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Babe Adams

1915/16 M101-5 Sporting News

Charles Benjamin “Babe” Adams

Born: May 18, 1882 - Tipton, IN
Died: July 27, 1968 - Silver Spring, MD
Batted: LH
Threw: RH
Position: P
MLB Pitching Record: 194–140
ERA: 2.76

St. Louis Cardinals NL (1906)
Pittsburgh Pirates NL (1907, 1909–1916, 1918–1926 )

Charles Benjamin “Babe” Adams broke in with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1906, but his stay in redbird country would be brief. The Pirates purchased his contract in 1907, beginning a uniquely fickle romance between team and player. Adams won 111 games for Pittsburgh between 1909 and 1915, highlighted by two 20-plus win seasons. In 1916, Adams dipped to 2–9 and the Bucs, showing no loyalty at all, released him. In July of 1918, Pittsburgh reacquired Adams, and once again, he delivered. Pitching into his early 40s, Adams won 69 games between 1919 and 1923. In 1924, Adams again saw his numbers drop, and once again, the treacherous Pirates released him, this time for good in 1926.

To realize the extent of Pittsburgh’s constant betrayal, one need only look at Adams’ postseason record. As a rookie, he led the Bucs to the 1909 World Championship with three complete game wins versus Detroit. He also pitched a scoreless inning in the Pirates’ 1925 Series win against Washington. Adams’ 194–140 career record does not do justice to the singular talent he possessed. He was recognized as baseball’s premier control pitcher, walking just 430 men in almost 3,000 career innings. That’s a little more than one walk per nine-inning game. In retirement, Adams continued to use his keen eye in hunting and horseshoes. Adams was supposedly nicknamed “Babe” because an admiring female fan once gushed over his baby face, but he proudly took the ups and downs of his big-league career like a man. 

– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 VG-EX 4
2 GOOD+ 2.5

Prices By Grade


Grade Most Recent Price Average Price SMR Price Population POP Higher
GEM - MT 10
MINT 9 $915.00
NM - MT 8 $310.00
NM 7 $145.00
EX - MT 6 $90.00
EX 5 $50.00
VG - EX 4 $28.00 1
VG 3 $16.00 1
GOOD 2 $10.00 2
FR 1.5 2
PR 1 $5.00 2
Auth 2

Auction Prices Realized

Date Price Grade Lot # Auction House Auction/Seller Type Cert
11/19/2016 $287 4 50402 Heritage Auctions 2016 November 17 - 19 Sports Collectibles Catalo... Nov 19, 2016 Auction 90570052
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