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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/30/2023

The 1919 New York Yankees finished 80-59-2, good enough for third place in the American League. That offseason, the Yanks acquired George Herman Ruth from the Boston Red Sox, changing not only the fates of both franchises forever, but turning skipper Miller Huggins’ squad into a Junior Circuit juggernaut seemingly overnight. The Bambino’s 1920 arrival in the Big Apple may have gotten all the media buzz and catapulted his celebrity stardom, but the rest of New York’s roster was certainly nothing to scoff at.

Presented here is an incredibly rare lot with 14 key autographs from the 1920 Yankees roster who went 95-59 and inched closer to taking the AL crown. (They would win three straight pennants starting in 1921.) The highlight is a delicate 2½ x 5¼” album page dated “June 21, 1920”, with eleven members including The Babe himself during his much-anticipated debut season in the Bronx. All are neatly and tightly done in pencil, ranging 7-9 in strength and eye appeal on the lined paper. From the top, they are: Muddy Ruel (C), Del Pratt (2B), rookie Bob Meusel (OF/3B), Frank Gleich (OF), Babe Ruth (RF), Charley O’Leary (coach), Herb Thormalhlen (SP), Ping Bodie (CF), Bob Shawkey (SP), Aaron Ward (3B) and Sammy Vick (OF).

According to PSA/DNA, the date is written in Del Pratt’s hand. Pratt had a banner year for the Yanks, batting .314 with 108 RBI. Ruth led the team with a .376 batting average and blasted a gargantuan 54 home runs, nearly doubling his own MLB record from the prior season with the Red Sox. His pencil signature appears 7-8/10 in our book. The 6/21/1920 date placed the Bronx Bombers in St. Louis where they had a rare off day (Monday) during a three-game series against the Browns. Ruth homered in the 6/23 finale.

Adding to this extraordinary lot is a trio of 3x5” index cards individually signed by first baseman Wally Pipp (7/10 blue fountain pen), starting pitcher Carl Mays (8/10 black ballpoint) and relief pitcher Ernie Shore with his inscription (9/10 blue ballpoint). Including the album page, all four items are encapsulated “Authentic” by PSA/DNA.

Much has been documented about the controversy surrounding the 1920 Yankees, and those involved with two highly publicized events are among the signatures included. Carl Mays – Ruth’s teammate in Boston for five seasons – paced New York’s starting staff with a 26-11 record and six shutouts during the campaign. However, his Cooperstown-worthy career was best remembered for drilling Ray Chapman squarely in the side of his head on Aug. 16th at the Polo Grounds. The Indians star shortstop suffered a skull fracture and died the next morning. Another major headline that year came just two weeks after this very album page was signed. Following a 17-0 romp over the Senators in Washington D.C. on July 6th, Yankees coach Charley O'Leary and rookie outfielder Frank Gleich returned to New York in a car driven by Babe and wife Helen. Around 2:00 a.m. in rural Pennsylvania, Ruth lost control and crashed the car in a ditch. O'Leary was ejected from the vehicle and the car landed upside down with everyone else stuck inside. Fortunately, Ruth was able to move it and all five escaped with just minor injuries.

Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $15,180
Number Bids:10
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