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    Description

    One of the greatest Ruth tales of all is validated...

    1926 Babe Ruth Handwritten & Signed Letter to Johnny Sylvester. Did he call his shot in Game Three of the 1932 World Series? We'll never know for certain. Was "the bellyache heard 'round the world" that ended Ruth's 1925 season precipitated by the consumption of two dozen hot dogs? Unlikely. But one Ruth tale speaks to the essence of baseball's Paul Bunyan moreso than any other and, to paraphrase Nixon-era National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, it has the added benefit of being true.

    It's the story of a seriously ill youngster named Johnny Sylvester, a devoted fan of the New York Yankees who was suffering from complications resulting from a fall from a horse as the 1926 World Series approached. The specific details of Sylvester's maladies, and the manner in which his family made contact with Ruth, are a matter of some debate, but the friendship between the eleven-year old Yankees fan and the team's greatest figure is well documented in period photography and newspaper text.

    A promise was made to Sylvester that Ruth would hit a home run for him in Game Four of the World Series, a vow that the Babe fulfilled in triplicate to become the only man in history to complete the feat until Reggie's glorious Mr. October performance of 1977. Though the therapeutic effects of Ruth's masterpiece are likewise little more than conjecture today, the feat served as a miracle cure in Hollywood's account, as told in the 1948 biopic "The Babe Ruth Story."

    The presented document picks up the story three days after that historic Game Four, the single handwritten page apparently authored shortly before the start of Game Six, though Ruth mistakenly dates the letter "Oct. 9, 1923" rather than "1926." The text, in its entirety:

    "To my Friend John Sylvester,

    Just a few words reminding you that I have not forgotten my sick little pal sorry I couldn't get out to see you but here [sic] hoping this little message of cheer finds you & well on the road to recovery. I will try and knock you another homer maybe two today.

    best regards

    From your Friend and rooter 'Babe' Ruth."

    Only here does the heartwarming tale diverge from perfection, as Ruth would fail to deliver in Game Six, and a Game Seven blast would prove insufficient to stave off defeat as the Cardinals took both contests and the World Championship.

    The letter appears to have been trimmed from the pages of a scrapbook, resulting in narrow borders and a few spots of toning but otherwise remarkably fine condition, with Ruth's ink a consistent 9+/10 throughout. Approximate dimensions 8x9". Modern prints of Sylvester posing with gifts from Ruth, and Ruth himself, are included, as is a signed letter of provenance from John Sylvester, Jr., the son of Ruth's lucky little pal. Letter of provenance from John Sylvester, Jr. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.






    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2015
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 20
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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