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    1943 Babe Ruth Signed Fielder's Glove with Extraordinary Provenance. Ever since young New Yorkers clambered to the railing of the Polo Grounds to meet the newly arrived Boston transplant in 1920, the autograph of Babe Ruth has reigned as the most popular in the collecting hobby. But as the Babe's fame and belly swelled throughout the course of his professional career and beyond, his head never grew to match. He remained one of the most approachable athletes in history, and the most generous of signers. It is only due to the massive demand that Ruth's signature maintains a lofty price tag, as signed baseballs, photos and album pages survive as the most common of pre-war players.

    There are exceptions, however, to the theme of availability, and we encounter an example here, one of just two Babe Ruth single signed gloves to appear within a major auction in the past decade. We can only hypothesize as to the glaring scarcity of signed gloves, but one can assume that the high cost relative to balls and photos played a role. One could also imagine that a number of signed gloves have indeed existed, but the call of the sandlot proved irresistible for most young owners, dooming the signatures to the brutality of play.

    Young Jim Headley was clearly not your typical youngster, however, a fact borne out by his incredible dedication to the sale of war stamps as a carrier boy for the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper. As an included photocopy of a May 22, 1942 issue of the paper indicates, Headley was one of the boys responsible for selling well over four million war stamps, outpacing every other newspaper in the country of a comparable size. The prize for the boys' patriotic dedication was a June 23, 1943 celebration at the Cleveland Public Auditorium where Babe Ruth, Jim Cagney and other celebrities would applaud their efforts.

    An included 8x10" photo from that event provides ironclad provenance, with a beaming young Jim looking on as Babe Ruth autographs his Pinky Higgins endorsed glove manufactured by local Cleveland sporting goods retailer "The Newman Stern Co." The black fountain pen signature aligns perfectly to the photo, mellowed to some degree over the passing decades but still readily legible from any reasonable viewing distance. Finally, we have Jim's ticket for admittance to the show, bearing a vintage ink notation on verso that reads "Jim went to Cleveland with Mr. Chapes of Beacon Journal Wed 25, 1943, reward for selling 58,091 10 cent defense stamps. Came home with a B.B. mit (sic) autographed by Babe Ruth." Now the pride and joy of a patriotic young man can elevate your Ruth collection to a place only a tiny handful could reach. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    More information about Babe Ruth.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2011
    4th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 6,993

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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