Fall Premier Auction 2013
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
It was the Barnstorming Tour by which all others might be measured, the 1927 (and repeated again in 1928) sortie across the nation by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, fresh from their World Series triumph against the Pirates in four games and their epic season in 1927 when Murderer's Row et al. pummeled the American League into submission. The famed Bustin's Babes and Larrupin' Lous tour was headlined by Ruth and Gehrig, the former who had shocked by nation with his then-record 60 home runs that summer and the latter who pitched in with 47 round-trippers of his own, a league-leading 175 RBI and a batting average of .373. The ensuing tour across the country that fall was wildly successful on all fronts, and was uniquely recorded for posterity with the wonderful photos of Ruth and Gehrig in their barnstorming uniforms, some of the most iconic images of the two Hall of Famers, sometimes with unusual headgear added and often posing with youngsters in cowboy attire and the odd small pony nearby.
This remarkable Official National League baseball traces its roots to that famed tour. The red-and-blue stitched ball is lightly toned and displays a number of tiny nicks mostly confined to one empty panel, and none of which significantly jostle the presentation. All of the Spalding manufacturer's stampings remain strong, clear and legible. Ruth's signature appears on the sweet spot, with Gehrig somewhat diagonally adjacent to it; the salutation "To Phil, From" appears on the panel and to the left of the Babe's autograph. The provenance connected with the ball details how the ball was presented to Phil Donahue, the young son of the man who promoted the event locally in Sioux City, Iowa. Ruth and Gehrig lunched with the Donahue family at their home, an event documented with the two large black-and-white photographs provided with the lot, pictures showing the two Yankee greats in their barnstorming uniforms, posing the three young Donahue boys and the odd pony alluded to above. Phil Donahue, the oldest of the three boys, served as a bat-boy for the game and was presented with the ball, which stayed in his possession to the end of the millennium.
Comes with a Letter of Authenticity from PSA/DNA.