This broadside and ball set marks the passing of the torch from one baseball superstar to the next. On May 19, 1935, Babe Ruth and the Boston Braves came to Sportsman’s Park to play Dizzy Dean’s St. Louis Cardinals. Ruth’s storied playing career, which epitomized the carefree excess of the Roarin’ Twenties, was in its final days. On the other hand, Dizzy Dean, a semi-literate, boastful Okie whose scrappy style was indicative of the nation now mired in the Great Depression, was coming off a year that saw him win an incredible 30 games. He and his brother, Paul, had each won two games in the Cards’ World Series triumph over Detroit the previous fall.
On that spring afternoon in the River City, 12,000 fans watched as the two legends met for the last time. Dean was in top form, keeping The Babe hitless in four at-bats and striking out the home run king once as the defending World Champs easily defeated Boston, 7-3. A week and a half later, Ruth decided to hang ‘em up while Dean went on to win a league-leading 28 games. Because the May 19 dual between Ruth and Dean was expected to draw a huge crowd, the Cardinals produced special showcard broadsides to advertise the game. Printed in an eye-catching red, the 8" by 18" poster features photos of the two superstars headlined with “Dean vs. Ruth.” The broadside is in very good condition with the expected toning from age, slight edge wear and several faint horizontal folds from storage.
Accompanying this exceptionally rare broadside is a fitting baseball signed by the two Hall of Famers. The Official American League (Harridge) ball has been signed on the sweet spot by Babe, with Dizzy on the panel directly below, giving it ideal display potential. The ball has a light coating of shellac that has given the leather an almost glowing amber hue. While it cannot be stated definitively that this Spalding ball was signed at the May 19, 1935 contest, the Spalding ball is a 1934-39 OAL model, and each autograph appears in what looks like the same exact blue fountain pen rating a solid 7-8/10 in our eyes. A very significant pairing that memorializes the end of one era in baseball history and the beginning of another.
Full LOA from PSA/DNA.