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    Extraordinary relic derives from the famous Bustin' Babes vs. Larrupin' Lou's barnstorming tour

    1927-28 Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig & Christy Walsh Signed Large Photograph. Marketing icons like Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan and Peyton Manning might not be cashing million dollar checks from Nike and Gatorade if it hadn't been for Christy Walsh, widely recognized as the first sports agent, whose Midas touch turned the star power of Yankees sluggers Ruth and Gehrig into pure gold and redefined sports celebrity. While the contributions to American sport by the Babe and the Iron Horse are well-established in the public record, it is arguably Walsh who had the most enduring effect, particularly in economic terms.

    The Bustin' Babes vs. Larrupin' Lou's barnstorming tour of America, undertaken in the offseason after the New York Yankees' four-game World Series sweeps of 1927 and 1928, marks another great innovation from Walsh's resume. With the Mississippi River serving as Major League Baseball's westernmost boundary, this important excursion provided hundreds of thousands of fans their first look at the game's greatest sluggers, sowing the seeds of the sport's Manifest Destiny.

    So while any relic bearing the autographs of Babe Ruth (9/10) and Lou Gehrig (8/10) carries undeniable appeal, the addition of Christy Walsh is a welcome enhancement (Walsh signature is traced). Here he proudly stands shoulder to shoulder with the 1927 American League MVP and the Home Run King, each signing in bold black fountain pen ink below his image. Signature strength averages to a solid 9/10.

    The prodigious dimensions of the photo (10x13") makes it all the more visually impressive, though oversized images do tend to be more prone to damage. A snaking tear at right edge and some creasing at bottom and upper left must be reported but do little to undermine the fine aesthetics and (minimally) affect only Walsh's signature. Handwritten at top in white ink is a personalization to the public relations liaison of one barnstorming stop: "Appreciation to Matt Gallagher for doing the best ballyhoo on our tour." We believe this handwriting to be Walsh's.

    Photo is matted and framed to final dimensions of 17x20". Full Grading LOA from PSA/DNA (Ruth 9/10, Gehrig 8/10). Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2014
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,626

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