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

ADDENDUM: Please read updated description regarding the two "Babe Ruth Day" exhibition games.

Offered here is a true baseball rarity – a 1938 "Babe Ruth Day" baseball signed by Babe Ruth over the All-Star break in early July '38 during which the Bambino actually played in two exhibition games for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The story surrounding those two games has been somewhat overlooked by historians, available only through old newspaper clippings from the Watertown Daily Times, Evening World Herald, and Star-Gazette. In 1938 Babe Ruth came out of retirement to coach first base for Brooklyn. The Dodgers were under the new front office management of Larry MacPhail (future Yankees and AL President), and it was his idea to hire the aging slugger to hit home runs in batting practice and draw fans to the home confines of Ebbets Field. At age 43, Ruth took the position with the idea that he would eventually be named manager, a post-career goal that would never come to fruition.

On July 6, 1938, the Dodgers played an exhibition game against the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League (AA) in Syracuse, NY. In front of 11,500 spectators, Ruth went 1-for-3 with a single in a 9-0 Yankees romp. Some 50 lbs. overweight with ailing knees, Ruth took the field again the following afternoon on July 7th to play first base for Brooklyn in a second exhibition game against the Elmira Pioneers of the Eastern League (Class A) in Elmira, NY. He intended to just play the first few innings, but after going hitless in two at-bats, he vowed to keep going until he got a hit. In the 7th, he lined a ball deep into the right-center field gap. After rounding first, Ruth started hobbling and ran out of gas. As reported in the 7/8/1938 issue of the Star-Gazette, first base coach (and fellow HOFer) Jesse Haines, seeing the 'ole guy in trouble, took off running and completed Ruth’s hilarious “triple.” With the crowd of 5,000 now satisfied with his Ruthian efforts, Babe happily sat back down in the dugout and called it a day.

At some point during one of these games, The Babe and Dodgers first baseman Buddy Hassett signed this baseball. (Interestingly enough, Hassett would later coach a Navy team against Ruth's All-Stars in a War Chest Exhibition game on August 26, 1943, that raised $800 million in war bonds during World War II.) This official "Babe Ruth Day July 6, 1938" stamped ball is of unknown manufacturer and has red and green stitching. Ruth has signed the sweet spot in lovely blue ink (NM 7 auto. grade), allowing it to be easily displayed as a single if desired. Bud Hassett's bold blue pen autograph has been graded MINT 9 by PSA/DNA. The baseball itself shows a good amount of soiling to the surface and some scuffs from age and possible use. (Unfortunately, we cannot confirm if the ball was used in one of the two exhibition games.) Includes LOAs from JSA and PSA/DNA, the latter asssessing the two autos. an overall NM-MT 8 grade.


Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $4,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $16,578
Number Bids:11
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