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Description1928 Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig Barnstorming Memorabilia Collection. Just six days after avenging their 1926 Series defeat with a four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals to capture the World Championship, the two linchpins of the famed Murderer's Row found themselves in a small Quebec town for an early stop on their famed "Bustin' Babes and Larrupin' Lous" barnstorming tour. There they were greeted by a crowd of thousands at Hull, Quebec's Dupuis Parc, and received a hero's welcome from the town's mayor Theo Lambert, from whose estate this magnificent collection derives. Any of the four pieces that comprise this lot could stand perfectly well on its own at auction, but we keep this remarkable quartet as a complete ensemble for the Ruth and Gehrig collector who seeks to bring something very special and unique to his trophy room. The four pieces are as follows:
1) A large (14x22") broadside for the event featuring a small image of the Babe and the text, "Parc Dupuis, Hull, Babe Ruth et Lou Gehrig avec 2 clubs All Stars de Montreal, Lundi 15 Oct. a 3.00 P.M." Very minor age toning at top and bottom only serve to add to the vintage patina, but the poster is entirely devoid of creasing, tearing or staining and displays magnificently. Certainly one of the finest broadsides of any type we have seen from the decade, both in terms of condition and collecting appeal. Matted and framed to a museum quality 21x29" in size.
2) A fantastic vintage 8x10" photograph of Gehrig and Ruth in uniform flanking mayor Lambert, with a packed grandstand of Canadian fans behind them. The shot is masterfully rendered, offering a clarity and contrast so superior that we can discern the wrinkles in the Babe's forehead and the individual strands of chicken wire that separate the fans from the action. Lambert's black bowler hat (see number 3) is perched rather comically on the Babe's head, and Lambert has taken Gehrig's game worn "L.L." cap to wear in its place. In Lambert's right hand he holds a signed baseball (see number 4). The photograph offers only a single corner crease at upper left, well clear of the shot's focus, in terms of wear or damage, and this concern does nothing to detract from overall eye appeal. The photo otherwise could be categorized as NRMT. Matted and framed to an overall size of 16x21".
3) Black velvet bowler hat is the one seen in the photograph (number 2) atop Ruth's prodigious cranium. The high-quality headwear has interior manufacturer's stamping from "Tress & Co. Ltd., London" with a "7 1/8" size tag. Personally worn artifacts from the Babe are especially scarce and coveted by collectors, but those accompanied by photographic documentation are all but unknown in the hobby. Furthermore, the playful image of Ruth looking more than a little comical with this hat on his head so perfectly captures the grand and boyish spirit of the Babe that served to endear him to the world as much as his exceptional talents did. The hat remains is flawless condition, with no damage to report.
4) Official International League baseball can be spotted in the right hand of mayor Lambert in the photograph (number 2). Signed in dark black ink by twenty-two participants in the day's events, the ball is most notably blessed by autographs from Ruth and Gehrig themselves. A coating of shellac deserves the most credit for maintaining the signatures in their 9+/10 condition, though it is worthy of mention that several of the autographs, Gehrig's included, show signs of vintage enhancement. Ruth's signature, however, remains untouched in this regard, and ranks in the top few percentiles of his surviving signatures in terms of boldness.
Finally, for those baseball historians fluent in French, or willing to track down somebody who is, we have a photocopy of the 1947 Quebec baseball publication "Le Carrousel" which recounts the events of that day in 1928. The cover image of this publication is a slightly cropped version of the photograph featured as number 2 in this lot. LOA from Steve Grad & Zach Rullo/ PSA DNA.
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas