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    Description

    The Bambino agrees to terms for his final World Championship season!

    1932 Babe Ruth Signed New York Yankees Player's Contract. In most years, it would have been good enough for the Triple Crown and a hefty raise, but the cruel tide of the Great Depression was approaching its lowest ebb as Babe Ruth's record two-season contract at $80,000 per annum drew to a close. Though the Babe led the Junior Circuit with forty-six homers in 1931, and trailed only Lou Gehrig for runs batted in and Al Simmons for batting average, those elite achievements could neither wrest control of the American League pennant from the mighty Mack Men, nor convince Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert to maintain the status quo of Ruth's salary. For the first time in his career, the great Bambino would have to take a pay cut.

    The New York Times ran a lengthy story the day after this contract was signed, noting that the $75,000 figure was a compromise between the two future Hall of Famers who had dug in at figures of $80,000 and $70,000 respectively. "The filling in of the agreed figures and the inscribing of signatures were delayed until Colonel Alfred W. Wattenberg, Ruppert's friend, was summoned to act as witness and provide a fountain pen. Then the signatories and the witness adjourned to the hotel patio, where the signing procedure was dramatized with table and chairs against a sub-tropical garden background for the newspaper camera men and news-reel operatives."

    The reporter goes on to mention that each man tossed a coin into a nearby fountain for good luck, noting, "Ruth wished for a Yankee pennant this year to qualify him for the tenth world's series of his career," and, of course, that wish would ultimately be granted, setting the stage for perhaps the most storied moment of the legendary slugger's career. In Game Three of the 1932 World Series, Ruth answered the taunts of the Cubs' dugout at Wrigley Field with a titanic blast to dead center, spawning a debate that continues to rage nearly nine decades later--did Babe Ruth truly "call his shot" as he and many witnesses to the event have claimed?

    A snippet of grainy video shot from the grandstands behind home plate is the only evidence that supersedes witness testimony, but it fails to provide a definitive answer, assuring that the controversy will endure as long as the sport is played. Thrillingly, a typed page two addendum to the contract actually mentions World Series competition, excluding it from a revenue-sharing agreement for games played outside of the standard Yankees schedule. Just below, Ruppert and witness Wattenberg's signatures join that of "George Herman Ruth" in the boldest of blue fountain pen ink, with the superstar slugger writing his Manhattan home address below.

    The standard four-page "Uniform Player's Contract presents nearly perfectly, with a tiny amount of separation at one of the fold lines stopping well short of any text, otherwise effectively NRMT. Ruth's production and salary would tumble in the last two seasons of his Yankees service to come before a rather sad last chapter with the Boston Braves, the last of his twenty-two Major League seasons. As such, this remarkable document symbolizes the last magical campaign of the sport's greatest figure, a relic of supreme historical significance. Full LOA from Beckett Authentication Services. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2021
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 24
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