Mid-Summer Classic Auction 2013
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
Babe Ruth has always embodied the complexity of the supply and demand equation: during his playing days and in retirement, he was always an extraordinarily generous signer, penning his gorgeous signature as freely and graciously as any athlete on the planet. Thus the supply of Ruth-signed photos and to a lesser extent baseballs and other equipment items is substantial, but the nearly insatiable demand keeps prices, at times, exuberant in spite of that fact. There are exceptions, however, to the theme of availability, and we encounter an example here, one of just two Babe Ruth single-signed gloves to appear within a major auction in the past decade. We can only hypothesize as to the glaring scarcity of signed gloves, but one can assume that the high cost relative to balls and photos played a role. One could also imagine that a number of signed gloves have indeed existed, but the call of the sandlot proved irresistible for most young owners, dooming the signatures to the brutality of play.
Young Jim Headley was clearly not your typical youngster, however, a fact borne out by his incredible dedication to the sale of war stamps as a carrier boy for the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper. As an included photocopy of a May 22, 1942 issue of the paper indicates, Headley was one of the boys responsible for selling well over four million war stamps, outpacing every other newspaper in the country of a comparable size. The prize for the boys' patriotic dedication was a June 23, 1943 celebration at the Cleveland Public Auditorium where Babe Ruth, Jim Cagney and other celebrities would applaud their efforts.
Evidenced by an accompanying photo, Jim arrived with this Pinky Higgins endorsed glove manufactured by local Cleveland sporting goods retailer "The Newman Stern Co." The photo captures a beaming young Jim looking on as Babe Ruth autographs his glove on the exact location where it endures to this day. The black fountain pen signature aligns perfectly to the photo, mellowed to some degree over the passing decades but still readily legible from any reasonable viewing distance. The glove itself remains in wonderful condition, essentially problem-free and showing only the expected wear along the stitched trim areas. Finally, we have Jim's ticket for admittance to the show, bearing a vintage ink notation on verso that reads "Jim went to Cleveland with Mr. Chapes of Beacon Journal, Wed 25, 1943, reward for selling 58,091 10-cent defense stamps. Came home with a B.B. mit (sic) autographed by Babe Ruth." What was once the pride and joy of a patriotic young man will significantly elevate any collection of elite Babe Ruth artifacts.
Includes full LOAs from both PSA/DNA and JSA.
This lot has a Reserve Price that has not been met.