If there was a list for “most controversial cards of all time” then this might be at the top. While legendary players with bat and jersey cards are commonplace now, this was considered sacrilege back in the day. There was an outcry in the industry when this card came out, after Upper Deck purchased a Babe Ruth bat at auction, and started slicing it up to put on cards.
There are two schools of thoughts on this card. The first is that by cutting up the pieces of history, it gives much more people the ability to own a relic they would never have the ability to do otherwise, and baseball is a sport of the people, and this allows the people to have their piece of baseball history.
The other school of thought is that these are rare pieces of history that there will never be more of. You can’t replace a Babe Ruth bat. You can’t replace a Babe Ruth jersey. Once they are gone, they are lost to history. They shouldn’t be broken down because they can never be enjoyed for what they are ever again.
Either way, this card is one of the linchpins of this debate, which carries on to this day.
Random Babe Ruth Fact: By Baseball Reference WAR, Ruth is considered one of the two greatest baseball players of all time. Yet, when he was up for election in the inagurual baseball Hall of Fame class, 11 people didn’t vote for him!