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Today we have a deep dive into a 1948 Babe Ruth Type 1 Photograph that is IPOing on Collectable Sunday, June 27th at 8 PM EST.
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About the Asset
The first sports photograph to win the Pulitzer Prize, this is a 1948 Photo of Babe Ruth in his final appearance at Yankee Stadium, just a few months before his death. The photo was taken by legendary photographer Nat Fein and is known as “The Babe Bows Out.” There’s a lot more in this link that Collectable posted. Fein signed and inscribed this particular copy.
This has been authenticated by PSA/DNA as a Type 1 Photograph and as a refresher, a Type 1 photograph is defined by PSA as: “A 1st generation photograph, developed from the original negative, during the period (within approximately two years of when the picture was taken)”. Type I photographs are the originals and the most valuable. I’ve found at least 4 other signed Type 1s of this photo and at least 4 other unsigned Type 1 copies.
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- Projected future growth
- Asset class ROI, volatility and risk statistics
- Detailed valuation with recent sales
- Our verdict
About the Drop
This asset will drop on Collectable at 8 PM EST on June 27th for $49,500, but it is currently available as an “Exclusive” for certain members. There is $13,640 in retained equity, leaving $35,860 in shares. Collectable have been scheduling their assets for trading around 60 days after the IPO funds and from that point it trades every weekday.
Add IPO to calendar
About Babe Ruth and Nat Fein
We’ve written about Babe Ruth previously – see here for the most comprehensive writeup. One of the greatest and most famous baseball players (and athletes) in American history, he is getting a little more play in the press currently due to the exploits of Shohei Ohtani – the first real two-way player since Ruth a century ago.
Nat Fein is best known for taking this particular photo – it did win the Pulitzer, after all. But he was a well-regarded photographer outside of that and was not specifically a sports photographer. He has a big enough profile on his own to be notable, but mostly because of this photograph.
Recent Sales and Current Valuation
This exact copy was purchased from SCP Auctions for $25,686 in April.
The sports memorabilia category had a -8% ROI in Q1 2021.
Growth Potential and Future Catalysts
There is room to grow in the photograph market, but I’m not sure how that applies to photos that aren’t tied to famous cards – the way the previous Collectable offerings have been. This photo falls under a different category that isn’t really going to cross over to the sports cards collectors — it’s just straight memorabilia, and not one that is likely to see any kind of meaningful bump. Ruth’s market is mature and his relevance will only decline with time.
Be advised that most recent Collectable IPOs, especially the sports memorabilia ones, are falling (some around 25-30%) immediately upon entering the secondary market. In fact, 15 of 17 sports memorabilia IPOs and 22 of the last 24 overall have declined (some substantially) since opening.