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Press Release - April 5, 2005
Important Babe Ruth Artifacts to Highlight Heritage Sports Auction
Dallas, Texas: Heritage Sports Collectibles (HSC) will offer a wide assortment of artifacts relating to the career and life of legendary Hall of Famer Babe Ruth in their upcoming Signature auction, to be held May 14 in their Dallas, Texas headquarters.
"Seven decades after the Babe hung up his spikes, he still remains the most noteworthy and collectible figure in American sports history," said Chris Ivy, Director of HSC. "Those legions of collectors who concentrate on Ruth will surely be impressed with the quality and quantity of pieces we have assembled for this Signature Auction." A selection of highlight items appear below.
In every regard, this bat takes on the ideal specifics of Ruth's favored lumber, from the length and weight of thirty-five inches and forty ounces respectively to the scored left-handed hitting surface from which at least one of his 714 career home runs was launched. Ruth was also known to 'notch' his bats after hitting a home run. To the right of the center brand is one distinct mark, which is vintage and original to the bat. The Babe's practice of 'boning' his bats, flattening the hitting surface with a steer bone to create a wider ideal point of impact, is evident on the back of the barrel in a ten-inch strip of smoothed wood. This hitting surface shows distinct stitch marks from titanic collisions with Ban Johnson baseballs, and as Ruth knocked the dirt off his spikes in the batters box, he left small gouges in the wood of the barrel.
"It's a piece that could easily occupy a place of honor in either the Baseball Hall of Fame or the Smithsonian Museum," Ivy declared. "It is our sincere hope that the lucky winning bidder appreciates the responsibility he takes on as ward of such a special and important treasure."
This is a promissory note issued by the New York Yankees to the Boston Red Sox organization, made payable for $25,000 (plus six percent interest), with the final $25,000 of the $100,000 price tag for the Babe paid in cash.
Ivy added "Many Red Sox fans believe that their eighty-six year World Series Championship drought was caused by Ruth's departure to the Yankees. This promissory note for $25,000 of the purchase price of Ruth is one of the few known official documents surviving from this watershed event in baseball history.
"When Babe Ruth hit a home run at Fenway Park on April 19, 1928, he was quite literally at the summit of his enormous fame," said Ivy. "This was the first of what would total a League-topping fifty-four home runs in the 1928 season, and the 417th of the Babe's career."
The fan that caught the ball sought out the Babe after the game and presented it to him, which Ruth graciously blessed with his classic sweet spot signature, today rating a solid 6/10 to 7/10 in quality. A side panel inscription in the same ancient ink as Ruth is in the lucky fan's hand, and tells the story of the home run. Only a small handful of verified Babe Ruth home run balls have ever surfaced in the collecting hobby, and the status of this specimen as the first of the 1928 World Championship season sets it high in the rankings of that microscopic supply.
This white cotton pullover shirt derives from the wardrobe of the greatest name in the history of American sports, worn as Ruth passed on the vast breadth of his knowledge as hitting instructor for the traveling clinic-style baseball camp for aspiring young ballplayers in 1941.
"With Ruth's Yankees gamers selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Ivy. "Heritage is pleased to offer this appealing alternative to bidders who might not have unlimited funds to spend. It may not be Yankee pinstripes, but this is still a genuine Babe Ruth worn jersey." The piece derives from the famous Barry Halper Collection.
The Charles Weber Archive of Babe Ruth Correspondence.
An exciting archive of postcards sent by the Babe to his good friend, a Bronxville, NY butcher named Charley Weber, offers close to a dozen lots of handwritten notes from the hand of the game's greatest slugger.
"It's certainly clear simply from this collection of correspondence that there was a special bond between the butcher and the Babe," said Ivy. "Wherever Ruth traveled in his later years, whether Mexico City, Acapulco, Miami Beach or Chicago, he took the time to drop a postcard in the mail to his good friend Charley, and Charley held onto them with great affection and pride."
The postcards also speak volumes about the Babe and his legendary sense of humor, which is illustrated in the variety of comical cards he picked to mail to his friend. Links to a selection of the lots are below.
- March 27, 1946 Babe Ruth Signed Typed Letter.
- May 26, 1946 Babe Ruth Handwritten and Signed Postcard.
- April 10, 1947 Babe Ruth Handwritten and Signed Postcard.
HSC specializes in rare and collectible sports cards, as well as uniforms, equipment, and related vintage sports memorabilia. Consignments for future Signature Sports Auction are currently being accepted. Prospective consignors or sellers of quality vintage sports cards and sports memorabilia are encouraged to contact:
Chris Ivy at 800-872-6467 Ext. 319 or email: CIvy@HeritageSportsCollectibles.com.
Sam Foose at 800-872-6467 Ext. 227 or email: SamF@HeritageSportsCollectibles.com.
Stephen Carlisle at 800-872-6467 Ext. 292 or email: StephenC@HeritageSportsCollectibles.com.
Jonathan Scheier at 800-872-6467 Ext. 314 or email JonathanS@HeritageSportsCollectibles.com.
To order the this Heritage Sports Collectibles Signature catalog, contact Nicole Jewell, or write c/o Heritage Sports Collectibles, 3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor, Dallas, TX 75219.