A rookie Babe signs on the day of his very first World Series appearance!1915 Boston Red Sox Team Signed Sheet with Babe Ruth. He may have been the most fearsome slugger of the pre-war era, and the man whose sale would unleash eighty-six seasons of suffering upon the Boston Red Sox, but the entirety of Babe Ruth's duties for the 1915 Fall Classic was confined to a single pinch hit appearance, an unassisted ground out to first in the top of Game One's ninth inning. The place was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the date October 8th, 1915, precise historical coordinates found in print at the top of this thrilling relic that rates among the most exciting and important Ruth signed documents ever to surface in the modern collecting hobby. It is likewise the earliest dated Ruth signature known to exist in private hands.
Though Ruth's World Series debut at the Baker Bowl was less than auspicious, it was a key stepping stone on the path to the Hall of Fame, where he would again meet the pitcher he faced in that first at bat, the legendary Grover Cleveland Alexander, at the museum's inaugural induction ceremony in 1939. Ruth would offer up his first World Series heroics the following season, pitching thirteen scoreless innings in Game Two of the 1916 Series after surrendering a first inning solo shot to take the victory over the Brooklyn Robins.
But just twenty years old, and a veteran of only forty-seven Major League games at the start of the 1915 World Series, the Babe was still nothing more than a bit player in this World Championship cast, simply one of twenty-three black fountain pen signatures in a roster featuring superstars like Tris Speaker, Smokey Joe Wood and Harry Hooper. Addressed to "Mr. John E. Bruce, Secretary, The National Commission," the letter states,
"Dear Sir: We the undersigned, players of the Boston American League Base Ball Club, eligible to compete in the World's Series Games of 1915 do hereby authorize William F. Carrigan, Manager, to accept for us, check in payment for our share of the World's Series whatever the same may be:"
Signing, in order and format as written: Forrest L. Cody, Olaf Henriksen, George H. Ruth, George Foster, Duffy Lewis (smudged first name), H.B. Leonard, W.L. Gardner, Tris Speaker, E. Scott, C.D. Thomas, H.B. Hooper, D. Gainer, S.A. Gregg, E.G. Shore, J.J. Barry, Joe Wood, Ray W. Collins, R.C. Hoblitzell, Harold Chandler Janvrin, Carl W. Mays, Charles Wagner, M.J. McNally, William F. Carrigan.
The single typed page measures 8.5x11" in size, with original storage folds showing slight separation that remains well clear of the autographs. All signatures rate 8/10 or better with the sole exception of Duffy Lewis, as noted. We stress that this is the only known signed "flat" from this early Red Sox World Championship team. Modern print of team photograph included. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.
1915 Boston Red Sox Team Signed Sheet with Babe Ruth.
*A donation of $100 to the American Red Cross is required to attend the Live auction.
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