MAY 2012 PREMIER INTERNET AUCTION

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/20/2012
NOTE: This uniform last sold at auction in 2008 for $310,500.

In 1933, with Ruth aging and Gehrig slumping, the Yankees fell to second place. By this time the Babe seldom played an entire game, often being removed for defensive reasons in the late innings. His playing career clearly winding down, Ruth set his heart firmly on becoming the manager of the Yankees. After making his wishes known, they suggested he manage their Class AAA club in Newark to get some experience. With injured pride he refused. After the 1934 season Ruth, somewhat sulking with an uncertain future, led a group of Americans on a tour of Japan. Upon his return, Ruth, the greatest star the game has ever known, was presented with a contract offer for $1 dollar by the franchise he had almost single-handedly built into a dynasty. The Yankees offer was a mere formality, enabling Ruth to refuse, and thus retire on his own recognizance. In 1935 the Braves came forward and offered Ruth what they described as a three-level position: player, assistant manager, and vice president. The last two were a sham. Boston was only trying to beef up their attendance by using the aging legend as a gate attraction. In spite of his rapidly diminishing skills, Ruth showed one last glimpse of his former greatness. On May 25, 1935, in Pittsburgh, Ruth homered in his first two trips to the plate, singled in his third appearance, and in the seventh inning hit a ball over the right field roof of Forbes Field. It was his final major league home run, and it was, typically, a monster shot. He played in only a handful of games after that for the Braves.

The closest Babe Ruth ever came to realizing his managerial dream came three years later when he returned to New York as a coach with the Dodgers in 1938. Ruth's hope was renewed briefly, as he proudly donned this Brooklyn uniform, hoping to parlay the position into something bigger. During his first and only return to Major League baseball after his official retirement in 1935, Ruth was a tremendous drawing card for the talent starved Dodgers, and the Brooklyn front office made sure he kept very high profile. Not only was Ruth appointed first base coach, (where the fans would be sure to see him throughout the entire game), but he was also ordered to take pre-game batting practice with the club so the fans could once again witness the "Sultan of Swat" hitting a few balls out of the park. In spite of the "side show"atmosphere, Ruth clung to hope. But when the club's managerial post opened the next year Leo Durocher got it, and Ruth wasn't rehired. He hung up his Brooklyn Dodgers uniform after one season. This would be the last baseball uniform he would ever wear as a professional. Ruth spent the next ten years of his life waiting for the call to become a manager, but it never came.

Ruth’s last major league road uniform, from his lone season with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938, consists of his heavy grey flannel Spalding jersey and matching pants, both of which feature Ruth's full name in chain stitch near the manufacturers tagging. The shirt retains its blue Dodgers team name across the front, and Ruth's uniform number "35" on the back. Small "38" year designation is chain stitched on the back of the interior tail, which also retains custom lacing, which allowed Ruth to keep his shirt neatly tucked into his pants. The left sleeve displays its original 1939 World's Fair patch. The jersey remains in completely original condition exhibiting light to moderate use and wash wear appropriate for Ruth's position as first base coach. The offered Babe Ruth uniform numbers as one of only a handful of surviving exemplars, all of which rank at the pinnacle of the most elite historical baseball collections.

Includes a LOA from MEARS Authentication (Graded A10).

Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $50,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $207,142
Number Bids: 14
Auction closed on Sunday, May 20, 2012.
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