the card, and you won't believe how much he paid for it. Dale paid a whopping $2 for the card that could ultimately change lives. And this was all because that the card was assumed to be a fake and no one thought anything more about it.
Dale took the card home and immediately started the process of getting authenticated. “Oh my gosh! It would be an amazing card. Looking at the condition on this card, it looks really nice. A card from this era, a Babe Ruth, if you get it authenticated, gosh! $20-$30,000 dollars would not be out of the question," said a local shop owner of Bases Loaded Sports Cars & Collectables. But Dale didn't think so.
Dale believed that the store owner was estimating the price based off of the E-21 version of the card. The card that Dale found was actually the Shotwell W-575-1 Babe Ruth card. You know, the one that everyone is looking for because it could be worth millions of dollars. But the first step was getting it professionally graded by The Beckett Company. Then, Dale could get a ballpark figure of how much it was worth.
As it turns out, the card IS worth millions! When Dale got the card back from The Beckett Company, Dale was told that the card was truly the "Rarest Ruth." “God blessed me, and I intend to bless the guy that I got it from. I will go back to the store when it’s all over to give him a proper payment." Dale adds that if that's the case, “I told him [Chris] my family’s welfare depends on it. Bidding starts at $2 million.”
But now, Dale is more than happy to keep holding onto the rare card. Maybe he's planning on keeping it for his son's expanding baseball card collection. After all, it would be quite the collection, especially since Dale had started collecting when he was a child. It has to be a bit difficult to sell something that you have been collecting for your entire life, especially for a little bit of money.
But Dale was looking at a lot of money. Dale has already turned down three different multi-million dollar offers for the card, be he has refused to sell it or even give an idea of what he'll be doing with the card in the future. And that's honestly something that surprises a lot of us. You know that if you were given that card you would sell it in a heartbeat. There has to be something else going on with Dale.
The first thing we need to think about is what causes people to start collecting things in the first place, and what actually defines a collection. A person who truly collects things will have an emotional connection that makes money and time worthless compared to the joy that comes with each object. And what's better than owning things that make you happy?
The thrill of chasing something that you desire is the biggest motivation for collectors. It may start out as a small interest or hobby, but when you add the thrill of the chase to it, the collection and the excitement tend to grow rapidly. This is what causes collectors to search for rare pieces, just like the Babe Ruth card that Dale found.
It might not make any sense to us to have more than one of the same card, but for the collector, they want to acquire all of the colors of each card, the record, and the plate or stamp. To collectors, they're not wasting money buying the same thing more than once, it's worth it to create the emotional connection they have to each one.
So why couldn't they find the card on the internet? The owner of the store said that he wasn't able to find anything about it when he searched. Well, he believed that it was fake, but there's something else going on. The internet is a big catch-22 for those collectors out there. Sure, you can find anything on the internet, but it takes away the experience of stumbling across something valuable.
There are some collectors out there that don't have the desire to finish their collection. After spending years of your life collecting something, would you want it all to come to an end? What would you do if you had nothing else to collect? So some collectors will only look for things in person, instead of searching on the internet.
There's also a nostalgic explanation, as well. Children are expected to go through phases, and a large number of people never get out of their habit, and some choose to get back at it later on in life. These people could be using their hobby or collection as a safety net to connect to their past. It allows them to get back to a time when their responsibilities didn't take up most of their time.
People will always reminisce about their past and this causes some people to be drawn to items from their past that are no longer produced. And in some cases, these rare items can be valuable in a monetary sense, as well.
Whatever reasons that Dale has for refusing to sell the baseball card for millions of dollars are his and his alone. But the world, and most definitely the store owner, will be looking out for where the Rarest Ruth is going to end up.