SCP Auctions November 2010 Internet Auction
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
Babe Ruth played baseball like he lived life: with loud, gaudy, entertaining gusto. There was nothing subtle about the happy-go-lucky Sultan of Swat, who paraded through his career, forged an enduring relationship with adoring fans and then withstood the test of time as the greatest power hitter in baseball history. No single sports memorabilia item consistently inspires more awe than a bat used by Babe Ruth. For veteran hobbyists or casual fans, the allure of a bat wielded by Ruth in his prime, the ultimate tool of his trade, is unfailing. For many reasons this war club, with which Babe Ruth walloped his 702nd career round-tripper on July 22, 1934, is among the finest Babe Ruth gamers known. Enhancing its extraordinary appeal is the fact that it has been signed by Ruth as well as fifteen of his 1934 New York Yankee teammates. Supporting the aforementioned facts, is an infallible archive of impeccable provenance documentation. Ruth originally presented this bat to A. V. Ott, an Equitable Life Insurance salesman in New York whose clients included many of the New York Yankees players. Ott was particularly close to manager Joe McCarthy, and the two of them served on a number of youth organizations aimed at preventing juvenile delinquency. On Sunday, July 22, 1934, Ott traveled to Chicago to witness the Yankees and White Sox play a double header at Comiskey Park. In the first game, Ruth hit his sixteenth home run of the year, and the 702nd of his career off of Ted Lyons, in leading the Yankees to an 8-2 victory over the Sox. In between games, Ruth presented Ott with the bat he used that afternoon, but not before he and twelve other New York Yankees team members had signed it. Years later, in 1945, both the bat and ball Ott received that day were given as a gift to his ten-year-old nephew Jon (Jackie) Flamming, who lived in Tyndall, South Dakota. These facts are provided in an accompanying notarized letter, dated July 7, 2002, signed by Martha Flamming Grimme, the wife of the late Jon Flamming. All of the information provided in her letter is corroborated by a period newspaper article which appeared in the October 4, 1945, edition of the Tyndall Tribune and Register, a copy of which accompanies the bat. Jon Flamming's gift of a Babe Ruth home run bat (and a signed ball) was big news in Tyndall, South Dakota, at the time and the local paper prominently featured the story on its front page. According to the article, the bat and ball were put on display in the front window of the local hardware store so all of the town folk could see them. The article reads in part: “A bat and ball, autographed by Babe Ruth and the rest of the New York Yankees team, in the year 1934, are proud possessions of Jackie Flamming, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Flamming, and form an appropriate attraction in the Tyndall Hardward store window this week as the World Series games got under way Wednesday. Incidentally, the bat is one with which Babe Ruth, the home run king, swatted out one of his famous home runs in the game following which the bat was autographed. The ball and bat were both given to A. V. Ott between halves of a doubleheader played in 1934 between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees...This bat and ball have been preserved all this time until such time as Mr. and Mrs. Ott could deliver them in person to their nephew. The occasion was delayed because of the war.” In addition to its extraordinary provenance as a documented Ruth home-run bat, the bat itself possesses perfect physical attributes. The H&B signature-model bat (predating model numbers) was crafted of white hickory and remains uncracked with bold and precisely rendered factory labeling. Evidence of heavy use is apparent throughout in the form of ball marks on the left side of the barrel (including a very distinct stitch mark). Measuring 35 inches in length, and weighing 37 ounces, the bat dates to the 1933-1934 manufacturing period, but based upon its accompanying documentation, its period of use can be definitively dated to 1934. Ideally, this bat is recorded in the H&B factory records, which makes note that Ruth's final order of white hickory bats was shipped to him on March 11, 1933. The black ink signatures which grace the barrel have faded over time to varying degrees and include: Babe Ruth (5-6/10), Ben Chapman, Earle Combs, Frank Crosetti, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig (3/10), Lefty Gomez (2-3/10), Tony Lazzeri (2/10), Chas Ruffing, Joe Sewell (coach), Russ Van Atta and Dixie Walker. Added shortly after the original signing in 1934 are the pennings of former Yankees Jimmy Burke (coach), Eddie Farrell and Herb Pennock as well as the signature of former National League hurler Cy Moore. From the time it left Ruth's hands in the twilight of his legendary career this treasure has been accounted for throughout its 76-year timeline—with iron-clad documentation. By every standard use to assess the quality and historical importance of game used bats, this Babe Ruth autographed home run bat has few peers. Accompanying LOAs from the leading third party authenticators corroborates this assessment. Graded A10 by MEARS and GU10 by PSA/DNA. Also includes full LOA from PSA/DNA for autographs.