SCP Auctions April 2011 Internet Auction
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
On April 15, 1976, Yankee Stadium reopened after two years of renovations. What was most noticeable was that the three monuments in center field were no longer there. The monuments erected to honor Miller Huggins (1932), Lou Gehrig (1941), and Babe Ruth (1949) had been moved behind the new outfield wall, as were the Ed Barrow, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Jacob Ruppert plaques. The framed swatches of actual Yankee pinstripes (with the blue felt retired numbers stitched on) and the name plaques that identified which number belong to which legend that were displayed inside the Stadium before its 1974-75 renovation were also gone. But unlike the monuments, the numbers and plaques were not placed back in the newly renovated stadium. Rather, a collector procured the retired numbers of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio (numbers 3, 4 and 5) from the owner of a sports collectibles store in Nyack, NY in 1976. The owner of the store acquired the retired numbers and corresponding plaques through the contractor in charge of the Yankee Stadium renovation who had secured the right to sell certain Yankee artifacts and memorabilia. The retired numbers were part of that transaction. Offered here is Babe Ruth’s original retired “Number 3” from that group that formerly resided in “The House That Ruth Built”.
Babe Ruth's blue felt, 7-3/8" tall No. "3" is sewn on authentic Yankee pinstripes. Stitched in blue script beneath the number are the words "Babe Ruth Number retired June 13, 1948." The piece is displayed in its original frame and is accompanied by the original bronze "BABE RUTH" plaque which hung beneath his retired number. A photo of it hanging in the Stadium is viewable online. One would think that Babe Ruth's No. 3 would have been retired when he left the Yankees or at least after he had retired from baseball, but that was not the case. The Babe and the Yankees did not part company amicably after the 1934 season. As a result he did not receive the dubious honor until June 13, 1948, as the Yankees celebrated the 25th anniversary of "The House That Ruth Built," the Yankees retired Number 3 in a ceremony at home plate on "Silver Anniversary Day." The Babe passed away on August 16, 1948 in New York City, but through ill health and into the afterlife, his legacy never diminished. This is one of the most poignant pieces ever offered that originates from the Yankees that pays tribute to their greatest star.
Includes copy of displayed photo which pictures the Ruth number along with others hanging in the Yankees Clubhouse in the years previous to the renovation of Yankee Stadium.