Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1922 Historic Sale of Babe Ruth Promissory Note. Now that the curse has finally been broken by an historic eight-game October winning streak, we feel safe in bringing this important document into the light of day, reassured that those Boston Red Sox fans who wished to send this piece to the same place that Cubs fans sent the Bartman ball have softened their stance on the issue. Yet surely, even in the glow of recent and long overdue victory, no New Englander could look upon this unassuming yet titanically important document without cringing just a little, remembering over eighty years of tragedy that followed the biggest trade/mistake in baseball history. Offered here is one of the three promissory notes issued by the New York Yankees to the Boston Red Sox organization, each 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.

    Text of the note is as follows: "$25,000 (addended to read $25,500 to include 6% interest), NY January 3, 1922, One Hundred and twenty days after date we promise to pay to the order of The Boston American League Baseball Club Twenty-five Thousand and no/100 Dollars at Yorkville Bank with interest at 6%, American League Baseball Club of New York, Inc. by (signed) Jacob Ruppert, President, (signed) T.L. Huston, Secretary." The signatures of Ruppert and Huston appear again on the verso, along with that of the most hated man in Boston baseball history, the team owner who cared more about a play called "No No Nanette" than the sanity of countless millions of current and future Red Sox fans. He writes, "Boston American League Baseball Club By (signed) H. Frazee, Prest." Two unidentified signatures, likely those of bank employees appear at bottom. All signatures are bold and strong.

    Headlines were made in November of 2004 when the philanthropist who owns the actual contract sending Ruth to the Yankees attempted to sell it on eBay, realizing legitimate bids of over $470,000 and choosing not to accept the high offer, believing the contract to be worth a good deal more. We would tend to agree with his thinking, though perhaps had he employed the services of Heritage he would have found the results more to his liking. Regardless, that piece will remain a dream for all but the most fabulously well-funded, leaving this promissory note the most attractive alternative for those seeking to own a part of this earthshaking chapter in baseball history.

    The note itself remains in wonderful condition, with a few minor creases and the stain of an ancient rusty paper clip only adding to the vintage patina. A tiny hole below Ruppert's signature affects no writing on front or verso. Measures 3.25x7.5". The piece is masterfully matted and framed between two panes of glass to allow viewing of each side, along with a photo of Ruth and typed text regarding the note. Overall size is 11.5x17". LOA from Steve Grad & Zach Rullo/ PSA DNA.

    More information about Babe Ruth.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2005
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 453

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold on May 14, 2005 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 4 days left to consign to the 2021 May 20 Sports Monthly Showcase Auction !

    Learn about consigning with us

    I am completely satisfied, more to the point, absolutely ecstatic, about not only the proceeds but the wonderful professional manner every aspect of my little consignment was handled.
    Bill R.,
    Green Bay, WI
    View More Testimonials

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search