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    Fewer than a handful known to exist

    1944-45 Babe Ruth Signed Albertype (Type I) Hall of Fame Plaque. Depending on who you ask, the official census of Babe Ruth signed Hall of Fame plaques stands at either two or three, including the example we proudly present here. While Cooperstown souvenir shop relics such as this have been a staple of autograph collectors for decades now, such was not the case during early years of their existence; thus the population for Hall of Famers who passed away prior to 1950 borders on extinction. Walter Johnson, who passed in 1946, is unknown in this format, and there may be a single Grover Cleveland Alexander (d. 1950). But a signed Ruth plaque is widely considered the most coveted of all, perhaps because he is (relative to the other members of the 1939 inaugural Hall of Fame class) so abundant in every other incarnation.

    So this is, at the risk of trotting out a term too freely used in auction cataloging, a true "Holy Grail" piece for the advanced Ruth collector, a relic that outpaces game used jerseys and even Championship awards in the highly competitive Babe Ruth collecting subgenre. This earlier version of the Albertype postcard, identified by the abbreviated state name following "Cooperstown" on the front, is autographed at the bottom margin in bold blue fountain pen ink, an autograph that would fall solidly beneath a Mint 9 header if not for a patch of paper loss that minimal intrudes upon the final strokes of the letter "e" in "Babe." We see similar paper loss, due to tape removal, at each of the other four edges. A small crease appears at upper right. The reverse is clean and unmarked.

    Dedicated plaque collectors are well aware of this fact, but we'll say it anyhow--this is almost certainly your only shot at ownership. Carpe diem. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    *A donation of $100 to the American Red Cross is required to attend the Live auction.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2013
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,160

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