Winter Premier Auction 2021


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/3/2021

At the same time Babe Ruth was publicly breaking records in the home run department, he was simultaneously doing the same in private when it came to extra-marital affairs. Ruth had grown up in St. Mary’s orphanage where the Catholic brothers who ran the facility forbade all unwholesome pursuits. However, when the teenage Ruth was turned loose from St. Mary’s and no longer under the watchful eyes of the brothers, he commenced to indulge in anything and everything he desired. With a big league paycheck burning a hole in his pocket, Ruth consumed copious amounts of food, liquor and of course, women.
The Babe had married Helen Woodford, a waitress in a Boston coffee shop, in 1914, but almost immediately the relationship soured. Ruth was a serial cheater and his lust for the limelight often meant his more reserved wife Mary was left at home, alone. Even the couple’s 1921 adoption of their daughter Dorothy was clouded with controversy, with rumors circulating that the child was the offspring of one of the Babe’s many affairs. Since Babe and Helen were devout Catholics, divorce was simply out of the question, and despite many attempts at reconciliation, Ruth always returned to his philandering ways. As brazen and prolific as Ruth was with his illicit sex life, surprisingly few of his paramours spilled the beans about their relationships with the most famous man in America – and that is exactly why this small collection is noteworthy.
The three pieces in this collection were discovered in the scrapbook of Miss Nell Wilson and include a personal letter from the Babe, a snapshot of Miss Wilson and a telegram from a third party which references her relationship with Ruth. The letter, hand written on the letterhead of the Raleigh Hotel in Washington, is addressed to “Dear Nell” and reads, “Very sorry but my wife jumped over on me without me knowing it this is the first time she ever did that she is watching me so don’t get mad and I will see you Monday night. The club is watching so the only way I will be able to see you all night is for you to stop in at the Aldine Hotel and I can see you. Babe" Beneath his signature Ruth added, “don’t call me up.” The letter shows edge wear and overall toning, with some staining on the upper left corner. There is some paper loss on the edges but none affect the hand written message or signature.
The second piece of this extraordinary Ruth collection is a Western Union telegram dated July 1, 1922 from what appears to be another of Miss Wilson’s suitors. The man, named “Jack,” laments that he is but one of her admirers and ends the telegram with, “Hope you gave a good time on your celebration with Babe.” The telegram shows overall toning with edge wear and paper loss around the folds of the delicate telegraph paper. There are some spotting stains throughout, but none of this affects the legibility of the message.
The last component of this collection is a small, candid snapshot of Miss Nell Wilson. The subject of this one of a kind group gazes slyly at the viewer across almost 100 years of mystery. A unique piece of baseball history that documents an often alluded to, but seldom discussed, aspect of Babe Ruth’s private life.

This wonderful peek behind closed doors in the life of the Babe was last sold at SCP/SOTHEBY'S in 2004 for $86,250.

Accompanied by full Letters of Authentication from PSA/DNA and Beckett Authentication Services.

Estimate: $100,000+

Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $25,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $201,851
Number Bids: 12
Auction closed on Saturday, April 3, 2021.
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