Charles “Red” Ruffing overcame two major obstacles on his way to Cooperstown. The first was a grim upbringing. Dropping out of school at a young age in order to work in a coalmine, he found joy only in playing baseball. Then, just after signing a minor league contract, Ruffing’s left foot was crushed between two coal cars and he lost four toes. Charles, now called “Red” because of his hair, had to relearn how to run and pitch around his disability. A few years later he finally reached the minor leagues, and in 1924 was signed by the Boston Red Sox.
The second hurdle Ruffing faced was his own teammates – the mid-1920’s Red Sox were a miserable team, and he had the dubious distinction of leading the American League in losses twice. Then, in 1930, Ruffing was traded to the Yankees, and his road to Cooperstown was clear. Over the next 13 years he was the Yanks ace starter, leading the team to six World Championships and winning 20 or more games for four consecutive years. As impressive as he was during the regular season, it was in the Fall Classic where Ruffing really shined, posting a 7-2 record in World Series games. After service in World War II, Ruffing’s experience made him a valued pitching coach for the White Sox, Mets and Indians.
When he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967, the Yankees’ red-headed ace was presented with this 10-karat gold induction ring. The top features a baseball mounted on a black stone surrounded by "Baseball Hall of Fame" in raise letters. The left shank has “RUFFING” engraved on a ribbon above a baseball and crossed bats with a second ribbon engraved with “ELECTED 1967.” The right shank has “PITCHER” engraved on a ribbon above the façade of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The interior of the 32 gram, size 12 ring has the “LGB 10K” hallmark. The ring shows light wear from use and age, with a few minor surface scuffs and dings. A stunning, one-of-a-kind piece from one of the Yankees greatest all-time pitchers.
Includes letter from the Ruffing family.