Description

    Photo matched to image of Ruth wearing the pennant around his neck!

    1934 Babe Ruth Tour of Japan Presentational Pennant. No foreign excursion in the history of our National Pastime has been as consequential as the 1934 Tour of Japan, the spark that ignited a wildfire of passion for the game in the Land of the Rising Sun. Due to this unparalleled historical relevance and the extraordinary cast of characters involved, the few surviving relics of the Tour are highly coveted by collectors.

    Presented is a thrilling souvenir gifted by star-struck Japanese hosts to the greatest Tourist of them all, a man whose global fame played arguably the largest role in the towering success of the expedition. This hand-crafted felt pennant can be matched to a photograph of Ruth moments after its presentation on a Japanese diamond, the famed slugger wearing the colorful memento as a bib in his characteristic playful style.

    Certainly you'll note that the pennant's Japanese characters that appear in the period photograph are absent today, though close inspection will reveal faint glue outlines to match the placement. While it's possible that the characters were lost during the course of decades of storage and display, the more likely explanation is that anti-Japanese sentiment during the Second World War inspired Ruth to remove them himself. It seems too great a coincidence that only the Japanese text would come loose from the pennant, but none of the English.

    Beyond this alteration from original state, the relic presents remarkably free of any condition issues of note. Antique felt is a favorite dish of moths, but not a single hole appears beyond the punctures of tacks at the upper border and tassels from an earlier display. Today the pennant is professionally sewn to a backing board for framing. Dimensions are approximately 11x21", not inclusive of the tassels. This is only the second 1934 Tour of Japan pennant that Heritage has offered, the first--issued to minor Tour figure Joe Cascarella, a pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics--commanded $16,730 in May 2013. Original photo of Ruth wearing pennant is included, part of a scrapbook containing sixteen original snapshots of the American team, acquired from the family of Tour umpire John Quinn. Letter of provenance from family of John Quinn (scrapbook).


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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