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    Career home run #417!

    1928 Babe Ruth Signed First Home Run Baseball of the Season. When Babe Ruth stepped to the plate at Fenway Park on April 19, 1928, he was quite literally at the summit of his enormous fame. The season of 1928 had begun only days earlier, and the baseball world was emerging from a long, cold winter with a single name on its lips: Ruth. The New York Yankees slugger's 1927 season was something bordering upon the supernatural, and there was not a baseball fan alive who didn't ache to witness his magical ways in person. Consider this--the top three home run sluggers of the '27 season wore Yankee pinstripes. Lou Gehrig was runner-up with an amazing forty-seven. Tony Lazzeri took the bronze with just eighteen. The Ringling Brothers circus wasn't the greatest show on earth, Murderer's Row was. And there was no question as to which man was the ringleader.

    How conflicted those fans turning out to see their Red Sox meet the Yankees that sunny spring day in 1928 must have felt, remembering that the Babe had once resided in their own dugout in Boston, and wishing almost simultaneously that he would strike out and that they could see that fabled home run power for themselves. Those traitorous desires were quickly satisfied when the Bambino applied a tremendous swat to this OAL (Barnard) baseball and sent it sailing through the cool New England air and into the right field bleachers of Fenway Park. It was the first of what would total a League-topping fifty-four home runs in the 1928 season, and the 417th of the Babe's career.

    As Ruth scampered around the bases in his quirky short-strided gait, a fan in the cheap seats gripped this baseball tightly, understanding even then that he held a piece of great value in his hands. Wisely, he sought out the Babe after the game and presented this ball to him, which Ruth graciously blessed with his classic sweet spot signature, today rating a solid 6/10 to 7/10 in quality. A side panel inscription in the same ancient ink as Ruth is in the lucky fan's hand. It reads, "April 19, 1928, Yankees vs. Red Sox - Babe Ruth's first home run of the season of 1928. He launched this ball into the right field bleachers in Fenway Park. Recovered by George..." Here it fades into illegibility, but the story is satisfyingly clear. Leo Durocher, appearing in one of the first ten games of his professional career, appears on a side panel with a boldness comparable in quality to that of his future Cooperstown roommate.

    Only a small handful of verified Babe Ruth home run balls have ever surfaced in the collecting hobby, and the status of this specimen as the first of the 1928 World Championship season sets it high in the rankings of that microscopic supply. It's an exceptionally relevant piece, more so than even the vast majority of artifacts on display at Cooperstown today. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. LOA from SCD Authentic (Kinunen/Bushing).

    Guide Value or Estimate: $80,000 - up.

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    27th Saturday 10:00 pm CT
    Auction Dates
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    1 Day 1h 29m 18s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: 54
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    This lot is in: 1 - Signature Internet Extended Bid Session - Extended Bidding - Platinum Session:
    (Lots 80001-80142) - 10:00 PM Central Time, Saturday, February 27, 2021.
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    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions
    2801 W. Airport Freeway
    Dallas, TX 75261

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